The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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January 27, 2013

Getting ready for the party

In the autumn of 1812 Edward Austen brought his family to stay at the Great House opposite Chawton Cottage. The visit was mutually delightful; Cassandra and Jane always enjoyed the Great House's being occupied, whether by the owners or Frank and Mary  with their Mary Jane, Frank and Cassy, or Charles and Frances with their Cassy, Harriet and little Frances; but the visit of Edward's family meant that Jane had the favorite Godmersham children, and the especially favorite Fanny.
      Fanny was by now taken into confidence over the writing; some of it was read aloud to her in manuscript. Her younger sister Marianne, aged eleven at the time of this visit to Chawton Great House, remembered when she was grown up that her Aunt Jane when in the library at Godmersham would sometimes burst out laughing, jump up, and go over to a desk, at which she wrote something down, and then return to the company as if nothing had happened. Marianne remembered also of this Chawton visit, that she often stood outside a closed door, curious and disappointed, behind which her elder sister and her aunts were uttering peals of laughter. ...
      In November 1812 Jane Austen submitted the manuscript of Pride and Prejudice to Mr. Egerton, and on this occasion there was no suggestion of the author's meeting the expenses of the printer. Egerton paid her £110, and the novel was to appear in January, in three volumes, at eighteen shillings the set.  The title announced that it was by the author of Sense and Sensibility.
from Jane Austen:  a biography, by Elizabeth Jenkins

It starts tomorrow {publication day, as best as I can tell}; my book is down from the shelves and dusted, and I, literally, couldn't wait. :)

{The painting is Interior with a Garden, by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe.}

1 comment:

FleurFisher said...

Elizabeth Jenkins on Jane Austen sounds perfect. I loved reading about the founding of the Jane Austen Society in 'Downshire Hill' and hope to read this one, one day

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