November 27, 2012

Only connect: Madame de Staël and Miss Austen

She lived in an age distinguished by its literary intimacies and exchanges; we cannot think of the so-called Romantic period without thinking of the networks of friendship among its leading writers. Jane Austen knew not a single notable author, even distantly. ... There are a couple of poignant passages in her letters where she looks forward to the possibility of meeting the poet George Crabbe -- then acknowledges that she has missed her chance of doing so. In his memoir, Henry Austen recalls a planned meeting with the French novelist and intellectual Germaine de Staël, which duly never took place.
from What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved,
by John Mullan

{We don't know if this is really a portrait of J.A. or not, but it suits my purposes. :)}


Lisa May said...

This book is on my Christmas list! I can't believe neither of our library systems has it.

Audrey said...

Hi, Lisa May! It's a wonderful book! I'm reading it through NetGalley, though - I think it's coming out here in January. So maybe they will?

Alex in Leeds said...

I was reading an excerpt of this in a Sunday paper a week or two ago and added it to the wishlist there and then. I love literary detective books. :)