Happy Birthday Will Shakespeare!

 

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William Shakespeare – circa April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616

The Bodleian First Folio
A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays

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Henry Crawford: “…But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an English-man’s constitution. His thoughts and beauties are so spread abroad that one touches them every where; one is intimate with him by instinct. – No man of any brain can open at a good part of one of his plays, without falling into the flow of his meaning immediately.” 

“No doubt, one is familiar with Shakespeare in a degree,” said Edmund, “from one’s earliest years. His celebrated passages are quoted by every body; they are in half the books we open, and we all talk Shakespeare, use his similes, and describe with his descriptions; but this is totally distinct from giving his sense as you gave it. To know him in bits and scraps is common enough; to know him pretty thoroughly is, perhaps, not uncommon; but to read him well aloud is no everyday talent.” 

– Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Vol. III, Ch. III

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“His reading was capital…”
Mansfield Park, illus. CE Brock [Mollands]

c2014, Jane Austen in Vermont

The Gifts of Christmas ~ All Things Jane Austen! ~ Day 3 ~ Austen’s Juvenilia, Volume the First

Volume1st2013-bodleianIf you love Jane Austen’s Juvenilia [and who cannot!], then you must add this to your collection: the Bodleian Library has published the first volume of her youthful writings in a fine facsimile edition, with an introduction by Kathryn Sutherland.

Here is the link:

http://www.bodleianbookshop.co.uk/display.asp?isb=9781851242818&TAG=&CID=#

Volume the First: A Facsimile. By Jane Austen, ed. Kathryn Sutherland.
Bodleian Library, 18 October 2013.
Page Dimensions: 224 pages, 188 x 142 x 21 mm
ISBN: 9781851242818
Format: Hardback
Price: £25.00

[available from the Bodleian Bookshop and various online book vendors; and for pre-order on Amazon (to be released May 2014 in the US)]

Synopsis (from the website):

A plain, blank stationer’s notebook from the 1780s in the Bodleian Library contains some of the most famous juvenilia in all of English literature. Copied out in Jane Austen’s youthful hand, Volume the First, which takes its name from the inscription on the cover, preserves the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote during her teenage years. For the first time, the entire manuscript of Volume the First is available in a printed facsimile. In it, we see the young author’s delight in language, in expressing ideas and sentiments sharply and economically. We also see Jane Austen learning the craft of genre by closely observing and parodying the popular stories of her day. Kathryn Sutherland’s introduction places Jane’s Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which these stories were presented and arranged on the page. Clearly the work of a teenager, Volume the First reveals the development of the unmistakable voice and style that would mark out Jane Austen as one of the most popular authors of all time. None of her six famous novels survives in manuscript form.This is a unique opportunity to own a likeness of Jane Austen’s hand in the form of a complete manuscript facsimile.

You can view the entire volume page by page on the website Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: http://www.janeausten.ac.uk/edition/ms/VolFirstHeadNote.html

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 The Contents in Austen’s own hand

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But now you can have your very own copy – I don’t know of a better Christmas gift! Do you?

Happy Reading!

C2013 Jane Austen in Vermont