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American Austen: The Forgotten Writing of Agnes Repplier written by Agnes Repplier


American Austen: The Forgotten Writing of Agnes Repplier written by Agnes Repplier


In a review of John Lukacs's 1981 book Philadelphia: Patricians and Philistines, the New York Times praised the iconoclastic historian for excavating the work of the "elegant essayist" Agnes Repplier, "the Jane Austen of the essay." Now, in American Austen, Lukacs has compiled a definitive and delightful reader of the best writing of this most unjustly forgotten prose stylist and commonsense philosopher.

In these pages, Repplier (1855-1950) emerges as perhaps the wittiest female author in the history of American letters—Dorothy Parker not excepted. Lukacs has gleaned from Repplier's work the finest essays on her hometown of Philadelphia; excerpts from her biographies of figures such as Junipero Serra; insightful reflections on Puritanism, the suburbs, and writers from Horace to Thackeray; and various other pieces brimming with Repplier's characteristically pungent commentary on American life. Agnes Repplier's engaging style, good-natured skepticism, and realistic appreciation of the genuine accomplishments of Western civilization should win for her a new and appreciative audience in the twenty-first century.


Anthologizes the writings of one of a once-famous—and now unjustly forgotten—great American wit and critic.

The Washington Post - Michael Dirda

…superb essays…Repplier interleaves personal reminiscence, striking literary and historical allusions and sharp thinking…Throughout American Austen one pauses over sentences worth copying into a notebook.

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Title: American Austen: The Forgotten Writing of Agnes Repplier

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