Volume the Third by Jane Austen: In Her Own Hand

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9780789212016: Volume the Third by Jane Austen: In Her Own Hand

For the first time, Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.

Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first books” as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers—Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen.

As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page.

Volume the Third, written when Austen was sixteen, includes two stories: Evelyn” and Kitty, or the Bower” (or Catharine”). The manuscript is also held at the British Library. This volume includes text written by her niece, Anna Lefroy, who contributes an addition to "Evelyn."

None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen’s notebooks as originally written—in her own hand.

Learn more about the other books in the In Her Own Hand series: Volume the First and Volume the Second. All three volumes are also available in the In Her Own Hand series boxed set.

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About the Author:

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the most beloved novelists in the English language. Her novels Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion have left readers with a literary legacy hard to match by any author before or since. She lived all her life in England and died at the age of forty-one, leaving a literary legacy hard to match by any author before or since.

Kathryn Sutherland is Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood and the editor of the Digital Edition of Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from Volume the Third:

A Novelist of Ideas

Jane Austen's Volume with Third consists of two early novellas, Evelyn” and Kitty, or the Bower,” usually referred to by its revised name, Catherine.” Like Volume the First and Volume the Second, the manuscript takes its name from the inscription on the upper cover of the notebook into which it is written, and at 140 pages it is the shortest of the three. It was also the last of the teenage volumes to be published, as late as 1951. It's two stories which took shape according to a tight schedule of drafting and copying in 1792, when Austen was sixteen contain more evidence of immediate composition and look less like fair copies than most of the other teenage pieces. Evelyn,” much the shorter of the two, is abandoned after little more than twenty pages; Kitty, or the Bower,” also unfinished, fills ninety-four pages in Austen's hand. The obvious comparison, in style and dating, is with The Three Sisters,” a piece still in the process of creation as it is set down, entered toward the end of Volume the First, perhaps simply because sufficient blank pages remained there to offer it a home.

Evelyn” is an early experiment in Austen's trademark real estate fiction. Mr. Gower, a gentleman traveler, arriving in a Sussex village where he is completely unknown, in the space of a few lines is pressed to accept food, wine, money, a house and a bride. An absurd tale, its humor lies in its severe abstraction: the characters do not matter; they lack any motive; their exchanges are stripped of all natural relations. But this is thoughtful economy: it is as if the teenage writer is paring back narrative to its bare bones to examine what is essential, and how its elements interact. By contrast, Kitty, or the Bower” shares with major published novels of the 1790s and imaginative reference to contemporary political debate that makes it a remarkable debut from a sixteen-year-old writer, foreshadowing themes that will emerge in her adult fiction. Versions of three of Austen's novels belong to the 1790s, a decade significant for female intellectual and creative intervention in the ferment of ideas especially those about education, sexual politics and relations between the sexes following the French Revolution. Though they would not be published until much later, in the 1810s, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey share with Kitty” a focus on such 1790s issues as the criticism of fashionable accomplishments over proper education for women; the limited prospects for middle-class girls without fortune; and the championship of the novel itself as a legitimate vehicle for the expression of women's views.

The reader is introduced to Kitty Peterson (the name is later revised to Catherine Percival) as she grieves for the loss of one set of friends, Cecilia and Mary Wynne, and eagerly anticipates the arrival of a new companion, Camilla Stanley. The Wynnes were the daughters of the Clergyman of the Parish” (p. 33) that is, they occupied a social position similar to that of Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra while Camilla’s parents are people of Large Fortune and high Fashion” (p. 40). With the departure of the Wynnes, Kitty, described as a great reader” (p. 42), has lost real friendship and intelligent discussion. Camilla, by contrast, is a vapid socialite whose talk is all of shopping and holidays, balls and dresses and her glittering social connections. The eldest Miss Wynne has been shipped out to India to find a husband among the British officials working there, while her sister has become a lady's companion little better than a servant to the daughters of a rich relation. We never meet the Wynnes, but their fate forms a topic of discussion between Kitty and Camilla and serves to emphasize the polemical role Austen's latest heroine feels. Here she demonstrates with Camilla, who has mindlessly dismissed the Wynne girls as the luckiest Creatures in the World”:

But do you call it lucky, for a Girl of Genius & Feeling to be sent in quest of a Husband to Bengal, to be married there to a Man of whose Disposition she has no opportunity of judging to her Judgment is of no use to her, who may be a Tyrant, or a Fool or both for what she knows to the Contrary. Do you call that fortunate?” (p.54)

The question came very near to home for the young Jane Austen, whose own aunt had been sent to India on similar terms and 1752. Through Kitty she makes it clear that there is nothing to be grateful for in the terms upon which the Wynnes have secured their future: one is sent abroad to marry the first man who will take her, while her sister is Dependent even for her Cloathes on the bounty of others” (p. 56).

Decades later, the mature novelist confronts the same stark truth: that economic security money must be a woman's first concern. Austen never suggests that the world is well lost for love. This message complicates any simple reading of romantic love in Pride and Prejudice. We may laugh at Mrs. Bennet’s foolish husband-hunting, but what choice has she got, when Mr. Bennet has been so negligent in providing for their daughters? Charlotte Lucas accepts objectionable Mr. Collins because marriage, however uncertain of giving happiness,” must be her pleasantest preservative from want.” At the same time, her brother's rejoice because they are relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte's dying an old maid” by which we are to understand that they are relieved” from the burden of her maintenance themselves (Pride and Prejudice, chapter 22). After the freakish comedy of the earlier juvenilia, where active, unchaste heroines, by force of energy and will, turn their little worlds upside down, we sense in Kitty, or the Bower” a satire more reflective of things as they are and, in consequence, more effective. In Kitty,” Austen begins to examine the stifling limitations imposed by women’s dependency a subject that will last her a lifetime.

Kitty,” in fact, shares subject and emphasis with Letter the third From A young Lady in distress’d Circumstances to her friend,” one of A Collection of Letters” in Volume the Second (pp. 202-11). Experiments in character study, these letters each test a mood or State of Mind: the substance of this particular letter is the unsparing attempts of Lady Greville to bully and humiliate Maria Williams (the letter writer), making public her property and inferior social status. This is a topic Austen will return to in Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s intimidation of Charlotte Lucas and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Like the mature writer, the young Austen was an adept recycler of phrase, motif and incident. A more immediate redeployment of this theme lies in the character of Kitty Peterson and her relations to the Stanley's, especially to Camilla Stanley, who is privileged and wellborn, while Kitty (like Maria Williams) is merely the daughter of a merchant.

But what is so unusual about Kitty, or the Bower” in Austen's work as a whole is how its oppressive domestic politics and it's keen sense of the inadequacies of women's education and opportunities, as exemplified in different ways by the situations of the Wynne girls, Kitty and Camilla, or contextualized within a broader, highly topical national politics. Kitty’s aunt exaggerated anti-Jacobin views and fears of imminent social and moral collapse echo those of many conservative writers of the time who, like her, called for a renewal of national standards at the personal level. These views, a direct rejection of calls for radical reform inspired by the French Revolution of 1789, act as a refrain to every slight liberty she suspects Kitty of taking:

every thing is going to sixes & sevens and all order will soon be at an end throughout the Kingdom.”
Not however Ma’am the sooner, I hope, from any conduct of mine, said Catherine in a tone of great humility, for upon my honour I have done nothing this evening that can contribute to overthrow the establishment of the kingdom.”
You are mistaken Child, replied she; the welfare of every Nation depends upon the virtue of it’s individuals, and any one who offends in so gross a manner against decorum & propriety, is certainly hastening it’s ruin. You have been giving a bad example to the World, and the World is but too well disposed to receive such.” (p. 110)

The subject is couched as a joke, but it does not disguise the fact that in Kitty, or the Bower” we discover the young Jane Austen responding with unexpected openness to the political climate of 1792, when the debate over social rights, and criticism of their repression, was at its height.

All three notebooks are sociable performances, their contents designed to be shared. In extravagant dedications, Jane Austen spends fanciful and provocative connections to an immediate community of readers family and friends, many of them living in or near her first home in Steventon, Hampshire whom she imagines as sponsors of her writings. Only Volume the Third suggest a different kind of joint enterprise, whereby the creative and editorial interventions of a new generation transformed this notebook into a shared writing space. The real challenge it offers the reader is to separate renewed authorial interest in the manuscript across a distance and time from the intrusions of others and, specifically, to distinguish the different hands at work.

Critics have long recognized substantial continuations to both stories, inserted years after their initial composition, in the hands of Anna Austen (Later Anna Lefroy) and her younger half brother James Edward Austen (later James Edward Austen-Leigh). But it now seems probable that many small local revisions to the manuscript including such important details as the change of title from Kitty, or the Bower” to Catherine, or the Bower,” and the renaming of Kitty Peterson as Catherine Percival assumed by previous editors to be Austen’s own, were also introduced by another hand, most likely James Edward’s.

As the children of her eldest brother James Austen, Anna and James Edward grew up close to Aunt Jane. In 1801 they moved into the Steventon parsonage when their father took over clerical duties there, his father, George Austen, having retired with his wife and daughters to Bath. Even earlier, after the death of her mother when she was only two, Anna (her aunt's namesake, christened Jane Anna Elizabeth Austen) had come to live at Steventon with aunts Jane and Cassandra; earlier still, at just 6 weeks of age, she became an unwitting dedicatee of two miniature mock-didactic stories, Miscellanious [sic] Morsels,” in Volume the First. There is ample evidence that Anna was Aunt Jane’s willing pupil throughout her childhood and teenage years, and that habits of shared oral and written composition began early between them. They collaborated on the playlet Sir Charles Grandison,” written after 1800, when Anna was only seven years old. Anna’s unfinished continuation to Evelyn” is written onto four leaves of varying sizes loosely inserted at the end of Volume the Third and signed with the initials J A E L” (Jane Anna Elizabeth Lefroy), indicating a date after her marriage in November 1814, at the age of twenty-one, to Ben Lefroy. Long after Austen's death, Anna would attempt a continuation of her aunt’s final manuscript, Sanditon.

The teenage James Edward also tried his hand at short stories and novels, portions of which survived, occasionally sending them for comment and approval to Aunt Jane. After breaking off Evelyn” at page 21, Austen left the next nine pages blank, beginning Catherine” at [page 30]. At some later date, seven of these blanks were filled (pp. 21-[27]), completing Evelyn” in a competent pastiche of Austen's comic style. The hand is now agreed to be James Edward Austen's; so too is that of the final four pages of the unfinished ending to Kitty, or the Bower” and its revision as Catherine” (pp. 124-27).

These revisions and additions would have been made after Austen went to live in Chawton in July 1809; many can be dated, either by internal reference or by hand...

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Descrizione libro Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S., United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For the first time, Jane Austen s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions. Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first books as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen. As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page. Volume the Third, written when Austen was sixteen, includes two stories: Evelyn and Kitty, or the Bower (or Catharine ). The manuscript is also held at the British Library. This volume includes text written by her niece, Anna Lefroy, who contributes an addition to Evelyn. None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen s notebooks as originally written in her own hand. Learn more about the other books in the In Her Own Hand series: Volume the First and Volume the Second. All three volumes are also available in the In Her Own Hand series boxed set. Codice libro della libreria AA99780789212016

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Descrizione libro Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S., United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. For the first time, Jane Austen s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions. Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first books as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen. As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page. Volume the Third, written when Austen was sixteen, includes two stories: Evelyn and Kitty, or the Bower (or Catharine ). The manuscript is also held at the British Library. This volume includes text written by her niece, Anna Lefroy, who contributes an addition to Evelyn. None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen s notebooks as originally written in her own hand. Learn more about the other books in the In Her Own Hand series: Volume the First and Volume the Second. All three volumes are also available in the In Her Own Hand series boxed set. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780789212016

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Descrizione libro Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Volume the Third: In Her Own Hand, Jane Austen, Kathryn Sutherland, For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen's brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions. Fan fiction from the eighteenth century--Jane Austen's stories are as fresh and fun today as they were when she wrote them. Forever immortalized as the author of "Pride and Prejudice," Jane Austen actually produced her first "books" as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers--"Volume the First," "Volume the Second," and "Volume the Third"--these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen. As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen's earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page. None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen's notebooks as originally written--in her own hand. "Volume the Third," written when Austen was sixteen, includes two stories: "Evelyn" and "Kitty, or the Bower" (or "Catherine"). The manuscript is also held at the British Library. This volume includes text written by her niece, Anna Lefroy who contributes an addition to "Evelyn.". Codice libro della libreria B9780789212016

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