Jane Austen’s teenage writings are relatively unknown, but full of interest, action and hilarity! Quite unlike her adult novels, these stories and sketches are short, funny, a bit wild and madly inventive.
Clearly designed to entertain her family and friends, they are full of girls behaving badly, speeding plots and cartoonish characters. A far cry from the decorous drawing room society we usually associate with Jane Austen, here we encounter girls who steal, fight, gamble, eat too much and get uproariously drunk.
In this lively talk, you’ll explore some of the wild escapades in Jane Austen’s extraordinary teenage stories, meet some outlandish characters, and examine how as a young girl, Jane Austen trained herself in the art of writing fiction – testing established literary forms and experimenting with what she could make work, and sowing the seeds of her later, great works in the process.