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Jane Austen: A Life Paperback – April 27, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I am left with the feeling that while Tomalin genuinely admires Jane Austen, she has considerably more pity for her life than sympathy for her point of view. Ms. Tomalin places a great emphasis on the importance of passion and enthusiasm that I doubt Austen so uncritically shared. Indeed, Ms. Tomalin has to interchange JA's heroes and villains in order to come up with interpretations of the book that please her, and in several cases, insist that JA got things wrong in her epilogues. This leads to some odd juxtapositions that fit right in with Tomalin's somewhat overwrought thinking. Tomalin cannot accept that Marianne could move on and love Colonel Brandon, but she is also upset that Cassandra Austen spent the rest of her life mourning her dead fiance. Isn't perpetual mourning for a lost love what Tomalin would have Marianne doing, given that Willoughby married someone else? Consistently inconsistent, Tomalin lambastes Fanny Price for declining to marry someone that she doesn't love (or like or trust), at least while her true love remains available. Claudia Johnson, in her book ...Read more ›
Tomalin, however, gives us a full and beautifully detailed analysis of what we CAN learn about Austen's life from the documents which are still extant. Best of all, she enriches this information by presenting rich, gossipy details about the many fascinating people whom Austen knew and loved. The somewhat nouveau riche society (pretending to be landed gentry) of late eighteenth-century makes for reading almsot as much fun as Austen's own books, and Tomalin writes with great verve. This is a marvelous read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you love Jane Austen you will enjoy yet another author's careful research combined with speculation on what her life was like and why she wrote what she did. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pambedelia
I have attempted to read several Jane Austen biographies before I found this one. I was highly disappointed in the previous biographies I tried to read in that the author's tried... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rebekah Mann
Well written and thorough, but perhaps more than most care to know about Jane Austen's family. Certainly interesting for the Jane Austen scholar or devotee, and it's not to say... Read morePublished 6 months ago by A B
Excellent biography. I learned a great deal about Austen and her time, which go hand in hand. Ms. Tomalin seems to be telling the story with ease and then you look at the notes to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Voves
A highly readable, infinitely well-researched life of Austen. Especially impressive was the background on all the families in the Austen neighborhood. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Elizabeth L. Ballard
Claire Tomalin did an excellent job of writing about the life of an amazing woman and author. This biography grabbed me from page one and kept me until the end. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ruth D. B. Brooks
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 17 months ago by L. Hogue