The History of England: From the Reign of Henry the 4th to the Death of Charles the 1st

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1993 - History - 34 pages
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Since the first publication of her major works at the start of the nineteenth century, generations of readers have loved Jane Austen - for her quick wit and for her keen observations of the manners and mores of her society. Even before Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, Jane observed the English monarchs with an already keen eye and unmistakable wit in this, her History of England. When she was just sixteen years old, Jane wrote this gleeful parody of Goldsmith's four-volume History of England (which virtually every English schoolchild - Jane included - had to read). Her version is an irreverent look at a subject usually treated with deadly seriousness. The monarchs - from Henry IV to Charles I - are full of very human whims and weaknesses, both in Jane's text and in her sister Cassandra's miniature portraits, which depict the kings and queens of England as ordinary and sometimes rather disreputable-looking individuals. Produced in association with The British Library, with an introduction from A. S. Byatt and a note on the text from Austen biographer Deirdre Le Faye, this facsimile makes the spirit of the original work available for the first time to all who love Jane Austen's writing.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

It's a truism that writers, like musicians, must practice their scales before they take flight. Are the practice lessons themselves of any literary value? Rarely, judging from these two volumes, other ... Read full review

The history of England: from the reign of Henry the 4th to the death of Charles the 1st

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Aficionados of Jane Austen and of historical satire will delight in this spoof on the history of the British monarchy from 1399 to 1649. Austen's note that this history is "By a partial, prejudiced ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Jane Austen's life is striking for the contrast between the great works she wrote in secret and the outward appearance of being quite dull and ordinary. Austen was born in the small English town of Steventon in Hampshire, and educated at home by her clergyman father. She was deeply devoted to her family. For a short time, the Austens lived in the resort city of Bath, but when her father died, they returned to Steventon, where Austen lived until her death at the age of 41. Austen was drawn to literature early, she began writing novels that satirized both the writers and the manners of the 1790's. Her sharp sense of humor and keen eye for the ridiculous in human behavior gave her works lasting appeal. She is at her best in such books as Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), in which she examines and often ridicules the behavior of small groups of middle-class characters. Austen relies heavily on conversations among her characters to reveal their personalities, and at times her novels read almost like plays. Several of them have, in fact, been made into films. She is considered to be one of the most beloved British authors.

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