Jane Austen: A Life
At her death in 1817, Jane Austen left the world six of the most beloved novels written in English—but her shortsighted family destroyed the bulk of her letters; and if she kept any diaries, they did not survive her. Now acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin has filled the gaps in the record,... show more
At her death in 1817, Jane Austen left the world six of the most beloved novels written in English—but her shortsighted family destroyed the bulk of her letters; and if she kept any diaries, they did not survive her. Now acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin has filled the gaps in the record, creating a remarkably fresh and convincing portrait of the woman and the writer. While most Austen biographers have accepted the assertion of Jane's brother Henry that "My dear Sister's life was not a life of events," Tomalin shows that, on the contrary, Austen's brief life was fraught with upheaval. Tomalin provides detailed and absorbing accounts of Austen's ill-fated love for a young Irishman, her frequent travels and extended visits to London, her close friendship with a worldly cousin whose French husband met his death on the guillotine, her brothers' naval service in the Napoleonic wars and in the colonies, and thus shatters the myth of Jane Austen as a sheltered and homebound spinster whose knowledge of the world was limited to the view from a Hampshire village.
Publish date: April 27th 1999
Pages no: 400
Edition language: English
As a devoted Jane Austen-fan, I am always on the lookout for new insights in her simple and short life. As this was praised as one of the best biographies ever written about her, I was intrigued. While it indeed was a very enjoyable and interesting biography, it tended to focus more on Austen's neig...
A basically strong biography marred by the author's sometimes overreaching. Unfortunately, we have have little idea about much of Austen's life; this occasionally leads biographers to extrapolate based on little to no evidence. The most egregious example, in my opinion, was the dreadful Becoming Jan...
I purchased and first read this book in Bath in 1999, after visiting Chawton (where Austen lived in the latter part of her life and wrote her last three novels) and Salisbury (where she died and was buried). After that albeit rather limited literary pilgrimage, it seemed appropriate to acquire and r...
Not only is this a fun, easy biography of Jane Austen, I learned many things never covered in college literature courses. I learned in depth about her family, including her sister, Cassandra, who coped with several devastating losses in her life. The author's analyses of Miss Austen's novels is go...
I love Claire Tomalin - the biographer. She writes as if she knows them and you get a feeling of very close intimacy. There isn't much on Jane Austen but she still takes you into her world and by the end even though she's still a mysterious character - you feel as if you've been there with her. Her ...
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