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The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things offers a startlingly original look at the revered writer through a variety of key moments, scenes, and objects in her life and work. Going beyond previous traditional biographies which have traced Austen’s daily life from Steventon to Bath to Chawton to Winchester, Paula Byrne’s portrait—organized thematically and drawn from the most up-to-date scholarship and unexplored sources—explores the lives of Austen’s extended family, friends, and acquaintances. Through their absorbing stories, we view Austen on a much wider stage and discover unexpected aspects of her life and character. Byrne transports us to different worlds—the East Indies and revolutionary Paris—and different events—from a high society scandal to a petty case of shoplifting, She follows Austen on her extensive travels, setting her in contexts both global and English, urban and rural, political and historical, social and domestic—wider perspectives of vital and still under-estimated importance to her creative life.
Literary scholarship has revealed that letters and tokens in Austen’s novel’s often signal key turning points in the unfolding narrative. This groundbreaking biography explores Jane's own story following the same principle. As Byrne reveals, small things in the writer's world—a scrap of paper, a simple gold chain, an ivory miniature, a bathing machine—hold significance in her emotional and artistic development. The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things introduces us to a woman deeply immersed in the world around her, yet far ahead of her time in her independence and ambition; to an author who was an astute commentator on human nature and the foibles of her own age. Rich and compelling, it is a fresh, insightful, and often surprising portrait of an artist and a vivid evocation of the complex world that shaped her.
Frustrating book. The author keeps jumping around and not staying on the subject. Finally stopped reading it.Published 1 month ago by Annie
Having read all of Jane Austen's major novels but nothing of her life, I benefitted from reading this book. I would have like to have had more on Austen's relations with her motherPublished 1 month ago by Shadow
It is an interesting read especially if you are interested in the daily details and anecdotes of Jane Austen's time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by I P
Wonderfully written book. It tells of our beloved Jane in a new light. I laughed out loud numerous times. The book is fabulous.Published 5 months ago by Jessica G.
This is a wonderfully written book. I enjoyed the way Byrne mixes evidence from the novels with information about Jane Austen's life.Published 5 months ago by Lynne
My wife is an Anglophile and has enjoyed this book immensely. It does rather take the romance out of the era because it tells it like it was in those days. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cheryl Haman
Delightful book about Jane Austen, her family and her times. Clever way to organize the information. Highly recommend this book.Published 7 months ago by Barbara Dahl