Catharine: and Other Writings

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Overview

This new collection of Austen's brilliant short fiction is the first annotated edition of her short writings. The texts have been compared with the manuscripts to give a number of new readings. In addition to prose fiction and prayers, this collection contains many of her poems written to amuse and console her friends, and are unavailable in any other single volume.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of ...

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Overview

This new collection of Austen's brilliant short fiction is the first annotated edition of her short writings. The texts have been compared with the manuscripts to give a number of new readings. In addition to prose fiction and prayers, this collection contains many of her poems written to amuse and console her friends, and are unavailable in any other single volume.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199538423
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2009
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 830,023
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Austen
Jane Austen's delightful, carefully wrought novels of manners remain surprisingly relevant, nearly 200 years after they were first published. Her novels -- Pride and Prejudice and Emma among them -- are those rare books that offer us a glimpse at the mores of a specific period while addressing the complexities of love, honor, and responsibility that still intrigue us today.

Biography

In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Table of Contents

Introduction
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Jane Austen
Frederic and Elfrida 3
Jack and Alice 11
Edgar and Emma 27
Henry and Eliza 31
The adventures of Mr Harley 37
Sir William Mountague 38
Memoirs of Mr Clifford 40
The Beautifull Cassandra 41
Amelia Webster 45
The Visit 47
The Mystery 52
The Three Sisters 55
A beautiful description 68
The generous Curate 69
Ode to Pity 70
Love and Friendship 75
Lesley Castle 107
The History of England 134
A Collection of Letters 145
The female philosopher 165
The first Act of a Comedy 167
A Letter from a Young Lady 169
A Tour through Wales 170
A Tale 171
Evelyn 175
Catharine, or the Bower 186
Plan of a Novel 230
List of Verses 233
Verses 234
Prayers 247
Textual Notes 251
Explanatory Notes 285
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Splendid nonsense! A youthful writer in the making

    If you have consumed all of Austen's major and minor novels, this reissue by Oxford University Press of their 1998 edition is an enticing treasure. In Catharine and Other Writings, we are introduced not only to a writer in the making, but a collection of prayers, poems and unfinished fragments of novels written in maturity and rarely reprinted. As with the other Oxford editions of Jane Austen's works reissued in the past year, this edition contains excellent supplemental material: a short biography of Austen, notes on the text, a select bibliography, a chronology of Austen's life, textural notes, insightful explanatory notes and a superb introduction by prominent Austen scholar Margaret Anne Doody that details the inspiration from her family and her environment that influenced and formed Austen's creative mind.

    "Jane Austen was not a child as a writer when she wrote these early pieces. She possessed a sophistication rarely matched in viewing and using her own medium. She not only understood the Novel, she took the Novel apart, as one might take apart a clock, to see how it works - and put it back together, but it was no longer the same clock. Her genius at an early age is as awe-inspiring as Mozart's." pp xxxv

    What I found so engaging in this collection was the lightness and comical devil-may-care freeness in Austen's youthful approach. It was like a rush of endorphin to a dour mood, taking you outside of your troubles and elevating you into a magical world of a youthful imaginings and farcical fancy. I have several favorites that I will re-read when I need a laugh, especially Love and Freindship, The Beautiful Cassandra and The History of England. Not all of the works are comical. When Winchester races is a verse written when Austen was mortally ill and dictated from her deathbed to her sister Cassandra three days before her death. It is her final work. A moralistic piece, it resurrects the ghost of St. Swinthin who curses the race goers for their sins of pleasure.

    "When once we were buried you think we are gone

    But behold me immortal!"

    An interesting choice of subject for the last days of her life, and ironic in relation to what acclaim she has garnered since she has gone. Like St. Swinthin, Jane Austen is indeed immortal!

    Laurel Ann, Austenprose

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