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The Beautifull Cassandra and Other Early Writings
- Narrated by: Teresa Gallagher
- Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
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A selection of the stories that Jane wrote for her family when she was between the ages of 12 and 15. AUTHOR: Jane Austen was born in 1775 in her father’s Rectory in the village of Steventon in Hampshire. By the time of her death in 1817 she had written 6 major novels, left two others unfinished and was the author of a considerable amount of correspondence. Most people know Jane Austen for “Pride and Prejudice” “Emma” “Persuasion” and the other novels. Less well known is the fact that she started writing at the age of 8 and many of her early stories were dedicated to her family and friends. The six pieces in this collection were all written when she was between the ages of 12 and 15 and they show a light-hearted, humorous approach to storytelling that may surprise those who only know her adult work.
READER: Teresa Gallagher has performed many leading roles in plays and musicals across the country, in London’s West End and Off Broadway. She is a well-known voice to listeners of BBC radio drama, having recorded hundreds of plays and readings over the years, as well as many audio book readings such as the Biography of Jane Austen, the Emily Windsnap series, The Treasure Seekers and Bleak House. Her work on film includes Mike Leigh’s Topsy Turvy and The Jacket with Adrian Brody. On TV she presented the children’s series, Playdays, along with roles in Footballers Wives, Casualty and Thackeray’s Women. She also works extensively in voice-overs and animation. MUSIC: The music is played by Peter White on a Clementi square piano which stands in Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. All the music played on this recording is taken from music books owned by Jane Austen herself. ILLUSTRATION: The picture is of Jane Austen’s niece, Fanny Knight, and was drawn by Jane’s sister, Cassandra. It is used by courtesy of the Jane Austen Memorial Trust.
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Only Interesting to Fanatics
The introduction gives a brief history of Jane Austen’s life and explains that Jane’s life and early friendship with her sister, Cassandra. These are considered apart of Austen’s “Juvenalia”, the collection of her writings from when she was 12 to 15 years old.
The Beautiful Cassandra— a simplistic, tiny work where each chapter is only a couple of sentences long. It is more like a character sketch of a selfish young woman.
Jack and Alice— this little novel is fairly complete and filled with death and intrigue. There are only a few full characters, but it has a little story line.
The Adventures of Mr Harley— written to her brother, if I’m not mistaken, this is a small, incomplete sketch of a man traveling from England. It’s only a few minutes long. It seems almost like scribbling for an idea for a book.
Henry and Eliza— this is a fantastical little novella smacks of the incredible events of “Love and Friendship”. Henry is short-lived, but the tale mostly follows Eliza in her stays at different people’s homes, her elopement with Henry, and their short life together.
Amelia Webster: an Interesting and Well-Written Tale— dedicated to Jane Austen’s mother, this is a compilation of letters much like “Love and Friendship”. Very short and rather nonsensical.
A History of England: From the reign King Henry the 4th to the Death of Charles the 1st by a Partial, Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian— this short history is included in the Audible version of “Love and Friendship”, but I listened to it a second time. So amusing and fun! I wish all history was written by Jane Austen.
Interesting, but only valuable for research.
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