Quote Jane

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

donderdag 2 juni 2011

Publication History of Jane Austen's Novels and Stories

Jane Austen's writing career can be divided into three distinct phases: her early childhood and writing years in Steventon Rectory (1775 - 1801); her young adulthood in Bath (1801-1806) and Southampton and Godmersham (1805-1808), a time in which she was the least productive; and her mature writing years in Chawton Cottage (1809 – 1817). During her lifetime, her books were published anonymously by “a lady.”

A photograph of all that remains of Steventon Rectory, which was razed in 1820 shortly after Jane’s death: A field with trees and a metal pump in an enclosure.

History of England 

The Juvenilia (Begun ca. 1787 in Steventon Rectory)
Jane Austen wrote short pieces between 1787 – 1793 in a collection known as the Juvenilia. Included are Jane Austen History of England and Love and Freindship (her spelling). Over her lifetime she frequently copied these early stories, histories, and plays into numerous 3-volume notebooks that were distributed to family members.In 1922, Volume the Second of the Juvenilia was first printed. Robert William Chapman then printed his edition of Volume the Second in 1933, and all three volumes in 1954 as Jane's Minor Works.
Northanger Abbey (Begun 1793 in Steventon Rectory)
After Jane's death, her brother, Henry, recalled that she decided to write professionally in 1789. Between 1793 and 94 she began the first draft of a novel entitled Susan. The book, a parody of the gothic novel, was written in 1798-1799. It was offered for publication in 1803 and purchased for £10 by Crosby and Company. The firm allowed the manuscript to languish on its shelves for six years. In 1809, Jane
Austen unsuccessfully tried to get the manuscript back from the publisher, but she did not have enough money to repurchase it. Henry finally bought it back from the publisher in 1816, or 13 years after it was first published. Jane renamed the book, Catherine, since a book entitled Susan had already been published. After Jane's death in 1817, Henry retitled the book to Northanger Abbey and published it along with Persuasion.

Lady Susan (Begun ca. 1794 in Steventon Rectory)
Jane began Lady Susan, an epistolary novel about a beautiful, selfish widow, around 1794. In 1803, while living in Bath, she completed the work and laid it aside, never attempting to publish it. Her nephew James Edward Austen included the manuscript in the Memoir of Jane Austen in 1871, when it was first read by the public.

Sense and Sensibility (Begun 1795 in Steventon Rectory)
Jane Austen wrote the first version of this novel, known as Elinor and Marianne, in an epistolary form. In November 1797, she renamed the book Sense and Sensibility and edited it into its current format. After moving to Chawton, she rewrote the novel in preparation for its publication. The novel was published in three volumes in November 1811 by Thomas Edgerton. Jane paid for the book's publication and made a profit of £140 (minus Edgerton's commission) on the first edition of 750 printed copies, which all sold. In October 1813, a second edition of Sense and Sensibility came out. Jane earned a total of £250 in profits from the book, a minor success.

Pride and Prejudice, (Begun 1796 in Steventon Rectory)
Jane Austen's most famous novel was written between October 1796 - August 1797 as a thick 3-volume tome known as First impressions. The manuscript was immensely popular among Jane's family and friends, prompting Jane's father, Rev. George Austen, to write a letter in 1797 to Thomas Cadell, a publisher in London, to inquire if he would be willing to publish it. Cadell declined the letter by 'return of post.' The family continued to enjoy reading Jane's novel throughout the years.

In 1812, Jane revised the book, now named Pride and Prejudice, and reduced its length considerably. Thomas Edgerton published the novel in three volumes in January 1813. He purchased the copyright of the book outright for £110, which meant that Jane made no profit off the second edition, published in 1813.

The Watsons (Begun ca. 1803 in Bath)
The years living in Bath were not kind to Jane's literary output. During this time, she started The Watson, and it remained a mere fragment, even though she worked hard on it from 1804 to 1807. Jane's nephew, J.E. Austen-Leigh, published her unfinished manuscript posthumously in the Memoir of Jane Austen in 1871.

Mansfield Park (Begun 1811 in Chawton Cottage)
Jane Austen worked on Mansfield Park between 1811 and 1813. Published by Edgerton in May 1814, the novel sold out in six months. A second edition of Mansfield Park, which came out in 1816,did not sell well and negated the profits Jane made from Emma.

Emma (Begun 1814 in Chawton Cottage)
Jane wrote Emma, a novel about a heroine “whom no-one but myself will much like”, between 1814 and 1815. She visited her brother Henry in London to ready it for publication. Through his librarian, Rev. John Stanier Clark, the Prince Regent invited her to visit his library in Carlton House. The novel was published in December 1815 by a new publisher, John Murray, who was also Byron's publisher. He printed 2,000 copies of the book, but due to the failure of the second edition of Mansfield Park, also published by Murray, Jane received approximately £39 in total for the book. She (very reluctantly) dedicated Emma to the Prince Regent.

John Murray

Persuasion (Begun 1815 in Chawton Cottage)
When Jane began a new novel in the summer of 1815, she named it The Elliots. In March of 1816, she described it in a letter as "something ready for publication". While writing the novel, Jane fell ill with the disease that would eventually kill her, and after August of 1816, she stopped working on it.
Jane replaced her first version of the last two chapters of The Elliots with a newer, more successful ending. The book was published posthumously in December 1817 with the new ending, and renamed Persuasion. In his biographical note after her death, her brother Henry identified Jane publicly for the first time as the author of her first four published novels.


Henry Austen

This is a draft of a letter from Henry Austen to John Murray on his sister’s behalf and it gives us the rare direct glimpse into the wit of Henry Austen. Jane Austen is in Town and working on negotiations with John Murray for the publication of Emma.
Henry’s very serious illness prompted Austen to call all her family members to his bedside, and it was not until a few weeks later that Austen herself takes on the writing of letters to Murray to complete the Emma negotiations – she writes requesting him to call on her in Hans Place because “a short conversation may perhaps do more than much Writing.” [Ltr. 124, Nov. 3, 1815; To John Murray]
[Henry's Draft letter in Austen's hand is in the Bodleian Library; a facsimile is in Modert, F-361 and F-362]

[A Letter to Mr. Murray which Henry dictated a few days after his Illness began, & just before the severe Relapse which threw him into such Danger. - ]
Dear Sir,

Severe illness has confined me to my Bed ever since I received Yours of ye 15th – I cannot yet hold a pen, & employ an Amuensis – The Politeness & Perspicuity of your Letter equally claim my earliest Exertion. – Your official opinion of the Merits of Emma, is very valuable & satisfactory. – Though I venture to differ occasionally from your Critique, yet I assure you the Quantum of your commendation rather exceeds than falls short of the Author’s expectation & my own. – The Terms you offer are so very inferior to what we had expected, that I am apprehensive of having made some great Error in my Arithmetical Calculation. – On the subject of the expense & profit of publishing, you must be much better informed that I am; – but Documents in my possession appear to prove that the Sum offered by you, for the Copyright of Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park & Emma, is not equal to the Money which my Sister has actually cleared by one very moderate Edition of Mansfield Park –(You Yourself expressed astonishment that so small an Edit. of such a work should have been sent into the World) & a still smaller one of Sense & Sensibility…
Sanditon (Begun 1817 in Chawton Cottage)
Between January and March 1817, Jane Austen worked on the first draft of Sanditon, her last novel. In 1871, her nephew Edward recalled that she “continued to work at it as long as she could work at all.” Soon she felt too ill to continue, and Jane laid the novel aside, unfinished. The fragment was published in 1871 as The Last Work in Edward Austen Leigh's, A Memoir of Jane Austen.

Jane Austen died in Winchester on July 18, 1817. She had lived long enough to see four novels published. Less than half a year after her death, John Murray published Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Her six novels earned around £1,625 through 1832, including the income received from the two posthumous novels, a quite modest sum. Her novels have been continuously in print since Richard Bentley published a collection of her works in 1833.
Austen werd geboren in Hampshire. Haar vader was een geestelijke. Het grootste deel van haar leven bleef zij in haar geboortestreek. Austen had zes broers en een oudere zuster, Cassandra, met wie zij zeer hecht was. Het enige onbetwiste portret van Jane Austen is een gekleurde schets die door Cassandra werd gemaakt en nu in de National Portrait Gallery in Londen hangt. In 1801 verhuisde de familie naar Bath. In 1802 werd Austen ten huwelijk gevraagd door de rijke Harris Bigg-Wither en zij stemde toe; de volgende dag deelde ze echter mee dat zij haar woord niet kon houden en trok haar instemming in. De reden hiervoor is niet bekend, maar Austen is nooit getrouwd. Na de dood van haar vader in 1805 woonden Jane, haar zuster en haar moeder daar nog verscheidene jaren tot zij in 1809 naar Chawton verhuisden. Hier had haar rijke broer Edward een landgoed met een plattelandshuisje, dat hij aan zijn moeder en zusters schonk (dit huis is tegenwoordig open voor het publiek). Zelfs nadat zij naam gemaakt had als romanschrijfster bleef zij in relatieve stilte leven, maar haar gezondheid ging sterk achteruit. Er wordt nu aangenomen dat zij de ziekte van Addison had, waarvan toen de oorzaak nog onbekend was. Ze reisde naar Winchester om behandeling te zoeken, maar stierf daar en werd begraven in de kathedraal.
Tot Austens beroemdste werk behoort de roman Emma. Het boek wordt vaak aangehaald vanwege de perfectie van vorm. Moderne critici blijven ook nieuwe perspectieven ontdekken op het scherpe commentaar van Austen betreffende de klasse van jonge, ongehuwde, aristocratische Engelse vrouwen in de vroege 19e eeuw.


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Fashion - Regency 1

Edward Austen Leigh wrote down this description of Jane's appearence in the years just after the family left Southampton.

"She was tall and slender; her face was rounded with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes.

Her curly brown hair escaped all round her forehead, but from the time of her coming to live at Chawton she always wore a cap, except when her nieces had her in London and forbade it."

Henry Austen said of his sister, " Her stature rather exceeded the middle height; her carriage anad deportment were quiet but graceful; her complexion of the finest texture, it might with truth be said that her eloquent blood spoke through her modest cheek." Henry applied these lines to Jane: " Her pure and eloquent blood spake in her cheeks and so distinctly wrought that you had almost said her body thought."

Austen's niece Caroline recollected: "As to my aunt's personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour—a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap