Love & Freindship and The History of England by Jane Austen
Another reread from the collected minor works of Austen. I won’t do a proper post on Sanditon and The Watsons since they are unfinished, but I rather liked their beginning especially Sanditon’s when I read them three years ago.
These are just two of the juvenilia that I have read from Austen which features unpublished works she wrote as a youth primarily for her family.
Austen wrote this story when she was fourteen. Like most of her works, this is epistolary, and yet again, the right length. I think one early criticism of eighteenth century epistolary novels are that they are too long. I always like the length of Austen’s works; she’s actually concise for her time and I often wish her stories were longer.
This story is almost a fairy tale or a fable. The whole point of it is to mock sensibility and that trend of her time. There is a flair for the melodramatic in this work as the main characters are silly idiots. There is a lot of fainting.
Jane Austen’s predilection for sense in romance is one of the things I like most about her novels. I like that her heroes and heroines fall in love, but the females don’t go around acting hysterical or dramatic about it.
The History of England
This was rather amusing if you love history like I do. If you know British history, more the better. Very tongue in cheek and witty retelling of some kings and queens of England and Scotland from Henry III to George II’s beheading.
It’s a satire on standard history books. It mocks historians and their so-called objectivity. I rather liked her literary references and tone. It’s the kind of work young historians would appreciate and it does make it more interesting to learn.
Austen wrote this when she was fifteen. Goodness, I wish I had a slither of how much talent she had as a youth. I did find both works amusing in their own way and different than her novels of course except I still clearly saw Austen through it. I like her tongue in cheek humor and style of writing, her ability to not take things too serious, and her social commentary.
I recommend the juvenilia to see more shades of Austen