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The History of England by a partial, prejudiced & ignorant Historian, Jane Austen

Published 1791.

I found this very little book (9 x 13 cm, 16 pages) while at the Jane Austen Center in Bath, hoping to spy Mr Darcy in the flesh. (I had to settle for Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility, although there was a portrait of Mr Darcy set up altar-style with candles and all, in the gift shop).

Austen wrote this "history" of several kings and queens of England when she was 15 years old; her humour was already on display in the title. Though the text is short, she manages to convey a partiality for Catholicism, and a hatred for Queen Elizabeth I, who she refers to as "the murderess of her cousin," Mary Queen of Scots.

On the inside back cover, editor, J.L. Carr of The Quince Tree Press promotes the benefits of this tiny book and others in the series: "In cold bedrooms only one hand to the wrist need suffer exposure. A distinguished novelist recommends them for reading in the bath. An ambassador, albeit American, claims they can be palmed from the cuff during tedious speeches & profitless sermons."

Not Mr Darcy but will have to do

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