The History of England (Facsimile) – Austen, Jane.

Austen, Jane.


Publisher: illustrated by Cassandra Austen. The Folio Society. London. 1993 (first edition thus)
ID: 47812 Categories: , , , ,


8vo, 60pp. Hardcover in a cream slipcase in very good condition other than an overall lightly soiled appearance of the case only. This facsimile is printed dry offset on cream Rivoli paper by Bath Press in Avon who also bound the book in vegetable parchment with a cream coloured spine and paper sides on front and rear boards hand marbled in attractive shades of green and grey by Ann Muir. Other than very slight soiling on the spine, the book is in excellent overall condition, the text is in pristine condition with no internal marks or prior ownership details. This work is a “burlesque” which pokes fun at widely used schoolroom history books and in it Austen mockingly imitates the style of textbook histories of English monarchs, while ridiculing historians’ pretensions to objectivity. It has been illustrated with quaint colour portraits by Austen’s elder sister, Cassandra, to whom the work is dedicated. There is a modern introduction by the noted Austen commentator Deidre Le Faye and then the facsimile in Austen’s own clear hand of course, followed by a current transcript of the text made afresh from the original notebook. over the final twenty-six pages of the book. This work offers humorous vignettes on English rulers from Henry II to Charles I. Many entries focus on royal women and she treats Elizabeth I as a tyrant, rather than a good leader, showing her affinity for Mary and the Stuart monarchs. An amazing work by a fifteen year old writer and is a treasure for any Austen devotee. This is in the second volume of the three volumes of her “juvenilia” or minor works , none of which were ever published in her lifetime . The original was sold by her descendants to the British Library in 1977.