By James Edward Austen-Leigh

Jane Austen (as is so cogently famous during this quantity) won little detect or status in the course of her unfortunately brief existence. Likewise, except her six novels and a few letters, little basic proof exists to enlighten her admirers. unfortunately, it used to be universal within the nineteenth century for households to burn all fabrics believed to be too own or too revealing.

In venture to jot down this "memoir" in regards to the lifetime of his wonderful aunt, J.E.Austen-Leigh unquestionably the mores of the days in conserving her privateness. however the little he tells his readers approximately his stories of Jane Austen are worthy a cautious perusal, if in simple terms simply because he knew her. those that understand from her books in regards to the sharpness of her humorousness and satire will take with a grain of salt her portrayal the following as continually genteel and decorous. yet he does be ready to exhibit a feeling of her playfulness, creativity, and inventiveness, and he's justified in pertaining to her as a genius.

Written in a now antiquated sort, parts of this narrow memoir will be not easy going, however it is definitely worth the attempt.

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Extra resources for A Memoir of Jane Austen: And Other Family Recollections (Oxford World's Classics)

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Our validation is that by probing we rescue and in some way restore the life of the biographee now in our charge. In recent times this rescue-work has been seen as a special trust laid upon the female or feminist biographer by her female subject. So, for example, Claire Tomalin examines the Memoir account (p. ) of Mrs Austen’s system of child-rearing for clues to explain what she diagnoses as Jane Austen’s emotional defensiveness in adult life. It was Mrs Austen’s practice to breast-feed each of her numerous babies for the first three or four months of life and then foster-out the baby to a woman in the village for the next year or longer (until she/he was able to walk).

21 This sense of reserve towards the subject of a posthumous biography is not just a matter of family respect, though the lines between what is accounted as for private or public knowledge will obviously be drawn differently depending on where the biographer stands. Rather, it is indicative of a discretion which separates mid-Victorian biographers from the prying accountability of our modern need-to-know stance. Reticence was a matter of moral responsibility for the Victorian biographer, but that does not mean that attention to the limits of what can or should be made known need prevent discerning speculation, or that the moral reading of a life cannot become its imaginative reading.

See also Claire Tomalin, The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft (; Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, ),  ff. xxxviii Introduction ‘young persons’. It is perhaps worth remembering that the home from which the sensitive young Jane Austen was so swiftly exiled was also that to which the baby James Edward (aged  years) was, by the same decision, introduced. But after this brief paragraph he leaves the matter. His source was his younger sister Caroline, not then born, but subsequently in receipt of the details from their mother Mary Lloyd Austen ‘who was present’.

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