REVIEW: Jane Austen's Novels, Oxford World's Classics Edition


Oxford World's ClassicsIf you haven’t already added the Oxford World’s Classics editions to your Jane Austen library, now is a great time to do so: the six novels have recently been reissued, and Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sandition are all included in the Northanger Abbey volume. Classic, lovely cover art draws in the reader and the work inside is just as appealing. A variety of Austen scholars supply notes to explain each novel’s text and a related bibliography. Appendices covering rank, social class and dancing will also help better understand the world about which Jane Austen wrote. A few special appendices have been included in Mansfield Park and Persuasion: an introduction to the play Lover’s Vows; the original ending of Persuasion; and both volumes feature an appendix about Jane Austen and the Navy.

Oxford World’s Classics has also published an excellent edition of the Memoir of Jane Austen and other Family Recollections by James Edward Austen-Leigh. This edition of the Memoir includes the Austen family tree and a chronology of the family, shorter recollections by Henry Austen, Caroline Austen, and Anna Lefroy, and excerpts from family letters. Explanatory notes, other notes on the text, and a bibliography invite further exploration.

The Oxford World Classics editions are both appealing and informative for the beginner and bring a fresh, vibrant perspective on much-loved favorites to seasoned Austen fans and academics.