'Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female.' - Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey.
Born at Steventon in 1775, the daughter of a Hampshire clergyman, Jane Austen was the youngest of seven children. She lived a quiet life, moving to Bath, Southampton, Chawton and eventually to Winchester where she died unmarried in 1817 at the age of forty-two.
It is to her elder sister Cassandra that most of her surviving letters are written, and through them we discover the intimate world of the English gentry. They are at times both candid and wickedly indiscreet, detailing the joys and sorrows of her large family, providing us with an insight into the life of one of England's great novelists.
©1996 Mr Punch Audio; (P)1996 Mr Punch Audio
"Jane Austen's letters are always engaging... Fiona Shaw gives a sensitive reading." (Daily Telegraph)
"Fiona Shaw as Jane Austen babbles like a little brook of a petit-point life in Hampshire and Bath." (The Independent)
"...a good medium for diaries & journals." (The Spectator)
"... it was an excellent idea... to concentrate on readings from letters & journals." (The Good Book Guide)
"Letters & Journals always make lively intimate listening." (The Independent)
This was such a wonderful little book to listen to on a very long road trip. It made you feel like Ms. Austen was in the room with you, sharing a good giggle and some juicy gossip. Fiona Shaw is amazing making the novelist's voice come to life. Two minor points I did not like- it was abridged and the letters are not in chronological order, but more 'theme' than date. It made it hard sometimes to understand why she was talking about something that was going to happen that you already heard had previously happened. Other than that I'd listen to it over and over.
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