Jane Austen: A Life Revealed

Jane Austen: A Life Revealed

Jane Austen’s novels reflect the happiness and heartache of love and family life so well that they remain popular almost two hundred years after they were first published. But how did Jane come to write them? Do they accurately portray British society of her times?

This Life Revealed is a lively and detailed look at Jane’s own life and upbringing as one of several children in a country minister’s family, as well as the traditions and social expectations in England during the late 1700s and early 1800s, when marriages for higher social position and more wealth, rather than for love, were the norm.

Paintings of people and daily life, illustrations from early editions of Jane’s books, political cartoons from newspapers of her day, and photographs from the many movie versions of her novels help us better visualize the fashions and manners of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion.

Retellings of the novels themselves analyze why Jane might have depicted characters in a certain way or chosen locations for the stories. It’s interesting to read early reviews of her novels – did those first readers realize how enduring these tales would become?

A wonderful introduction to Austen and her works for new readers and a fascinating look deeper into her life for “Janeites” who already moon over Mr. Darcy, worry about the wicked intentions of Henry Crawford, and wish that Emma wasn’t so meddlesome.

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA

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