Monday, 25 June 2007

Finding Radovici's 'A Youthful Love'

A few years before Claire Tomalin's Jane Austen: A Life (2000) and Jon Spence's Becoming Jane Austen (2003), another writer has actually written a book focusing on the love story between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy. The writer was Nadia Radovici (I'm not sure if Nadia Nahmias-Radovici and Nadia Radovici is the same person), and she wrote A Youthful Love: Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy, which was published in 1995.

Alas, the book is currently unavailable in any Amazon sites, nor in any online bookstores. Believe me, I've looked; but I am so glad if I am proven wrong. The book might be available in several libraries (not in my library), and hence can be obtained there, or at least using inter-library loan facility. Lindafern of the Potter message board had read that, had been very impressed, and wrote it in a specific thread. This is the excerpt of her opinion:


Nadia's book is a treasure. Why have we not heard of it before, especially since it has been out since 1995? You may call it speculation, her opinion, whatever, but her 'evidence' has convinced this realistic/romantic dreamer as to the events of the 'affair'. It is a heartbreaking love story. You really need to read it for yourselves. The only problem is that the book is hard to find. I have not found one book to buy. The one I have in hand came from the Goucher College Library in Maryland via our interlibrary loan system. Why is it that the most important works do not get printed and distributed properly, meaning in abundance?
I had only suspected such a deep love, but now I am convinced of it. Nadia may have touched on this fact, but I believe that Jane and Tom were what we today call 'soul mates' in that what has been overlooked, barely mentioned, glossed over, whathaveyou, is their intelligent, educated, genius minds. Somehow Jane Austen's mind is (what is the word?) not considered to be 'developed' when she was just a teenager - see, there I go, "just" a teenager. Remembering back many years to my teenage era, I know how much I knew, and I believe that she was a lot more learned than I was at that time of my life. I have yet the pleasure of reading her 'Juvenilia' (see there it is again, the degradation of her mind at an early age by using that word) but I will now look at it with an eye for her intelligence at that time of her life.


By the way, Radovici's book was quoted by Linda R. Walker in her online paper Jane Austen & Tom Lefroy: A Love Story. Interesting paper, you guys should read it.

Now, of course this is a well-nigh impossible plea to fulfill, but if you guys every find Radovici's book, please drop a review. I shall do so myself if ever I get the book on my hand.


Arnie Perlstein said...

I just added a comment to your "Persuasion: Jane and Tom" thread which bears on Radovici's book and also Linda Walker's article. I have notes that I made from Radovici's book when I read it last year (it is easy to obtain through interlibrary loan, you should just order it!), but not enough to write a review. It is quite short, but, as I say in my comment in that other thread, the chapter about Persuasion vis a vis Tom Lefroy is particularly evocative. There is also a similar chapter about Northanger Abbey and Tom Lefroy.

Icha said...

Yes, Arnie, thanks a lot for the comments, really appreciate that. I'm also planning to write a summary of NA, and I also saw a similarity between Tom Lefroy and Henry Tilney. I've ordered Radovici's book from the interlibrary loan, hope I can get it soon!

Icha said...

Oh, just received a note from the library. The book is nowhere to be found in Australia (!) and if I want to have it shipped from overseas, I have to pay $50, and I can keep the book for 7 weeks.

Thanks, but no thanks. I will wait for a miracle to happen; $50 can buy me 2-3 JA biography books!