Synopses & Reviews
Introduction by A. S. Byatt. The first-ever full-color facsimile edition of one of Jane Austen's early works, with delightful portraits painted by her sister Cassandra, followed by a transcribed version of the text. Sixteen-year-old Jane describes herself as "a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant historian," and her gleeful parody hints at the humor she would later bring to her novels. "Treats royalty with less respect (and more wit) than a British tabloid."--Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Since the first publication of her major works at the start of the nineteenth century, generations of readers have loved Jane Austen - for her quick wit and for her keen observations of the manners and mores of her society. Even before Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, Jane observed the English monarchs with an already keen eye and unmistakable wit in this, her History of England. When she was just sixteen years old, Jane wrote this gleeful parody of Goldsmith's four-volume History of England (which virtually every English schoolchild - Jane included - had to read). Her version is an irreverent look at a subject usually treated with deadly seriousness. The monarchs - from Henry IV to Charles I - are full of very human whims and weaknesses, both in Jane's text and in her sister Cassandra's miniature portraits, which depict the kings and queens of England as ordinary and sometimes rather disreputable-looking individuals. Produced in association with The British Library, with an introduction from A. S. Byatt and a note on the text from Austen biographer Deirdre Le Faye, this facsimile makes the spirit of the original work available for the first time to all who love Jane Austen's writing.