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Bibliophile price: £6.00
A marvellous re-issue of Dr Byrne's 2002 book with a new foreword and extra chapter looking at a distinctive look at Jane Austen in Hollywood and a number of film adaptations from A.A. Milne to Whit Stillman, who adapted the juvenilia for the silver screen. In the light of Jane Austen's letters which were her private musings rather than what she wrote in her novels for public consumption, Jane makes copious allusions to the theatre and to playwrights, from Shakespeare to Sheridan. Jane wrote plays as a child and acted in amateur theatricals at home and was said herself to be a fine actor. She loved the theatre and learned much of her art from a long tradition of English comic drama. Her early works, then Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma were shaped by the arts of theatrical comedy. Dramatic dialogue, comic characters, theatrical plotting, exits and entrances, misunderstandings, plot parallels, intrigues, these are the very essence of Austen's genius. It is also why she has been adapted so successfully on screen and why she also appears on our £10 note. Celebrating Britain's favourite novelist 200 years after her death here is Jane Austen as we have never seen her before - a lover of farce, comic theatre and dazzling dialogue rather than the popular image of her as a novelist interested only in romance and marriage. She properly belongs alongside Shakespeare as one of the world's greatest comic writers. In her lovely chatty Liverpudlian academic style, Paula Byrne looks at the many stage and film versions of the novels including the BBC 'wet shirt' Pride and Prejudice, Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility and the brilliant and successful Clueless set in Beverley Hills, a clever reworking of Emma. A true Austen scholar presents a definitive and pioneering study. 334pp, 14 colour illus including a beautiful portrait of the actress Eliza O'Neill as Juliet whom Jane Austen called 'An elegant creature' who hugs Dr Young (her co-star) delightfully.'

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