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Behind Jane Austen's Door [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Forest
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A tour of a Regency home, room by room.
Behind Jane Austen's Door takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room, to explore the delicate challenges and the beautiful lives of Jane Austen's women.

Jane Austen did not place her stories in castles or on the battlefields, but in that one building so important to Elizabeth and Elinor: a home of their own. 

What was life like for Jane Austen's women in the home? From drawing room diva, to mother, wife and savvy housekeeper, Jane Austen's women lived fascinating lives in their homes. Behind Jane Austen's Door is a gentle 14,500 words. This is a short read, perfect for a few hours relaxing reading.

Table of Contents


The Entrance Hall

The Drawing Room

The Dining Room

The Breakfast Room

The Dressing Room

The Bedroom

The Kitchen


"Some books are so useful they are hard to pass up." Jane Austen's World

Editorial Reviews


"It is always a treat to read a book about Jane Austen that is written by someone who thoroughly knows the subject. This book shows a close knowledge of not only the novels but the letters, and as a digital edition, is certainly very convenient." Julia Emert

Product Details

  • File Size: 754 KB
  • Print Length: 54 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,090 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Informative Read June 21, 2012
By Vic
Format:Kindle Edition
Some books are so useful they are hard to pass up. Several months ago, I received the Kindle edition of "Behind Jane Austen's Door" by Jennifer Forest, author of the delightful "Jane Austen's Sewing Box." "Behind Jane Austen's Door" takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room - the entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, breakfast room, dressing room, bedroom, and kitchen - to
explore the challenges and lives of Jane Austen's women. Included is an appendix that provides a quick overview of the Regency era.

More accessible in tone and organization than the excellent "Behind Closed Doors" by Amanda Vickery and "If Walls Could Talk" by Lucy Worsley, which cover similar but more comprehensive territory, this book can be used as a quick reference by people who want immediate access to the purposes and functions of the rooms in a Georgian household. What distinguishes this book is its close association to Jane Austen and her novels (much like Jennifer Kloestler's book, "Georgette Heyer's Regency World", associates it with that author).

One gains close glimpses of a rich family as well as one of more modest means, such as the household that Jane Austen's mother oversaw, and while much of the territory that Jennifer covered seemed familiar, it is arranged in such a pleasant and easy to use format that new authors to the Jane Austen genre or Regency romance will find it very useful, especially Jane Austen fans. "My mother made her entree into the dressing-room through crowds of admiring spectators yesterday afternoon, and we all drank tea together for the first time in five weeks ... We live entirely in the dressing-room now, which I like very much; I always feel so much more elegant in it than in the parlour.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely idea but needs more substance July 21, 2012
By Galla
Format:Kindle Edition
There is a lovely idea "behind the door" of this short book. How did the women of the gentry in Regency England actually live in their homes? What did they do when they weren't shopping or visiting? The author has a wonderful beginning and an outline, but unfortunately that is what it remains, an outline. First of all, with more information and discussion, this would have been a highly interesting and entertaining book. It's too short and skimpy on details. For instance: where did the ladies shop for their furnishings? how did they learn to dance, to paint, to sew? what were their favorite recipes and foods when they entertained? what other homemaking skills were necessary? how did they actually supervise the staff? Secondly, the author could have compared the differences between members of the gentry who were not so wealthy with the weathier ones. Bringing in the aristocrats would probably have been too much, but it would have been interesting to read more about the differences in the homes within the gentry. A third observation is that the floor plan of the house reflects the life style of a poorer member of the gentry. Where is the library or office for the gentleman of the house? Even Mr. Bennett had his own library. As it is, this is a pleasant beginning and I hope that the author will be able to write another lengthier and more detailed book on the subject in the future. And please go easy on the exclamation marks.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely insight into home life during the Regency June 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
If I could ask for just one Regency reference, I would want a solid explanation of home life. I can gain a reasonable understanding of Society by reading history books, but none of the volumes on the Prince Regent or Waterloo tell me anything about what a normal family did on a normal day. Since Jane's books are all about "three or four families in a country village," it seems understanding that life is essential to understanding and writing about Jane.

You can imagine then how excited I was when Jennifer Forest contacted us and asked if we would like to review her book, Behind Jane Austen's Door. The book description on Amazon promised exactly what I was looking for: "Behind Jane Austen's Door takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room, to explore the delicate challenges and the beautiful lives of Jane Austen's women." The only question remaining was would it deliver?

It did. Forest walks the reader through a standard Regency house, showing us the room, where it was positioned on the floor plan, and what it was used for. I found answers to many questions I searched for in writing His Good Opinion, such as the placement and purpose of the breakfast room.

Equally delightful for the Austen fan, she intersperses her explanations with quotes from Jane Austen's work. Through this, we gain not only an understanding of home life in the Regency period, but insight into what hidden little Austen quotes might mean.

Forest's writing style made this a quick and easy read. Her manner was light, rather than studious. I felt as if a friend were explaining things to me, which is always a more pleasant way to learn than by reading dull, dusty tomes.

The one thing lacking is a solid bibliography.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a Jane Austen fan I really enjoyed this book with the frequent quotes from Austen's novels and letters. Reading these quotes in the context of imagining a home of the period allowed me to relive my enjoyment of the novels and add depth to my appreciation of them.

Equally though, as a person with an avid interest in social history, I particularly enjoyed how this book discusses life and living in the Regency period. This book not only covers how houses were decorated and the uses of various rooms, but also discusses etiquette and social norms.

The book is very easy to read and I took pleasure in the light conversational style. It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into producing it. I highly recommend this book for any lover of Jane Austen or devotee of social history of the Regency period.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A peek into Jane Austin's world
A short, but intriguing look into the regency world, told through a tour of a gentle woman's home. A delightful read for fans of Jane Austin.
Published 1 month ago by M. Hull
4.0 out of 5 stars Draw On This
A life well lived important and I think my choice if all were available is being single with an excellent income.
Published 2 months ago by Barkcloth Hawaii
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of rich information.
Jennifer Forest has answered so many of my questions about the Regency Era. I appreciate her wealth of knowledge and this handy historical reference will elucidate and enhance my... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kathy I.
3.0 out of 5 stars If interested in historic homes, you'll like this.
A good read for the curious. This book tells the function of each room in a Regency home and how it came to be that way. Read more
Published 10 months ago by M Z Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
another interesting history
Published 10 months ago by Mildred Fippen
5.0 out of 5 stars A home in Jane Austen's day
An interesting look at the floorplan of a typical home in Jane Austen's day. A detailed account of the use of each room.
Published 10 months ago by Dianne Askew
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit of Jane Austen's Time
Quite fast read and interesting, explains in a very entertaining way how people used to live and behave in the day and all social conventions and dos and don't. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars A little stiff
When I purchased this book I was excited because I love Jane Austen and was interested in her life. I was disappointed that the majority of the book seemed to be about the books... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars If there was a rating of zero that is what I would give this mess
Skip this thing, even if you are a Jane Austen Maxi-Groupie!! I was so disappointed I wanted to cry for wasting 20 minutes of my life trying to figure out this book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Essie Lee Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, enjoyable read
This is a good book and a fun read. I would have loved pictures to accompany her descriptions though her descriptions were great. I would have loved a little more, too. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. Jones
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More About the Author

After the birth of my daughter, I kept meeting other mothers who wanted to work at home. They were asking the same questions I had. How can I be there for my children and still make decent money? How can I work at home or go part-time? Which one is right for me? In Work Women Want I set out to find them an answer.

Jennifer Forest is an author and heritage consultant. She has written four other books, traded shares and run a small business. Jennifer is on a quest chasing the promise made to her as a teenager: that women can have it all. Why can't mothers have time to take their children to the playground and still make decent money?


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