Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

Miss Austen


A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide

Do you think Cassandra succeeds in controlling her family's narrative? What is lost and gained in her "editing" of Jane's legacy?

Created: 04/06/21

Replies: 5

Posted Apr. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Do you think Cassandra succeeds in controlling her family's narrative? What is lost and gained in her "editing" of Jane's legacy?

Reading one of Mary's letters, Cassandra is devastated by its account of her reaction to Tom's death, which is very different from Cassandra's own memory: "Cassandra saw now, understood for the first time, the enormity of the task she had lately set herself: how impossible it was to control the narrative of one family's history." Why do you think Cassandra is so upset? Do you think she succeeds in controlling her family's narrative? What is lost and gained in her "editing" of Jane's legacy?


Posted Apr. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 58

RE: Do you think Cassandra succeeds in ...

This novel assumes that Cassandra was as forward-thinking as the narrative promotes her to be. She imagined Jane's novels would find success in the future. She could not -- no one could -- imagine the colossal and evergreen appeal Jane's novels would have. Accepting that assumption, I think that Cassandra does indeed succeed in controlling the family narrative. The number and enthusiasm of Jane-ites grow exponentially every year. The hunger for Jane Austen's story grows at the same pace.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: Do you think Cassandra succeeds in ...

Cassie always thought Jane would be successful and encouraged others to read her novels. Her work in preserving her legacy has allowed that to happen.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: Do you think Cassandra succeeds in ...

I think everyone wants a loved one to be well thought of after their death. Cassandra loved her sister so much that she only wanted her well thought of. What I don't think she considered was that sort of left her sister a one dimensional person. Controlling information about a person doesn't allow anyone else to have input and doesn't allow others to see all of the person. Its done out of love, but who knows what Jane would have wanted people to know about her?


Posted Apr. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 46

RE: Do you think Cassandra succeeds in ...

I understand why Cassandra wanted to control her family’s narrative but in doing so her sister becomes a uninteresting character. Jane becomes someone who doesn’t appear to venture outside her family and all her adventures appear to happen in her writing. She may have led a more interesting life but we don’t really know because many of her correspondences were destroyed by her overprotective sister.


Posted Apr. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: Do you think Cassandra succeeds in ...

What is lost is a well-rounded picture of Jane Austen. Cassie's care taking - in every way - of Jane has given us a very controlled view of her and her life. Jane Austen obviously had to have more diverse life experiences in order to create the various novels and their diverse characters that she has. What she has gained is presenting the Austen family and their life-style as idyllic and above reproach. It's a dream and cannot be so. While Jane's own letters make her sound like an unbelievably kind and loving sister, her behavior with Mr. Bigg-Wither reveals her opposite, and Cassie's hope to eliminate that from common knowledge or at least to isolate it as much as possible robs Jane of valuable experiences which must have had in order to write the depth and breadth that she did.


Reply

Please login to post a response.