This exhibition explores the life, work, and legacy of Jane Austen (1775–1817), regarded as one of the greatest English novelists. Offering a close-up portrait of the iconic British author, whose popularity has surged over the last two decades with numerous motion picture and television adaptations of her work, the show provides tangible intimacy with Austen through the presentation of more than 100 works, including her manuscripts, personal letters, and related materials, many of which the Morgan has not exhibited in over a quarter century.
A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy also includes first and early illustrated editions of Austen’s novels as well as drawings and prints depicting people, places, and events of biographical significance.
The exhibition is organized into three sections: Austen’s life and personal letters, her works, her legacy, and concludes with the documentary-style film.
The Divine Jane is a short documentary film specially commissioned for the exhibition. Each of the six interviewees was invited to look closely at the Morgan’s outstanding collection of Austen letters and manuscripts.
Would you like to see this collection? I would be completely crazy to have the opportunity to see, to touch and read this preserved work.
Also, other questions touched several subject:
When did they first read Austen and what were their initial impressions? What is the relation between Austen’s life and work? Why does she remain so popular? And, if you could invite Austen to dinner, whom else would you invite, and why?
Well, I discover Jane Austen when I was a teenager. I still enjoy reading her work anytime. And I definitely love to see Marcel Proust and Jane Austen at the same dinner. They both have described so well their culture and the aristocratic way of life. Humour should be a great part of the conversation.
And you, would you be happy to have dinner with Jane Austen?
Illustrations: Morgan library.