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Jane Austen - Pride And Prejudice Book Review

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Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Jane Austen is one of the greats of British literature, and her popularity has increased if anything in recent decades, thanks to TV and film adaptations of her books. Her novels Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are all classics of the romantic fiction genre.

Interpreting Jane Austen's Poem, My Dearest Frank, I Wish You Joy

'My Dearest Frank, I Wish You Joy' is an autobiographical poem, about her brother, by the English writer Jane Austen.

Early in the poem, Jane Austen reveals that her sister-in-law has recently had a baby boy. Jane is glad that the birth was not as difficult as that of a previous child, Mary Jane.

An Optimistic Poem

The tone of the poem, though, is optimistic and the poet hopes that the child will turn out to be a good child, and "well deserve his Parents' Love!" Jane also hopes that the child will have similar traits to her brother, as revealed in the line: "Another Francis William see!"

Just when it seems Jane Austen is expecting too much from the boy, thinking of him as being fearless, she looks forward to the child's "saucy words and fiery ways". She also wants the boy to grow up to be as "considerate and kind" as his father.

The composition of 'My Dearest Frank, I Wish You Joy' consists of mostly rhyming couplets, with no standalone verses. Where there is not a direct rhyme, as in "prove" and "love", and with "Good" and "Blood", Jane Austen uses a similarity. In the latter instance, we have the two words containing a double o, and in the former, words ending with ove.

'My Dearest Frank, I Wish You Joy' has a fascinating meter. There is a mixture of bouncy rhyme, as with the poem's first two lines, and lines nine and ten. But with the third and four lines there is a more downbeat rhyme. There are two things at work here in the third and fourth lines. The content is more serious, but actual rhymes can also indicate emotion. With "joy" and "Boy" of the first two lines, the words rhyme in a way that sounds pleasant. The "pain" and "Jane" of the third and fourth lines sound harsh by comparison.

Poignant Love

The latter stages of the poem are like a letter from Jane to Frank. Jane tells her brother what is happening at her home, and that her new home is currently being improved.

Jane can't disguise her glee at how she expects the house to be when it is finished, as she says "that when complete / It will all other Houses beat". Jane also reveals the name of Frank's wife for the first time - Fanny, and hopes that the couple will perhaps move to a home nearer to Jane. There is a poignancy here, in that though Jane may be "very snug next year", she would be happier still with her brother nearby on a permanent basis.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.

 

JANE AUSTEN BOOKS
available from Amazon.co.uk

Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
Mansfield Park
Jane Austen
York Notes Advanced on
"Pride and Prejudice"

Jane Austen
amazon.co.ukPersuasion
Jane Austen
amazon.co.uk
Emma

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

Jane Austen's Letters
Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Claire Tomalin

 

 

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