. Library of the world's best literature, ancient and modern. Austen was used to hearing agreeablehousehold talk, and the freest personal criticism on the men andwomen who made up her small, secluded world. The family circum-stances were easy, and the family friendliness unlimited,— conditionsdetermining, perhaps, the cheerful tone, the unexciting course, thesly fun and good-fellowship of her stories. It was in this Steventon rectory, in the family room where theboys might be building their toy boats, or the parish poor folk com-plaining to passons madam, or the county ladies paying visits ofc

- Image ID: 2AG86BD
. Library of the world's best literature, ancient and modern. Austen was used to hearing agreeablehousehold talk, and the freest personal criticism on the men andwomen who made up her small, secluded world. The family circum-stances were easy, and the family friendliness unlimited,— conditionsdetermining, perhaps, the cheerful tone, the unexciting course, thesly fun and good-fellowship of her stories. It was in this Steventon rectory, in the family room where theboys might be building their toy boats, or the parish poor folk com-plaining to passons madam, or the county ladies paying visits ofc
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Image ID: 2AG86BD
. Library of the world's best literature, ancient and modern. Austen was used to hearing agreeablehousehold talk, and the freest personal criticism on the men andwomen who made up her small, secluded world. The family circum-stances were easy, and the family friendliness unlimited,— conditionsdetermining, perhaps, the cheerful tone, the unexciting course, thesly fun and good-fellowship of her stories. It was in this Steventon rectory, in the family room where theboys might be building their toy boats, or the parish poor folk com-plaining to passons madam, or the county ladies paying visits ofceremony, in monstrous muffs, heelless slippers laced over open-worked silk stockings, short flounced skirts, and lutestring pelissestrimmed with Irish,8 or where tradesmen might be explaining theirdelinquencies, or farmers wives growing voluble over foxes andyoung chickens—it was in the midst of this busy and noisy publicity,where nobody respected her employment, and where she was inter-rupted twenty times in an hour, that the shrewd and smiling social. Jane Austen 1046 JANE AUSTEN critic managed, before she was twenty-one, to write her famous(Pride and Prejudice. Here too (Sense and Sensibility* was finishedin 1797, and Northanger Abbeyin 1798. The first of these, submittedto a London publisher, was declined as unavailable, by return ofpost. The second, the gay and mocking Northanger Abbey,* wassold to a Bath bookseller for ,£10, and several years later boughtback again, still unpublished, by one of Miss Austens brothers. Forthe third story she seems not even to have sought a publisher.These three books, all written before she was twenty-five, were evi-dently the employment and delight of her leisure. The serious busi-ness of life was that which occupied other pretty girls of her timeand her social position,— dressing, dancing, flirting, learning a newstitch at the embroidery frame,- or a new air on the instrument;while all the time she was observing, with those soft ha
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