American Austen

The Forgotten Writing of Agnes Repplier

By Agnes Repplier, edited by John Lukacs

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American Austen

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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 Junípero 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.

Additional Information

Format Hardcover
Pages 450
Publisher ISI Books
What They're Saying...

"Agnes Repplier met the true definition of a writer: she had an ear for music gone awry. Her gift for the rhythm and melody of words made her so quotable that I have run out of Hi-Liters! Bless John Lukacs for giving her back to us."
Florence King

"In truth, Repplier is old fashioned, approaching her subjects with an armchair leisureliness . . . [b]ut Repplier isn't really squishy in the least; she regularly delivers sentences and similes of epigrammatic sharpness. . . . Throughout American Austen one pauses over sentences worth copying into a notebook."
Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

ISBN 1933859865
ISBN13 9781933859866
Eligible for Readers Club Discount Yes

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