Annotated Critical Edition

The Text

A self-produced Critical Edition reading text based on Jane Austen’s fair copy manuscript of “Catharine, or the Bower” (August 1792) from Volume the Third of her juvenile writing.

The fair copy manuscript facsimiles of “Catharine, or the Bower” can be found at the Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition.



1. Jane Austen’s elder sister Cassandra Austen.
2. The beautifull Cassandra, a short story from Volume the First of Austen’s juvenilia.
3. The History of England, a short burlesque from Volume the Second of Austen’s juvenilia.
4. Jane Austen.
5. Jane Austen’s English birthplace and home from 1775 – 1801.
6. The lower house of British Parliament, with a legislative body composed of elected members. A Member of Parliament resided in London from New Years until the beginning of June and spent the remainder of the year at his country seat (Bree, Sabor & Todd 169).
7. Reminiscent of Mary Wollstonecraft’s thoughts on the system of female education, in which she writes, “the cultivation of the female understanding is always subordinate to the acquirement of some corporeal accomplishment…[and] gives [the] appearance of weakness to females” (Damrosch and Dettmar 313).
8. Charlotte Turner Smith, an English Romantic novelist who published ten novels of Gothic fiction and sentimentality in her lifetime. Four among them were published by the time of the writing of “Catharine, or the Bower”: Emmeline (1788), Ethelinde (1789), Celestina (1791), and Desmond (1792).
9. A village in the English Lake District, famously associated with the First Generation Romantic Poets William Wordsworth (and his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who became known as the Lake Poets.
10. Lake District in northwest England, popular as a holiday destination.
11. Queen Elizabeth the First, a charismatic ruler and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, who ruled successfully for 44 years and established a stable kingdom and a sense of national identity.
12. A musical instrument with a keyboard that was commonly played in European music of the 16th through to the 18th centuries.
13. A person employed in the design, manufacture and sale of hats; a hatmaker.
14. A type of lace, usually handmade or handwoven; in this case, made of gold thread, thus making it a luxurious and expensive item.
15. Also called Promenade Dresses, these costumes, embellished with fur, lace, ribbon and embroidery, were donned by fashionable Regency era women and varied according to the location and time of the year. They were worn while walking in the park or in shopping districts of metropolitan cities and were often accessorized by a bonnet and/or pelisse.
16. Bonnet and Pelisse. Bonnet: A Regency era style headdress worn to shelter skin from the elements as well as to represent social class and marital status. Pelisse: An ankle-length cloak with armholes or sleeves, and a fashionable empire waist worn exclusively by women.
17. The fancy household uniform of footmen employed in aristocratic homes.
18. A horse trained to chase foxes in the aristocratic tradition and sport of fox hunting. “Often the chase involves extreme speed through brush and growth. A rider will need to be skilled in racing, jumping brooks, logs, brush, and the horses must be in excellent condition as well” (The History of Fox Hunting).
19. The King of England from 1483 – 1485. Though known as a “good lord” with a “great heart,” his reputation was tarnished after his death by Tudor successors and sympathizers.
20. Hugh Blair, a Scottish minister, was much admired in his lifetime for the five volume publication of his sermons, which promotes Christian morality.
21. A conduct literature novel written by Hannah More, in which young Coelebs is in search of an ideal wife. He auditions young women “until he finds perfection in quiet, proper, prudent Lucilla, skilled in household management and given to visiting the poor to read to them from the Bible” (Damrosch and Dettmar 360).


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