A Preview of Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings (Penguin Clothbound Classics), by Jane Austen

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Collectors of Jane Austen books know that there have been hundreds of different editions of her classic novels created since their original publication (1811-1817). So many, in fact, that only a few of the beautiful and outrageous ones could be featured in the new book Jane Austen Cover to Cover, by Margaret C. Sullivan.

Seventh Book

The recently published Penguin Clothbound Classics series is one of the possibilities to chose from. I am happy to share that after publishing all of Austen’s six major novels in the series, her juvenilia, Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings,  is now available for purchase.

Austen’s Juvenilia

With only four novels published during her short life and two posthumously, her popularity continued to grow through the decades of the nineteenth century.  It was only a matter of time before her family allowed publication of her juvenilia: a set of three volumes of her youthful writings. Composed c. 1787-1792, Austen’s Juvenilia consists of twenty seven items—sketches, parodies & short stories of comical, nonsensical, outrageous and sometimes dark imaginings by a writer in the making—all engaging amusements written for her family and friends.

Clothbound Series

The Penguin Clothbound Classics series are beautifully designed editions by Coralie Bickford-Smith featuring gorgeous patterns stamped on linen cases, colored endpapers, and ribbon markers. Reminiscent of the Edwardian editions of classics that are so collectible today, these rich and sumptuous volumes are among my most coveted editions in my library.

Penguin Hardcover Classic x 450

This new edition is the first time Austen’s juvenilia has appeared in Penguin Classics. Edited by Christine Alexander, it includes an introduction, notes and other useful editorial materials.


Jane Austen’s earliest writing dates from when she was just eleven years, and already shows the hallmarks of her mature work: wit, acute insight into human folly, and a preoccupation with manners, morals and money. But they are also a product of the eighteenth century she grew up in – dark, grotesque, often surprisingly bawdy, and a far cry from the polished, sparkling novels of manners for which she became famous. Drunken heroines, babies who bite off their mother’s fingers, and a letter-writer who has murdered her whole family all feature in these very funny pieces. This edition includes all of Austen’s juvenilia, including her ‘History of England’ – written by ‘a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant Historian’ – and the novella ‘Lady Susan’, in which the anti-heroine schemes and cheats her way through high society. Taken together, they offer a fascinating – and often surprising – insight into the early Austen.


Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon, near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. In her youth she wrote many burlesques, parodies and other stories, including a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan. On her father’s retirement in 1801, the family moved to Bath, and subsequently to Chawton in Hampshire. The novels published in Austen’s lifetime include Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16, and was published, together with Northanger Abbey, posthumously in 1818. Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817.


Christine Alexander is Scientia Professor of English at the University of New South Wales and general editor of the Juvenilia Press. She has published extensively on the Brontës and has co-edited the first book on literary juvenilia, The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf (2005).


  • “Spirited, easy, full of fun verging with freedom upon sheer nonsense…At fifteen she had few illusions about other people and none about herself” – Virginia Woolf
  • “[Her] inspiration was the inspiration of Gargantua and of Pickwick; it was the gigantic inspiration of laughter” – G. K. Chesterton


  • Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings (Penguin Clothbound Classics), by Jane Austen
  • Penguin Classics (2015)
  • Hardcover (510) pages
  • ISBN: 978-0140433340
  • Genre: Literary Classics


We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Penguin Classics © 2015; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2015, austenprose.com. Last updated 6 March 2022.

33 thoughts on “A Preview of Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings (Penguin Clothbound Classics), by Jane Austen

Add yours

  1. I’m so excited about this edition! I love the Penguin clothbound classics. I’ve only read Austen’s juvenilia once, years ago when I first discovered her and wanted to read everything she’d ever written. I read it from the library, but it’s been so long that I can’t remember which was my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a huge Jane Austen fan, but obviously not huge enough – I had never head of these writings until today. I would love to see what a young Jane thought of the world. Thank you for the giveaway!


  3. Thank you for your review, Laurel Ann. I would dearly love to own this book. Indeed your picture of the elegant Penguin classics makes my heart beat faster in the thought of one day owning such a beautiful collection as well. How divine it would be to possess an original Edwardian edition of which you say they are reminiscent! Do you have any of these?

    I recently read Jane’s “History of England” and was delighted with it. And I remember reading Lady Susan many years ago and was a bit confused at first but would like to revisit it as well as some of her other early writings. Guess I’ve not read enough yet to have a favorite, but would guess it won’t be about the baby who bit off his mother’s finger! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I “discovered” the Juvenilia in the 1980’s
    and that wicked and clever Lady Susan
    with whom I shared a name! I just love
    these editions of Jane Austen and would
    be so thrilled to win one. Thank you for
    this post and the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t read any of Jane Austen’s Juvenilia, so this presents itself as the perfect opportunity! What a great way to start 2015–with a great giveaway! And perfect for those cold winter nights!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think what’s exciting about Austen’s Juvenilia to me is that I’ve only ever read it in references from non-fiction works. I’ve never actually sat down and looked at it as a collection. I’ve read the full and unfinished novels numerous times, but never the Juvenilia.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve never heard of Austen’s Juvenilia, but now I’m very intrigued. I’d love to see some of her sketches and really would like read the short stories. What a great little gem this is, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looking forward to reading some of these novels as I am a big fan of Jane Austen and have read 150+ P & P variations. Have been a Jane Austen fan since childhood. Thanks for running a great site!


  9. I definitely need a comprehensive collection of the juvenilia. Of everything I have read so far, The History of England is my absolute favorite. I defy anyone to not laugh out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the notion of having all of her juvenilia into a single volume. It would be wonderful to read them in chronological order and see her writing develop and mature. I’ve been wanting to read these early works since I first heard of them, especially as I also share a name with Lady Susan, and now my interest is piqued even further. Thank you for sharing this new addition to Penguin Classics and for the exciting giveaway opportunity.


  11. I have read all her novels and the 2 unfinished ones plus her Lady Susan but have not read the juvenilia. It sounds intriguing. Would love to read the History of England and “bawdy” tales…our Jane – really? A baby who does WHAT? All sounds hilarious.


  12. Yay to Penguin for publishing this and yay for you for the giveaway! Thanks! I read JA’s the History of England maybe 10ish years ago. I think it’s time for a re-read of all her books…


  13. “Love and Freindship” was the second piece of Austen’s work I ever read. It was hilarious. I appreciated her exaggerations. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to read any other her other juvenalia works, although I greatly want to.


  14. I read a bit of her juvenilia as a teen, but sadly I can’t remember a thing other than how raw it felt as opposed to her later novels. This new series of Penguin Classics are shelfalicious and I appreciate the chance to win a copy of this book.


  15. Oh oh oh I want this soooooo bad. I have had the juvenilia on my TBR list but hadn’t purchased it yet and then I saw this cover on IG and I fell in love. I put it on my Amazon wishlist and almost just bought it but we’re budgeting so I’m trying to be good. :) The cover is gorgeous


  16. Sadly, I can’t enter this particular giveaway (UK not US) but these editions are just gorgeous, aren’t they? The Juvenilia and History of England are the only writings of Jane Austen that I haven’t yet read. I was still looking for the right copy but may have found it right here!


  17. Oh, I love these editions! I’ve tried to read some of the juvenilia before, but it always seems to sift to the bottom of my library bag. I’d love to have my own copy to read at leisure!


  18. I have not read her juvenalia but would love to. I adore all her books so I would be intrigued to see what she did as a younger woman.


  19. These editions are beautiful and I need this one. I have read just a little of her juvenilia work but I definitely want to read more. Thanks for the giveaway!!:)


  20. I love all things Jane Austen, however, have yet to have the pleasure of reading these juvenillas. The covers are beautiful and would be an exceptional addition to anyone’s library, mine included ;) I am not a huge fan of the ebook. In my opinion, there is nothing like holding an actual book, the weight of it, the smell, sifting through the pages to peek at when the chapter will end. I enjoyed your post and am happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I am clicking follow right . . . now. There! I am following you!! :)


  21. I have read all of Austen’s juvenilia, but my editions are just ordinary paperbacks. Boo! I would be so excited to own this gorgeous edition, so I could read these delightful stories all over again and add it to my collection! I love “Love and Friendship”, but one of my favorites is “Catherine, or the Bower.” Thanks for this opportunity!


  22. These editions are just gorgeous and I would love to add one to my library! My favorite piece of Austen juvenilia is most definitely “Lady Susan”–so wickedly funny!


  23. So much intrigues me! Thanks for the chance!

    The always-wished-for MORE writing from Jane Austen happened! So delightful to know. And wonderful that the physical books are so wonderful too.

    Thanks also for the news that these writings exist and are available!!! Seeing a bit of the development of Jane Austen is going to be just too wonderful to say!


Please join in and have your share of the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: