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Juvenilia is a term applied to literary, musical or artistic works produced by an author during his or her youth. The term often has a retrospective sense. For example, written juvenilia, if published at all, usually appear some time after the author has become well known for later works.
The term was first recorded in 1622 in George Wither's poetry collection Ivvenilia. Later, other notable poets, such as John Dryden and Alfred Lord Tennyson, came to use the term for collections of their early poetry. Jane Austen's literary works are also titled Juvenilia.
Exceptions to retrospective publication include Leigh Hunt's collection Juvenilia, first published when he was still in his teens; and Lord Byron's publication of Fugitive Pieces when the author was only 17 years old, and his subsequent publication of Hours of Idleness at the age of 18. In these early pieces, Byron explores many of the themes that would shape his later works.
The term is also used to describe the less-accomplished early works produced when a writer or artist was still learning their craft, regardless of their age.
- Kathryn Sutherland. "Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians - Jane Austen's juvenilia". British Library. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
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