Letter-writing was something of an addiction for young women of Jane
Austen's time and social position, and Austen's letters have a freedom and
familiarity that only intimate writing can convey. Wiser than her critics,
who were disappointed that her correspondence dwelt on gossip and the
minutiae of everyday living, Austen understood the importance of 'Little
Matters', of the emotional and material details of individual lives shared
with friends and family through the medium of the letter. Ironic, acerbic,
always entertaining, Jane Austen's letters are a fascinating record not
only of her own day-to-day existence, but of the pleasures and frustrations
experienced by women of her social class which are so central to her
novels. Vivien Jones's selection includes very nearly two-thirds of
Austen's surviving correspondence, and her lively introduction and notes
set the novelist's most private writings in their wider cultural context.

Jane Austen—Selected Letters

  • 9780199538430