Friday, 25 March 2016

Review: The Wicked Wit of Jane Austen

The Wicked Wit of Jane Austen
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Michael O'Mara Books!

"My hair was at least tidy, which was all my ambition."

Thanks to the Classics Challenge I've become a bit of an Austen fangirl, I LOVED Pride and Prejudice and I'm determined to slowly work my way through her other books, I'm thinking Sense and Sensibility next or maybe Emma! This little volume caught my eye, because Austen is insanely quotable and here we have all her quotes in one place. But it's not just made up of book quotes, this book also contains quotes from her personal correspondence giving you a rather fascinating insight in to who Jane Austen was. 

The introduction on this book was fantastic, there is plenty of information on Austen that you may or may not already know, but like...I had often wondered about her romances in real life, and the introduction told me all about it, as well as providing some context for the letters. It also gives you some incredible insight in to her life and her writing, her wit and her way of seeing things shown in her books. There's even a brief note on her novels, telling you when they where written as well as when they where published, and the other names the novels had before they where published, very important information considering we have letters in this book! 

"I shall not tell you anything more of William Digweed's china, as your silence on the subject makes you unworthy of it."

The quotes from the book where all expertly picked, they where all ones that I would have picked and marked out myself, and all pertained to some different aspect of life. But it was the quotes from her letters that fascinated and intrigued me the most. You get so much insight in to who she was as a person, and her life and her relationships. I'd love to be able to read the letters in their entirety! Jane Austen is funny, witty, and profound in equal measure. 

Now, it's not just a book of quotes. Well, I is, BUT all of the quotes are organised in to different sections such as....

Early Exuberances- All quotes from her early work, which I've not had the pleasure of reading! 

"It was the peculiar misfortune of this woman [Elizabeth] to have had bad ministers - since wicked as she herself was, she could not have committed such extensive mischief, had not these vile and abandoned men connived at, and encouraged her in her crimes." 

History- There is actual Austen, actually narrating ACTUAL HISTORY. Or well...her thoughts on various Kings and Queens. It was brilliant and I'd totally read more of that! 

"Our ball on Thursday was a very poor one, only eight couple and but twenty-three people in the room; but it was not the ball's fault."

Balls, Gowns and Other Fashions- Her comments on fashions of the time and balls, they're not as much fun as they seem! 

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

Books and Writing- Here we have all the bookish quotes you could possibly desire. As well as quotes from her letters giving you some insight in to publishing at the time and her thoughts on it all. 

"Mr Richard Harvey is going to be married; but as it is a great secret and only known to half the neighbourhood, you must not mention it."

The Marriage Market- This section had some letter quotes with some very intriguing gossip. Just saying! 

"I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive."

Family- The quotes from the letters in this section where just fascinating, you could see what her relationships where like with her family members. 

There where a few more sections, I've just mentioned the ones I found to be the most interesting! There's some sections that have lots of gossip about people who I do not know, but it did make me chuckle! This is a must for any Austen fan! 

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