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Jane Austen: A Companion Hardcover – February 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081353299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813532998
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Josephine Ross has written books on the British monarchy, history, and on style, including The Monarchy in Britain. She has also worked for Vogue magazine and in television. She is married to the historian James Chambers and lives in London.

Customer Reviews

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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This review was originally written for the hardcover edition, but on the assumption that this is fairly similar, I'll repeat it here.

This book is a Companion in the sense that it attempts to give the reader context for reading Austen's work, not in the sense of a reference work listing all her characters, etc. It is perfect for anyone beginning to read Austen's works, especially if they have little knowledge of the era. It would also be helpful as a basic guide to the late Georgian period, which is the setting of so many historical and romance novels.

Ross starts off with a brief (44 page) biography, followed by 8 chapters on the era: "The Common Daily Routine", "Of Lovers and Husbands", "Politics and Public Events", etc. In each, Ross discusses the era in general terms, and also relates the topic to Austen's life and writings. I read the book straight through, but it appears that each chapter could stand on its own: information is sometimes repeated if it relates to more than one topic. Lydia Bennett's finding ornaments in a book store is mentioned in both "The Present Fashions" and "The Subject of Books."

There are numerous plates of well-chosen pictures relating to both Jane Austen's personal life and the era in general.

There are no notes, but there is a helpful, but admittedly not exhaustive bibliography and an unusually detailed index. This index isn't perfect, it only lists one of the references to Lydia mentioned above, but it is much more thorough and in depth than most indexes, and helpfully has little notes after some of the entries that may be enough in themselves to refresh the reader's memory.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on March 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a Companion in the sense that it attempts to give the reader context for reading Austen's work, not in the sense of a reference work listing all her characters, etc. It is perfect for anyone beginning to read Austen's works, especially if they have little knowledge of the era. It would also be helpful as a basic guide to the late Georgian period, which is the setting of so many historical and romance novels.

Ross starts off with a brief (44 page) biography, followed by 8 chapters on the era: "The Common Daily Routine", "Of Lovers and Husbands", "Politics and Public Events", etc. In each, Ross discusses the era in general terms, and also relates the topic to Austen's life and writings. I read the book straight through, but it appears that each chapter could stand on its own: information is sometimes repeated if it relates to more than one topic. Lydia Bennett's finding ornaments in a book store is mentioned in both "The Present Fashions" and "The Subject of Books."

There are numerous plates of well-chosen pictures relating to both Jane Austen's personal life and the era in general.

There are no notes, but there is a helpful, but admittedly not exhaustive bibliography and an unusually detailed index. This index isn't perfect, it only lists one of the references to Lydia mentioned above, but it is much more thorough and in depth than most indexes, and helpfully has little notes after some of the entries that may be enough in themselves to refresh the reader's memory.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a great book for relating Jane Austen' s characters and settings to her real world. There were many historical passages for background for the novels. There were comparisons of her society, politics,.military aspects of her brothers' lives, family relationships etc.to her characters and novels. I have several Jane Austen background books and many college history courses on this period of history. I actually learned some new material.ie Josiah
Wedgewood' s contribution to the abolishment of slavery in Britain.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fan Yang on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
It covers various aspects of life in Jane Austen's age using examples from Jane's works. I'd recommend it to people who are interested in Jane's world's life.
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