Friday, 17 June 2011

Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury

A few days ago I finished my last University exam for this semester so yesterday I decided to go out and celebrate by buying this beautiful book: Jane Austen - An Illustrated Treasury.
It is not often that at my local bookshop I would come across something as exquisite as this lovely book so it was a very exciting find. I have spent the better part of yesterday and today browsing through the detailed pages.

 Because this is possibly the most beautiful book I have seen in my entire life, I am very eager to tell you about the delightful pictures and beautiful removeable items. However first I must say this book is by no means lacking in the content department, it is full of interesting information and is perhaps the first book I have come across in a long time in which I have learnt some new things about Jane, her world and her novels.

The book is 157 pages in length and is composed of an Introduction, which looks at the life and world of Jane Austen and six chapters, each focusing on the six of Jane's major novels. The each of the pages are so detailed, many of which contain pictures which range from photos of Jane's home to illustrations from her early novels and even a few photos of scenes from major movies.

My favourite part about this book however is definitely the little clear envelopes which are attached between some of the pages within the book. There are six in total. Inside the first one their is a small book containing selected pages of her Juvenilia and also a reproduction of a letter from Jane to Cassandra. All the items within the envelopes look so real that I barely want to touch them. The second one contains some Illustrations from a 19th century edition of Pride & Prejudice which are absolutely gorgeous. Other envelopes include thing such as Jane's silhouette and even a reproduction of the original handwritten manuscript of Persuasion. My favourite envelope however is found in Chapter Five: Northanger Abbey which among other things includes- a letter from Jane to her niece, it is rather a funny letter she has used mirror writing to compose it. Every word is written backwards, I love it particularly because it shows us Jane's sense of humor.

As you can see I am very much in love and could almost definitely write another five or so paragraphs talking about it I had better finish this post, and to do so I thought I would leave you with a lovely quote from the book- which is so true, especially in my life!

"With her insight into the human heart and the female mind.
Jane Austen becomes a private best friend to many of her readers."
-Rebecca Dickson (Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury)

Much Love,

Mel xx


OldFashionedCharm said...

I recieved this books for my birthday last year (or was it the year before) and I've really enjoyed it. It's so large and filled with so many lovely things that I definitely feel like I have only enjoyed a quarter of it's contents. I almost didn't want to crack the seal on those lovely envelopes but the desire to see what's inside over takes me! Truly a must have for any Janeite!

~Miss Laurie :)

Jemimah C. said...

I love how the book looks! The envelopes are simply adorable. I hope I can find that book somewhere.

Melody said...

Oh, that looks wonderful....o.o

Anna said...

This book looks really interesting - I love such tactile things. Thanks for mentioning it - will try to get hold of it!