DAYS LIKE THESE: 4 February 1813

Jane Austen writes to her sister Cassandra: "Our second evening's reading [of Pride and Prejudice, recently published] to Miss B. had not pleased me, but I believe something must be attributed to my mother's too rapid way of getting on: though she perfectly understands the characters, she cannot speak as they ought. Upon the whole, however, I am quite vain enough and well satisfied enough. The work is rather too light and sparkling; it wants shade; it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense, if it could be had; if not, of solemn nonsense, about something unconnected with the story; an essay on writing, a critique on Walter Scott, or something that would form a contrast, and bring the reader with increased delight to the playfulness of the general style."

Compiled by Ian Irvine

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