The author of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and other comedies of manners gets a biography similar in tone to her own books: intelligent but not intellectual, witty without being nasty. Claire Tomalin, author of four previous biographies of notable British women, treats Jane Austen (1775-1817) with the respect her genius deserves. Tomalin eschews gossip and speculation in favor of a sober account of the writer's life that nonetheless sparkles with sly humor. Perceptive analyses of each of Austen's novels, with autobiographical links suggested but never insisted upon, add to the value of Jane Austen: A Life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I don't read a lot of bios, so I can't really compare it to others, but I enjoyed getting more background on one of my favorite authors. Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Hogue
This book tells the story of Jane Austen and her extended family in great detail, perhaps too much for some tastes. Read morePublished 7 months ago by eledavf Vivian
Found the book very interesting.should be read by fans of her books. Gives insight to the author. Definitely worth the time and enjoyment.Published 13 months ago by ellen Barnett
This book gave some good insights on Jane Austen's life and what it was like to live in that time period. it built on information from prior books that I have read about her.Published 17 months ago by austenmckenna
extremely interesting. I'm not through yet but am enjoying the experience immensely! There's so much that I didn't know about her.Published 20 months ago by Jersey Betsy
Tomalin does an interesting job of weaving facts of Jane's life with her personal interpretations. The author provides a colorful presentation of the Austen family so that a... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Paige