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Friday, 23 September 2016

Candour and Vitality in Jane Austen's Personal Letters

In her acute and candid observations, and in her animated thoughts and decisive opinions, Jane’s vitality shines through in her personal letters: 'The Manydown Ball was a smaller thing than I expected, but it seems to have made Anna very happy. At her age it would not have done for me' (Letter 64).

Cassandra can not have been surprised to receive the following reply to a suggestion when the family was about to move to Bath. 'You are very kind in planning presents for me to make, & my Mother has shewn me exactly the same attention – but as I do not chuse to have Generosity dictated to me, I shall not resolve on giving my Cabinet to Anna till the first thought of it has been my own' (Letter 30).