"Backgrounds and Sources" includes biographical portraits of Austen by members of her family and by acclaimed biographers Claire Tomalin and David Nokes. Seventeen of Austen's letters—eight of them new to the Third Edition—allow readers to glimpse the close-knit society that was Austen's world, both in life and in her writing. Samples of Austen's early writing—from the epistolary Love and FriendshipA Collection of Letters—allow readers to trace her growth as a writer as well as to read her fiction comparatively.
"Criticism" features eighteen assessments of the novel by nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentators, six of them new to the Third Edition. Among them is an interview with Colin Firth on the recent BBC television adaptation of the novel. Also included are pieces by Richard Whately, Margaret Oliphant, Richard Simpson, D. W. Harding, Dorothy Van Ghent, Alistair Duckworth, Stuart Tave, Marilyn Butler, Nina Auerbach, Susan Morgan, Claudia L. Johnson, Susan Fraiman, Deborah Kaplan, Tara Goshal Wallace, Cheryl L. Nixon, David Spring, Edward Ahearn, and Donald Gray.
Also included are a Note on Money, a Chronology of Austen's life and work—new to the Third Edition—and an updated Selected Bibliography.
About the Series: No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehenive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. Careful editing, first-rate translation, and thorough explanatory annotations allow each text to meet the highest literary standards while remaining accessible to students. Each edition is printed on acid-free paper and every text in the series remains in print. Norton Critical Editions are the choice for excellence in scholarship for students at more than 2,000 universities worldwide.