Jane Austen: A Life

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Jane Austen: A Life

Format:  Paperback,

400 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: May 1999

ISBN-13: 9780679766766

ISBN-10: 0679766766

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The following content was provided by the publisher.

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.

Specifications

Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: May 1999
ISBN-13: 9780679766766
ISBN-10: 0679766766
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.85
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.0
Walmart No.: 978067976676

Chapter outline

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Map Showing Steventon and the Austens' Hampshire Neighboursp. xvi
1775p. 3
Meritocratsp. 13
Boysp. 23
Schoolp. 33
The French Connectionp. 44
Bad Behaviourp. 60
Weddings and Funeralsp. 74
Neighbourp. 85
Dancingp. 101
The Doll and the Pokerp. 108
A Letterp. 112
Defence Systemsp. 118
Friends in East Kentp. 131
Travels with My Motherp. 141
Three Booksp. 154
Twenty-fivep. 167
Manydownp. 175
Brotherly Lovep. 190
A Death in the Familyp. 203
At Chawtonp. 209
Inside Mansfield Parkp. 222
Dedicationp. 239
The Sorceressp. 252
College Streetp. 265
Postscriptp. 272
A Note on Jane Austen's Last Illnessp. 283
An African Story" from Fanny Austen's Pocket-book, 1809, with a Note on Attitudes to Slaveryp. 285
Notesp. 289
Short Bibliographyp. 323
Family Treep. 326
Indexp. 329

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (1998-01-01)

Despite only a few surviving personal papers and letters, no autobiographical notes, and no diaries written by Jane Austen, attempts to piece together the life and personality of the author abound. An experienced biographer, Tomalin makes do by focusing more on the Austen family, acquaintances, and friends than on Austen herself, forthrightly acknowledging, "It is only because of her writing that we think them worth remembering; and yet she is at almost every point harder to summon up than any of them... she is as elusive as a cloud in the night sky". Like David Nokes's recent biography, Jane Austen (LJ 9/1/97), Tomalin's presents an engaging story of the life and times of the Austen family.

Although Tomalin's biography is not as detailed as Nokes's, it offers a freshness in its attention to, and compassion regarding the child-rearing practices of the Austens, the physical demands on child-bearing women, and to the portrayal of Austen's will, determination, and energy in her final days. Recommended for literature collections for its perspective and minimal speculations. Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • New York Times Notable Books of the Year, 1998 (United States)

Book description

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.

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