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Commonplace Book & Genealogy with Jane Austen Poem

Commonplace Book & Genealogy with Jane Austen Poem by BRYDGES/LEFROY FAMILY [Jane Austen] (1840)

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Title: Commonplace Book & Genealogy with Jane Austen Poem
Year: 1840
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Wootton/ Steventon
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £950
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Added under Manuscripts  

pp 85 Highly unusual amalgam of commonplace book with a genealogical study of the Brydges/ Lefroy families. Late eighteenth century folio bound in panelled reversed calf, marbled endpapers. Probably inspired by the genealogical labours of Samuel Egerton Brydges who is mentioned frequently in the early pages, the volume's highlight is a sequence of poems from the Lefroy family including Jane Austen's famous lament from 1808 over her friend Anne Lefroy's death in a riding accident. No author is given for the manuscript but a member of the extended Brydges family that included the Lefroys and Harrisons seems certain to have produced the manuscript during the middle years of the nineteenth century continuing with annotations over several decades.

Jane Austen's friend Anne Lefroy first appears as the subject of an extemporised obituary: 'Mrs Lefroy the eldest daughter of Edward Brydges... a woman more brilliant, more spiritual and more beaming with goodness... She had a warm and rapid poetical genius: she read voraciously...' (p14) with a second obituary transcribed 'From a newspaper of 1804'. Then on page 69, 'The following lines were addressed by Miss Jane Austen (the celebrated novelist) to the memory of Mrs Lefroy who died December 16th the birthday of the Author' with Austen's 13 stanza poem followed by a sequence of 'Poems by Mrs Lefroy': 'To Miss Deborah Bridges afterwards Mrs Maxwell', 'Epistle to Miss K Hamond... August 1776', 'On Seeing some school boys playing in the Green Court Camterbury' (Kentish Register 1793) and 'To Miss Charlotte Brydges, afterwards Mrs Harrison'. Then 'Lines by C Edward Lefroy to the memory of his beloved mother'. There are 'Lines by C Edward Lefroy to the memory of his beloved mother' and 'Lines written by Mrs Harrison on receiving Feb: 24/ 1831 a picture of her mother Mrs Brydges - a bad likeness' - presumably Charlotte Harrison - Anne Lefroy's sister. The manuscript begins with a series of Brydges family pedigrees, obituaries of Edward Tynewell Brydges (Rector of Wootton), the genealogist Samuel Egerton Brydges (Geneva, 1837) and Brydges' poem 'Echo and Silence' (brother of Anne Brydges late Mrs Lefroy of Steventon). There is a section on Wordsworth's friend and son in law Edward Quillinan including his 'Sonnet to Charlotte Sarah Harrison' and at the end of the manuscript an obituary of Quillinan. Occasional printed and manuscript inserts, all heavily annotated.
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