By James Edward Austen Leigh
While James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of his recognized aunt was once released in 1870, faraway from gratifying public interest approximately Jane Austen because the kinfolk had meant, it easily raised a chain of latest questions, fairly approximately Jane Austen's unpublished paintings, which were pointed out purely in passing. Austen Leigh was once persuaded to factor a much-expanded moment variation in 1871. the following he integrated for the 1st time the total texts of Jane Austen's novel in letters, girl Susan, and the fragmentary novel The Watsons, in addition to a quick precis of her final unfinished paintings, later referred to as Sanditon. while he took the chance to revise the biographical sections of the Memoir in part to incorporate new info that had come to mild because the first version, in order that all in all of the moment variation has a importance for Austen students rather become independent from the 1st.
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Extra info for A Memoir of Jane Austen: Together with ’Lady Susan’
Important inventions, such as the applications of steam, gas, and electricity, may find their places in history ; but not so the alterations, great as they may be, which have taken place in the appearance of our dining and drawing-rooms. Who can now record the degrees by which the custom prevalent in my youth of asking each other to take wine together at dinner became obsolete ? Who will be able to fix, twenty years hence, the date when our dinners began to be carved and handed round by servants, instead of smoking before our eyes and noses on the table ?
The barbarous law which confined the lady to one partner throughout the evening must indeed have been abolished before Jane went to balls. It must be observed, however, that this custom was in one respect advantageous to the gentleman, inasmuch as it rendered his duties more practicable. He was bound to call upon his partner the next morning, and it must have been convenient to have only one lady for whom he was obliged To gallop all the country over, The last night's partner to behold, And humbly hope she caught no cold.
It was not so much that they had not servants to do all these things for them, as that they took an interest in such occupations. And it must be borne in mind how many sources of interest enjoyed by this generation were then closed, or very scantily opened to ladies. A very small minority of them cared much for literature or science. Music was not a very common, and drawing was a still rarer, accomplishment; needlework, in some form or other, was their chief sedentary employment. But I doubt whether the rising generation are equally aware how much gentlemen also did for themselves in those times, and whether some things that I can mention will not be a surprise to them.
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