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Honorable Janeites

August 25, 1985

Regarding Victoria Kohl's brief and inaccurate review of "Volume the First" by Jane Austen: Austen was born in 1775, so the juvenlia in this book was written between the years 1786 and 1792. It is thus a "perceptive appraisal of the cracks in the 18th-Century British upper crust," not that of the 19th Century. Furthermore, since Austen died in 1817, almost a full generation before Victoria came to the throne in 1837, she can hardly be said to be "parodying the Victorian rural gentry's quaint rituals . . . ."

The differences between Georgian and Victorian literature and society were so marked that it is worth keeping the distinction clear.

SUSAN RANDOLPH

Manhattan Beach

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