Posted by: rearadmiral | July 18, 2012

Remembering Jane

“I have lost a treasure, such a Sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed, -She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow, I had not a thought concealed from her, & it is as if I had lost a part of myself”.-Cassandra Austen to Fanny Knight Sunday July 20, 1817

“She was considered to read aloud remarkably well. I did not often hear her but once I knew her take up a volume of Evelina and read a few pages of Mr. Smith and the Brangtons and I thought it was like a play. She had a very good speaking voice….yet its tones have never been forgotten-I can recall them even now-and I know they were very pleasant”.-Caroline Austen “My Aunt Jane Austen: A Memoir”(1867)

“Since her death, the public voice has placed her in the first rank of the Novellists of her day-given her, I may say, the first place amongst them-and it seems but right that some record should remain with us of her life and character, and that she herself should not be forgotten by her nearest descendants, whilst her writings still live, and are still spreading her fame wherever the English books are read”. -Caroline Austen “My Aunt Jane Austen: A Memoir”(1867)

“Aunt Jane was the general favorite with children; her ways with them being so playful, & her long circumstantial stories so delightful! These were continued from time to time, & begged for of course at all possible or impossible occasions; woven, as she proceeded out of nothing, but her own happy talent for invention. Ah! if but one of them could be now recovered!” -Anna Lefroy “Recollections of Aunt Jane(1864)

“The truth, spirit, ease, and refined humour of her conversations have rarely been equalled. She is, emphatically, the novelist of home. One of the most remarkable traits of her genius may be found in the power by which, without in the slightest degree violating the truth of portraiture, she is able to make the veriest every-day person a character of great interest. This is, indeed, turning lead into gold; but it would be difficult to detect the secret of the process”. Publisher’s note attached to Henry Austen’s “Memoir of Miss Austen” (1833)

“Her power of inventing characters seems to have been intuitive, and almost unlimited. She drew from nature; but, whatever may have been surmised to the contrary, never from individuals”. -Henry Austen “Biographical Notice of The Author” (1818)

“More than half a century has passed away since I, the youngest of the mourners, attended the funeral of my dear aunt Jane in Winchester Cathedral; and now, in my old age, I am asked whether my memory will serve to rescue from oblivion any events of her life or any traits of her character to satisfy the enquiries of a generation of readers who have been born since she died”. -James Edward Austen-Leigh from “A Memoir of Jane Austen”(1871)


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