Perhaps some apology may be expected on behalf of a book about Jane Austen, having regard to the number which have already been put before the public in past years. My own membership of the family is my excuse for printing a book which contains little original matter, and which might be described as "a thing of shreds and patches," if that phrase were not already over-worked. To me it seems improbable that others will take a wholly adverse view of what is so much inwoven with all the traditions of my life. When I recollect my childhood, spent chiefly in the house of my grandfather, Sir Francis, and all the interests which accompanied those early days, I find myself once more amongst those deep and tender distances. Surrounded by reminiscences of the opening years of the century, the Admiral always cherished the most affectionate remembrance of the sister who had so soon passed away, leaving those six precious volumes to be a store of household words among the family.
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