Talk About 'jane Austen' (2011)

Published: 2021-09-01 13:15:12
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Jane Austen: From manuscript to print
All of Jane Austen's works are heavily influenced by events in her life.
Dr. Linda Bree's talk about Jane Austen summarized the important stations in her life, which influenced her works and clarified once and for all that Austen wrote more stories than just her novels which are very famous today and also a significant part of British culture. Even though Jane Austen did not think that all of her works were worth publishing, they are not less important in an overall view of Austen's complete works and her own person.
Dr. Bree, as a member of the faculty of English in Cambridge and furthermore editorial director in the Cambridge Press in the topics of Art and Literature, has a very extensive insight into Jane Austen's life. Being responsible for the Cambridge auditions of Jane Austen's works, Bree also has a huge knowledge about her writings. She imparted her knowledge trough an overview of the famous Victorian author Jane Austen.
The topic was introduced with a picture, which is actually the only authentic picture of the much-loved novelist that shows her face from a front view. Only the face of the author is colored in the simple sketch and her facial expression looks almost grumpy. The fact that there is no other picture of Jane Austen from the front is easily explained. Austen gained huge popularity just after her death, while she was considerably unknown during her lifetime.
Jane Austen was born as the second youngest child in 1775 and grew up with six brothers and one older sister. Dr. Bree described that Austen had a very close and strong connection to the members of her family through her whole live, especially to her sister Cassandra. Considering this, it does not seem unusual that most of the writings she created in her youth were dedicated to someone in the Austen family. Even though she was a mere teenager when she stared creating stories, even those early writings can be described as extraordinary in contemplation of her young age.
Dr. Bree stated furthermore that Austen wrote short stories in the 1790s, which she later copied from the manuscripts in three handwritten exercise books carefree titled as Volume the First, Volume the Second and Volume the Third as if they would tell one connected story. Nowadays they are better known as "Juvenilia".
This was also the time when "The Watsons" were created first. It is a story about the possible poverty of daughters after their father dies. Austen revisited the fragment repeatedly, but never could finish the writing. According to Dr. Bree one reason might have been the fact that after her father died in 1800 the idea she described in her story was too painful, even though the Austen women still had Jane's brothers to rely on, considering the similarities to reality.

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