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Collection of Letters (Dramatic Reading)

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By: (1775-1817)

A Collection of Letters is an epistolary short story collection written by Jane Austen when she was fourteen years old. Although the novels Austen became known for were not published until she was in her thirties, she was an active writer from the age of twelve, frequently composing epistolary works such as A Collection of Letters. Austen eventually compiled 29 of her early writings in three notebooks that became known as the Juvenilia and that she called “Volume the First”, “Volume the Second”, and “Volume the Third”, including A Collection of Letters in “Volume the Second”. A Collection of Letters is set contemporaneously to Austen’s writing and consists of a series of five letters, each written by a woman of high society living in Great Britain. Unlike Austen’s later epistolary works, A Collection of Letters is not a novelette; each of these five letters tells a self-contained story, with no characters appearing in multiple letters. Nonetheless, the collection is unified in its lighthearted, humorous tone. Austen dedicated A Collection of Letters to her cousin Jane Cooper, who married famed Royal Navy officer Thomas Williams two years later and who died in a horse accident before the end of that decade; Williams went on to marry again twice, reputedly because his first marriage was so happy. Ironically, there are multiple parallels between Cooper’s later life and the second letter of this collection. - Summary by David Purdy Cast List: Jane Austen: Michele EatonA. F.: WendyKatzHillerAugusta: Krista ZaleskiSophia: Jenn BrodaMiss Jane: Lynette CaulkinsMaria Williams: Hannah DormorMrs Williams: Therese LindholmLady Greville: Dawn SuttonEllen Greville: Kaye BurkeImpertinent young lady: TJ BurnsMiss Grenville: Bethany BaldwinHenrietta Halton: Michelle PurdyTom Musgrove: David PurdyLady Scudamore: Anna MariaNarrator: James R. Hedrick


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