Miss Austen – The Other Sister

Due to the perennial popularity of Jane Austen,  An Interview with Jane Austen, remains my most read post to date, but the topic of today’s blog is her much neglected sister, Cassandra Austen – keeper of the flame or literary arsonist, depending on your point of view. 

While Jane Austen died relatively young (age 41 – 1817) after enjoying a few years of moderate publishing success, her sister Cassandra lived until old age, (age 72 -1845), long enough to know that Jane’s fame would long outlive her.  Cassandra died a decade before her nephew James wrote his famous biography about his aunt which served to revive her popularity but also enshrined her reputation as a sweet and pleasant old maid.  Jane’s letters told another story – witty and often full of satire and snark, they revealed a side of Jane’s personality that Cassandra felt was best forgotten….and so she destroyed 400 of them in the  years before her death.  One can assume that Cassandra thought she was doing the right thing in preserving Jane’s legacy, but what Janeite scholars wouldn’t give for those letters!  Only 160 survive and they provide the most revealing glimpses into her personality.

But what do we know about Cassandra?  Separated by two years, Cassandra was the responsible older sister, to Jane’s more sparkling and clever personality. They were close, the only girls in a large family, with her mother famously remarking that if Cassandra decided to cut her head off, Jane would too.  Their father believed in education, and they spent time away in boarding schools, as well as learning at home where he ran a boy’s boarding school to supplement his vicar’s income.  It was here that Cassandra met her future fiance, the young reverend Tom Fowle of KINTBURY.   They were considered an ideal match, but as he was in need of money for the marriage, he signed on as a ship’s chaplain on a voyage to the West Indies and died there of yellow fever.  Cassandra was heartbroken and like Jane, never married, sharing a household with her sister and parents for the remainder of her life, first in Bath and then later after their father’s death, at Chawton Cottage.

Cassandra spent a considerable amount of time at her brother’s houses assisting with childbirth (two of her SIL’s had eleven children), so the letters flew back and forth between the sisters and other family members.   Cassandra was the quiet capable one.  It was commonly acknowledged that she ran the Chawton household, which allowed Jane the time to write in her later years.  She was also the prettier of the two (the old pretty vs smart debate), and as a watercolorist, her two drawings of Jane provide the only evidence we have of her appearance.

Small 4 X 3 sketch in the National Portrait Gallery London and the basis of the later Victorian version now on the British bank notes.

As for Cassandra herself, there is only a black and white silhouette, as seen in this Ten Things to Know About Cassandra article. (link)

These are the bare facts of Cassandra’s life and about all you will get in most biographies of Jane Austen, but doesn’t it leave you curious about Cassandra? Although history relegates her to a shadowy supporting figure, did she have her own story to tell, as Gill Hornby, the author of Miss Austen, writes.

Publishers Blurb:

Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?

England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames?

Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra’s vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane’s brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane’s life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine. 

About the Author: Gill Hornby is the author of two novels, as well as The Story of Jane Austen, a biography of Austen for young readers. She lives in Kintbury, England with her husband and children.

After noting that the author lived in Kintbury, I was inspired to find out more about her and found this fascinating article about how the book came to be.  (link) After moving to the village she discovered that she lived on the site of the old Fowle vicarage, the home of Cassandra’s fiance.  In a bit of serendipity, she was asked to write a book about Jane Austen for young readers and was drawn into Cassandra’s story.  Enjoying the same scenery that Cassandra had once viewed, the author found she began to haunt her mind – perhaps her ghost was lingering about the place, asking for her story to be told, longing for a bit of notoriety for herself.    

Discussion:

As a fan familiar with all things Austen, I found this book intriguing.  Of course, it’s historical fiction, an imagining of someone’s life, but it was surprisingly well researched and well done, which made it a believable read.        

The story is told from the point of view of Cassandra in her old age, re-visiting the Fowle vicarage after the death of her fiance’s brother in order to retrieve both her and Jane’s letters to his wife Eliza.  Interspersed are flashback chapters to the time of her engagement and subsequent grief (1795), their years in Bath where her parents retired with the added hope of finding husbands for the girls (1805), and their years alone in Chawton cottage (1913). Instead of focusing on Jane’s alleged romantic affairs, this time it is Cassandra who takes centre stage, but after meeting the perfect man at a seaside resort, Cassandra turns him down.  (It never fails to amaze me how three promenades in the company of family chaperones could net a marriage proposal, but for the sake of the plot it works.)

The dialogue and letters captured the spirit of a Jane Austen novel, and in some cases exceeded it. Here are a few excerpts. “ Once home, Jane at once sat down to her writing with an air of great satisfaction.  She had repulsed Mr. Hobday with an expert efficiency.  She could return to her invented world.”   Of course ,Jane knows it is really Cassandra he is interested in.  “What matters a bad sister off in the background.…I am quite sure I saw sparks flying off him.  I think one caught my bonnet.  Because of you and your charms, I might have gone up in smoke.”

The author presents some perfectly plausible explanations for certain episodes in Jane’s life, such as her one and only marriage proposal.  (see link to post by Caroline, JA’s great niece). When Cassandra refuses her suitor, Jane accepts a marriage proposal from Mr. Wrong in Every Way, hoping that seeing her settled will free her sister to marry herself, but changes her mind when she realizes Cassandra has no wish to marry. This decision, hastily reversed the following day after a sleepless night, has long remained a puzzle considering Jane’s well known opinion on marrying for love.

Why did Cassandra reject Mr. Right’s proposal?  After the death of her fiance she had made a pact with a vengeful God never to marry again. While spending a very quiet Christmas with her mild-mannered fiancé and his family at the Fowle rectory she realizes she has doubts, and after his death, felt those doubts were a curse of sorts. (Her fiancé had left her a small legacy which might have compounded her guilt).  Or was the pledge just an excuse when the truth was she missed her sister and her boisterous Austen family and didn’t want to be so far away from home.  Perhaps it was not true love after all but a long held expectation?

Although marriage might have been an ideal and an economic necessity for women of the time, it also meant motherhood and a high risk of death in childbirth.  Two of her SIL’s died shortly after birthing their eleventh child and Cassandra was often called in to help care for the children.  Being an aunt in those days might have seemed the safer occupation.

The sub plot of the novel concerns what will happen to the three spinster Fowle daughters after their father’s death when they must vacate their own vicarage.  The plight of the spinster in Austen’s world was often the centre of Jane’s books, but wasn’t it possible to forge a purposeful, happy and contented life without a husband or children, as the author illustrates? 

As an aging and joyless spinster Cassandra knew well that she was made fun of, but perhaps she destroyed the letters, as much to protect her own story as to hide certain aspects of Jane’s.  The other spectre raised is that of Jane’s moods and bouts of melancholy, and this is surely an interesting aspect and pure conjecture as I have never heard reference to such, but it has been the downside of many a brilliant and creative mind, particularly those who seek fame and success. 

 “Of course, their cottage (Chawton) had been a place of great joy when they had lived there together.  But that joyfulness was Jane’s natural and dominant emotion was far from the truth.  Oh the power upon reputation brought by an untimely death and a modicum of fame and success!  Still, she thought as she gathered her things, she would not contest that legend, if that was what they chose to send out to posterity.  The moodless Jane Austen.  What a splendid image.  She rose from her chair.  Now it only remained to destroy all evidence to the contrary.”

 Reading through the letters she notes, “She stumbled across references to Jane’s high spirits, remembered and smiled.  That those spirits were, sometimes, perhaps too high, that the happiness had an almost hysterical edge to it, that this tended to happen when they were in the comfort of the stable established homes of their family and friends, these were not observations that Cassandra had shared with Eliza.  She had chosen to keep them to herself.  But the other extreme of Jane’s temperament, the seemingly endless days in the darkness, these she had written of, for she had to tell someone. Cassandra licked a finger and flicked through, searching for the letters of danger.  There.  January 1805. That was where it all began…..” According to the book, their father’s death started Jane’s downward spiral into despondency, and indeed those were years when she wrote nothing at all.  

As a beloved and devoted sister and best friend, Cassandra knew that Jane would not, could not write again, until she was settled into a home of her own, so she hinted to her rich brother Edward, who owned several estates, including Godmersham Park, that they needed a place of their own – Chawton Cottage was offered and accepted, and Jane began to write and revise and publish, and the rest is history. 

After Jane’s death, Cassandra wrote, “I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself.” 

Such a close sisterly bond is a rare and wonderful thing, so perhaps that fateful bonfire was Cassandra’s final gift to Jane after all. They were private people, and would remain private for eternity, and doesn’t that add to the mystique?

Author’s Note:  “It is a matter of family record that, in the last years of her life, Cassandra Austen looked over the letters that she and her sister had exchanged.  All those she found open and confidential – the majority of them, then – she burned.  We cannot doubt that there would have been a long and deep correspondence between both Cassandra and Jane, and the Fowle family at Kintbury.  None of this has, as yet, come to light.   The letters in this novel are entirely imagined.   The beneficiary of her will was Isabella, now married – she left 45 pounds, and to Elizabeth, the only one left unmarried, she bequeathed the extraordinary sum of one thousand pounds – presumably in reparation of that bequest she herself had received so many years before.”   

Of note, this novel is being developed into a four-hour Masterpiece miniseries.  (link) Just my cup of tea!

The author also just released a new book, Godmersham Park (link) in June – might as well ride the Jane Train while you can.   Of course, it’s all pure speculation, as the best of historical fiction is, but I’ll be ordering it anyway.

38 thoughts on “Miss Austen – The Other Sister

    • Joni says:

      I hope it’s better than Sanditon, their last adaptation. I recently watched Netflx’s new release of Persuasion, with Dakota Johnson, and it was adequate, but I miscast I think, both her and the male lead. I sometimes wonder where they get such ugly men!

      Liked by 1 person

      • brilliantviewpoint says:

        Joni, you’re so funny, about the ugly men. I agree, I think they cast people they way they THINK they would look in Jane Austen’s times. I noticed Persuasion on Netflix, but didn’t want to watch it. How many versions of that show can they do… it gets BORING. Try filming another book that hasn’t been done before.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Linda Schaub says:

    Joni – this sure was a comprehensive review and at first, until I saw it was a photo of the cover, I thought you threw a sprig of lilac from your own tree to give the post a vintage look. Even though I’ve never read anything by Jane Austen as it was never required reading in any high school or college classes and, except for my recent reading spurt, almost 45 years post-college, I get very little reading done. However, I have learned about Jane and Cassandra today. I do remember your former post about Jane Austen and I am embarrassed to say my minor in college was Literature, yet I’ve never read many of the classics in literature. Imagine if Jane had lived longer, what a pair they could have made with Jane the writer and Cassandra the illustrator. The fates were not kind to either of them, leaving Jane dead at an early age and Cassandra a spinster, a fate which was worse in those days than today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Re the lilac, I had four photos in the post, so I’m not sure why it only showed the first one and only part of it? I’ve had that happen a few times before. The initial photo must not have been sized right. I think Jane and her sister and mother were quite cozy in their Chawton cottage and didn’t care what people thought by then, plus they had a large family nearby. I hadn’t thought of that aspect, what other books she might have written. Most of the ones she published in her lifetime were revisions of earlier works, which solitude allowed her the time to reshape.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is odd Joni – that was a good choice for a book cover. Interesting there were only two pictures of Jane Austen, one from the back. And yes, what a tragedy of all the history destroyed – senseless really from an historical aspect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I agree – I would have preferred she had kept the letters. Some of the ones I have read were quite funny and sometimes snarky. Of course now no one writes letters and no one even keeps e-mails. Well Linda you made it through another week. I’ll respond to your gmail over the weekend – it’s a long weekend here with Monday a holiday – the summer is half over.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Take your time Joni – I know you are busy. Some Canadian I am as I totally forgot the Civic Day holiday. I am going to finish up here and watch “Titanic” … I am worn out – went to Lake Erie Metropark looking for the doe and a fawn or two. Any later and the fawns will be older. No luck, but did find a doe munching on Water Lotuses, so that will be a funny part of a post … likely in October/early November. I’ve not yet looked at the pictures from the four parks I went on Fourth of July. Today was not a bad day and I planned to stay out later, but it got to 80 and I had already walked six miles, clear across the park instead of driving to the other side and the heat and long sleeves and long pants, I was ready to come home.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Oh, I loved Titanic….it’s a long movie though. I remember seeing it at the theatre when it came out, and there was an intermission. I think I’ve seen it twice since. It’s admirable that you have posts planned until Oct…..I’m scrambling for something for next week! It has been nicer weather lately, more comfortable humidity wise at least, but we are due for another spell of that mid-week again. Four parks in a day sounds like too much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I decided to make this a Titanic weekend since I had this week’s posts written and starting next weekend, I figured since it will even hotter in August, I will use the weekends in August to walk at my regular park and get things organized in the house in anticipation of loading in groceries for Winter. So I walked a lot yesterday and it got hot, so I had no idea that Titanic was so long (that is a very long movie three hours and 14 minutes), so I decided to save it for today. I’ve wanted to see this virtual tour of the Titanic artifacts for a long time. It was here at Greenfield Village awhile back and it was expensive ($37.00 I think just for the exhibit, not even general admission to the museum and Greenfield Village, so I didn’t go). So for this virtual tour, you had your choice of the “light” version for $5.00 or the “comprehensive” version for $15.00. The latter had a lot of videos, including how they brought some artifacts up and the tour was narrated. You had one week to watch whatever version you chose. Well, we’re having two storms this week in the evening, so I got the short version. In retrospect I should have gotten the comprehensive version, but the shorter one was fine too. You could click the artifacts and open up a text box to view what the artifact was. They showed china and glassware and how the berths looked and some stories about families that died. I watched it about two hours and was nodding off and went to bed at 9:00 p.m. (Ms. Exciting but I walked a lot in the heat.) I just went to bed and the dog on the corner barked until 11:00 p.m. I was dead tired, but the barking was loud and constant, so I might as well have just watched Titanic instead. I am so fed up with it. So anyway, I was going to watch Titanic today as I got home earlier but we are having bad storms tomorrow between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., so thought I might not be online tomorrow night for long (if at all), and get behind here at WP so didn’t watch it. I went to Amazon Prime and picked a movie that looked good and really enjoyed it (“And So It Goes” with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton).

        I walked six miles today too – hope I don’t konk out early. I went to multiple places today, including a big garden – you would love this place. The Emily Frank Gardens in Trenton, Michigan. I was there in mid-June and they told me to come back later in the Summer when everything is in bloom. Gardens (flowers and veggies which are donated to seniors and food banks) all tended to by retired volunteers and they have a second park they maintain and they said “you have to go there too” so I went there today – a big butterfly garden and murals, all painted by volunteers (grab a brush and paint – not professional artists). It was very good and cute at this children’s park). Also the alpaca farm and Elizabeth Park. I now have enough for posts until November but will defer the flower posts for over the Winter. There is not really a story for them, just a paragraph or two, so the pictures will have to do the talking.

        Write about Civic Holiday, the history, what it means and now that you’re retired, do you even notice long holiday weekends, except for the inconvenience of being closed – also, that it is one more holiday that means Summer is fading fast, (on the calendar anyway), like Labor Day … boom, Summer is over.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I remember when the Titantic artifacts were touring, but would not have paid $37 either. I’ve read a book or two about the discovery. I don’t really notice the long weekends, this weekend even all the stores were open, so other than the banks being closed it’s life as usual. We were supposed to have fireworks this weekend I thought but I haven’t heard them, so maybe they are tomorrow. I always think of it as summer half over. I have an August picture blog in mind – but need more photos. Today was pleasant although cloudy, (august clouds), but this week will be another killer heat event – I saw 111 with humidity for Wed I think, and rain tomorrow. We need rain again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        This weekend was really nice weather – I enjoyed it, especially as I knew what was coming down the pipeline. Wednesday will be a heat index of 100 and will b 95 degree.
        The storm fizzled (so far) so I am grateful for thatm as they had called for a humdinger of a storm and other areas got it, not near me. I’ve read some articles, maybe in “National Geographic” about the Titanic.
        It has always interested me. Greenfield Village has interesting collections, but charges way too much unless you’re a member. They have some great events for members every year, so it is tempting to join, but that is horribly pricey too and for some it’s nicer to go with someone, like the sleigh ride in the snow at Christmastime. Right now with COVID I wouldn’t go anyway. They will be having a Hallmark Christmas Ornament exhibition this year in November. There are 125 ornaments through the years donated to the museum. It would be nice to see, but I wouldn’t think would take longer than 3/4s of an hour to see them. It’s $28.75 for seniors.

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      • Joni says:

        Wow, that’s quite a lot. They might get more people attending if it was cheaper. I was thinking of buying Christmas theatre tickets for Dec for a musical and the tickets were $62. We paid $55 for the Roaring Twenties musical. Jann Arden tickets (I’m not a fan) are going for $129. How do seniors afford all this stuff if they go all the time. The Hallmark would be nice for you to see as you collected them, but not for that price. We dodged the storm too, it blew away over the lake, so I had to water a bit, as my new dogwoods and hydrangeas were all droopy again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes – it is terrible for seniors because the Hallmark Ornament exhibit was $32.00 for everyone else, so they were not deep-discounting the exhibit for seniors very much. Here seniors have the time to go to events and they either worry about Covid or they can’t attend as it is too costly. Speaking of Covid, our county and the two large surrounding counties are on a red level (high designation level for Covid transmission) – sigh.

        It is ridiculous prices for everything. I went grocery shopping today but didn’t buy any refrigerated food as they say we are having severe weather tomorrow and a stormy Thursday and part of the weekend will be stormy too. I don’t want to lose food if I lose my power. Groceries are still in limited supply – oatmeal was something they always had loads of in different types and brands – not anymore. Prices were crazy high. I bought some chocolate Rice Crispies for a treat as they looked good in JP’s recent post. I buy instant coffee, usually $7.99/jar and today it was $10.99. Stocking up for Winter will be no fun on so many levels. I think it is not just going to be about six or seven trips to the store to be totally loaded up on pantry items like in past years, not as empty as I saw those store shelves today. I parked the cart and ran around, still trying to familiarize myself where everything is from the remodel last year and also got my miles in that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I shop the grocery store flyers for the sales then stock up when I can on the basic stuff. I wish we had a Costco or a Sam’s Club close by (the nearest is an hour and a half away) along a very busy highway outside of London so I’ve never been. Do you have one near you? It would be better and cheaper for stocking up on laundry detergent, garbage bags, toilet paper and stuff like that. I buy instant coffee for mom on sale for $4.49, but it’s a small jar, regular would be around $8.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s what I will be doing – the Meijer preview comes out to cardholders every Friday afternoon. So when I do the big stocking up, it gives me time to write out a list and the new ad starts Sunday morning, so I get there early … that’s been the plan for years. Sunday it gets busy and I’ve tried going back a second time if the first “load” is easy to do and not running around the store a lot like today. The best sales are their 11 items for $10.00 … that’s when I get all the canned veggies for crock pot meals and canned fruit. They are sometimes DelMonte and sometimes Meijer’s own brand. Even if I don’t put everything away on the metal shelves downstairs in the pantry room, as long as it is here, I don’t have to worry about gathering it. I was amazed at the coffee – not just a $1.00 jump but triple that. The closest Costco to me is in Livonia about 20 miles from here and the other closest is in Windsor!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        We are still okay re Covid stats – I just checked the health unit website – 7 patients in hospital, but only 1 in ICU. 78 tests done per day with a 8% positivity rate, but many people are doing home tests which are not reported. They are not reporting cases in the local paper anymore for that reason. I’m sure it will uptick in Sept. when the kids go back to school, and who knows what kind of variant we will have. There has been no announcement yet re fall boosters or what type they might be. I still wear my mask in the stores, and today took mom for her final hearing aid appointment and we both wore masks although the technician and receptionist did not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The CDC says that is the case here – people self-test and don’t report, but after President Biden had rebound Covid, that is worrisome. He has no symptoms but is testing positive and they said that is good, as long as he does not end up with Long Covid. I wear my mask everywhere too, even to the Park, but to the Park, just a blue surgical mask – when going to the allergist, or grocery store/errands, I wear an N-95 mask. I have an eye doctor appointment next Tuesday – he has a plastic shield between us and wears a mask … or did the last time. And the yearly allergist visit (5 minutes = $125.00 to $150.00) on the same day. Hope your mom is getting used to her hearing aids and full strength now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I’m struggling to even get them inserted right. Yesterday apparently I didn’t have them in far enough, and we mentioned that sometimes they fall out, so the technician increased the dome size on the end, and this morning I struggled to get them in at all – so I think she actually made it worse. She was a millennial so they’re not known for having a lot of common sense or people skills. If I was doing a teaching session I would make sure there was enough time for the person to practice in the office, more than once, instead of a bunch of talking I could read in the manual. When we go back I’m going to bring a mirror and a flashlight – she had neither. She said the wire has to be flush with her ear, and I shouldn’t be able to see any of the dome and to push it down and then up which is hard to do on someone else’s ear. Plus, she had long pointy manicured nails – maybe I need some? Also, she told me she had another patient waiting – and that really irked me, as she said the same last time, when she was ten minutes late with us, so we never really got a full hour – some of which she spent programming it on the computer which could have been done ahead of time. I know they have their quota systems, but really they were $6400 – you’d think you’d get a bit more attention than that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’d be angry too Joni – inattention to detail and for that price! Shame on them. What used to irk me when I took my mom to doctor appointments, especially her last orthopedic doctor, was he would finish the appointment and stand there in front of us dictating his notes – on our dime. Granted, it was paid for my Medicare, so technically not “our dime” … but do that in your office, not as part of the appointment.

        As for the hearing aids, at least your mom is keeping them in – I told you our neighbor had them in when he was fitted for them and never wore them again once he got home as he said there was too much noise and went back to cranking the TV and radio up full blast – his wife was not happy. Can there be any damage to the ear canal if pushing it down too far. I keep reading about Q-tips and not pushing them in too far. We are having this intense rain right now – not enough rumbling to shut down the computer – yet. I just had the weather on and they said we lucked out in our area as it has lessened in intensity. This Summer – hot and worrisome for storms, the new norm. I think the long pointy nails would make it difficult to handle the hearing aids – you can’t pick up anything properly if your nails are too long. I used to have long nails (my own nails and they were not overly long) and I had difficulty putting in earrings that had a back on them as it was hard to pick up something that small without dropping the back. I don’t know how people get by with the overly long nails. Think about it – how would you pick up small things, like an earring back or try to open the clasp on a necklace or bracelet. It is difficult.

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  2. annieasksyou says:

    This is a delightful and informative review, Joni. I was surprised to learn you find Austen tough to read because you sound so knowledgeable. Coulda fooled me!

    I’m struck by all the richness we’ve missed because Jane didn’t share her sister’s longevity. And it certainly would have been great to have access to those letters!

    You can disregard my email: I’m now able to find you via Reader on my computer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I read your letter this morning Annie but there was a big spam warning with it saying they could not verify it was you – so I decided to reply on here and then was not on the computer the rest of the day. I’m glad to hear you finally got your computer issues sorted out! I don’t use a WP mobile app but it sounds like there are lots of problems with it. I know a lot about Jane Austen because I’ve read several biographies, but of her books I’ve only read P&P, S&S and Emma. I watched the Netflix version of Persuasion the other night but not having ever read it I don’t know how closely it followed the book, but the main character seemed to spend half her time addressing the camera!

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  3. J P says:

    It is interesting how some are remembered and celebrated for centuries (like Jane) while everyone around them slip into obscurity. I knew nothing of Cassandra and found this quite interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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