Jane Austen, Teenage Know-It-All

Every Friday Vulture finds a great story that's a little too long to read on the computer screen. Fiction, long-form narrative journalism, epic blog sagas — any of these could be your Weekend Read. Print it out on the office printer, smuggle it home, and curl up with it after brunch.

With Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway as a young Jane Austen, coming out this week, we've been remembering some of the wonderful Austen novels we've read over the years. While we're not going to suggest that you head off and read Sense and Sensibility this weekend — who has the time when the "Sunday Styles" section is so long? — we recommend just a taste of Jane in Anne Hathaway's honor.

How about a breeze through Austen's History of England, written as a lark when she was a teenager, and full of nineteenth-century one-liners like this one on Edward IV: "This Monarch was famous only for his Beauty & his Courage, of which the Picture we have here given of him, & his undaunted Behaviour in marrying one Woman while he was engaged to another, are sufficient proofs." It's a helpful reminder that even the greatest writers were at one time goofy teenagers convinced they knew it all.

Jane Austen's History of England [UChicago.edu]
Earlier: Jane Austen, Carrie Bradshaw, and Anne Hathaway's Fruitless Pursuit of Co-eds