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Learn about Jane Austen's life, family and novels part 12/12.
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Learn About Jane Austen part 12/12
Fortunately before Jane’s death, the completed manuscript of Persuasion had been placed in Henry Austin’s capable hands who had also secured the return of the manuscript of Susan sold all those years before for £10.00 never to see the light of day again.
Jane reworked to the novel and completed it as Northanger Abbey. She was particularly delighted that Henry had conveniently forgotten to mention that the disregarded manuscript was an early offering from the pen of the much acclaimed author of Pride and Prejudice and the price agreed to buy Susan back had to be nominal.
It would perhaps have been pleasant irony for Jane Austin that the disobliging publisher who snubbed her work had lost out on Northanger Abbey. Both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published together under Henry’s care in December 1817.
And for the very first time, Jane Austin’s name appeared in print as the author. The rest is of course history. Under the days of Jane Austin being perceived as exclusively the province of dusty academics is thankfully long gone.
Many new generations of readers have discovered the delights of her novels and will continue to do so for generations to come. However, this program has highlighted and even a greater story that of Jane Austin herself and the beautiful English county side that she loved so well and immortalized in her writing.
There are those who have criticized her owned particular brand of parochialism notably the author D.H. Lawrence when he described Jane Austin as “thoroughly unpleasant English in the bad means snobby sense of the word.” but really, you only have to see with your own eyes the landscape of her imagination to find fault with this statement.
The England Jane Austin portrays is the England that she knew and loved what she did or hated. The novels have been left as a fascinating snapshot of a particular moment in time.
Fortunately, many of the places that inspired Jane Austin have also been left untouched. And for the modern day traveler seeking to follow in her footsteps, the rewards will hopefully during the course of this program have spoken for themselves.