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A Writer’s Apprenticeship: Jane Austen’s Teenage Notebook

Thursday 27 March 2014

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Professor Kathryn Sutherland puts Volume the First, a manuscript notebook of Jane Austen’s earliest surviving teenage writings, in the context of Austen’s later life and works. She offers a literary appreciation of the short items (stories, poems, plays) contained in the manuscript and considers the enduring importance to Austen’s art of the comic, even anarchic, spirit they represent.  The facsimile edition, issued by Bodleian Library Publications, reveals for the first time the care with which Austen crafted the manuscript, using its physical features as a vital part of the work’s meaning.  Austen’s family preserved the notebook as a treasured possession; since 1933 it has been held in the Bodleian Library.  The manuscript will be on display during the talk.

Sutherland is a professor in bibliography and textual criticism at the University of Oxford.