A Sister’s Contribution: How Cassandra helped Jane write The History of England – A guest post by Olga Palagina — 11 Comments

  1. Fascinating and really well written, Olga! I have both John Mullan’s and Paula Byrne’s books, but had not made the connections you had, so I really enjoyed this.

    Your command of English is fantastic (living in a foreign country, I know how hard it is to master another tongue!). I wish you much enjoyment and great success for your new era of studies and a wonderful future as a teacher of history. Your future students will be very very fortunate!

    • Aww thank you very much!! It was so much fun to research and write this, so I am glad you enjoyed reading the blog post! I love both Mullan’s and Byrne’s books. They are wonderful resources 🙂
      In terms of the year ahead, thank you for the good luck wishes. We shall see what happens. I will keep you posted …
      Good luck to both you and Ada with the sequel to The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen! I can’t wait what the two of you will write next. You are a fantastic team 🙂

  2. I know I told you this before I set it up, but I love this, Olga! I’ve read History of England, but never paid such close attention to the artwork before. You’ve opened my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing with us! 🙂

  3. Wonderful post! Also of interest is the Juvenilia Press’s edition of The History of England in which Christine Alexander and Annette Upfal theorize that most of the portraits Cassandra drew represent friends and family members – in particular, Mrs. Austen as Queen Elizabeth! It’s a fascinating book, and here are a couple of articles about it:'s_The_History_of_England_Cassandra's_Portraits_review

  4. Thank you so much for the information, Olga. This is very intersting. When I finally read Jane’s Juvenalia I will look at her History of England in a different light and look closely at the pictures. This was so enjoyable.

  5. Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Olga! I read Austen’s History of England a few months ago and now want to go back and read it again!

  6. Absolutely loved this, Olga! The insights into Jane’s opinions of the various monarchs as shown through Cassandra’s illustrations is completely new to me, and I always love learning something new about my favorite novelist. Thank you so much!!

    Susanne 🙂

  7. Very interesting. I didn’t know about Jane Austen’s fondness for Mary Queen of Scots, especially as she was the daughter of a Protestant clergyman. If Mary had succeeded to the English throne, she most certainly would have pushed for the restoration of the Catholic religion as the official religion(and we know how well that went under Mary Tudor). I loved all the drawings. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I have both Mullan’s and Byrne’s books as well. Now if I could only convince DD’s freshman lit teacher that Austen did not write “chick lit”! Thank you for the insight! Congratulations on you command of English and it’s influence on your career.

  9. This was an interesting article. I especially liked learning about the illustrations since they only earned a glance before. Thank you for your work and for sharing.

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