Letters of Jane Austen
The son of Jane Austen's 'favourite niece' Fanny Knight, Lord Brabourne, had inherited a large number of letters from Austen including some to her sister Cassandra and others to members of the Knight family. The Letters of Jane Austen (1884) publishes these letters for the first time, and sets them in a family context drawn from the reminiscences of those who knew Austen personally. This first of two volumes begins with a biographical essay and then includes letters from 1796, when Austen was a young woman of twenty preoccupied with social events and the courtship of her friends, to 1807, which found her in lodging with her mother and sister in Southampton, much sobered by the recent death of her father. Her topics are often domestic ('You know how interesting the purchase of a sponge-cake is to me') and her wit is evident throughout.
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