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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
23

on 8 January 2012
This new edition of Jane Austen's letters must surely take pride of place on the bookshelves of anyone who claims to love this extraordinary novelist.

The minutiae of her daily existence are meticulously recorded, and it is Austen's talent for expressing the seemingly mundane that brings the author and her letters so remarkably to life. Of the political history of all periods we have more than our fair share, subject as it is to the interpretation and opinion of various historians - popular or otherwise - and our understanding of an age changes every day, but it is only through contact with letters and journals such as these that we can stand face to face with the ordinary men and women that make up an era.

To quote from the product description above:
"This fourth edition incorporates the findings of new scholarship to enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. There is a new preface, the biographical and topographical indexes have been amended and updated, a new subject index has been created, and the contents of the notes added to the general index."

Readers perhaps unfamiliar with Austen should not be put off by the parochial and intimate detail that fills her letters - it is precisely that detail and her powers of observation that make her novels as relevant today as they were when first published two centuries ago. To read her letters is to enter the same room as Miss Austen and her correspondents, to hear their laughter and tears, and to share in the daily life of this astonishing and unfortunately short-lived genius.

This fourth edition is elegantly produced in one volume - maybe a little tightly bound to be quite comfortable, and in a size of print that is not always easy on the eye - but minor quibbles aside, Austen devotees (hand in hand with those just beginning their acquaintance with her) can and should relish every lively word. It will be a long time before this edition is superseded.
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on 25 May 2014
This volume is an essential addition to the library of any lover of the works of Jane Austen. Biographies never get close to the real Jane, these letters are her! In them you will find much trivia but also they express the true, sharp and intense, mischievous and sometimes downright rude Jane. Anyone who wants not only to live in the world of her novels but to accompany the author in her daily joys, losses, excitements and disappointments, in fact her life, this is the book for you!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 May 2017
A delightful edition that's beautifully produced and contains more letters than any previous version. Recommended.
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on 4 July 2015
I have found this invaluable as an academic reference of primary documents for my Post-grad studies. Well-annotated with useful notes by the compiler, it has been really helpful to have all the known 160 letters in one source book. Well worth having for study or pleasure.
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on 21 September 2016
What's not to like? Jane Austen is Jane Austen whether in her novels or her letters. Superb.
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on 28 March 2014
This updates the R.W Chapman version of the letters and includes 14 extra letters from Jane Austen. It also has Deirdre Le Faye's extensive notes which run to more than 200 pages and provide clarification on people and places and background historical information.
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on 15 March 2014
I already had a book of selected letters but wanted the complete collection.

This book was available at a very reasonable price and arrived promptly.
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on 9 November 2016
An interesting insight into the life of our most-loved novelist. JA shares with her sister some fascinating opinions about her books.
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on 7 July 2017
Great
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on 20 April 2017
Very nice!
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