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Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- ASIN : B004LQ0GDA
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition (March 2, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.04 x 1.12 x 9.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,951,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Many fascinating facts and anecdotes along the way will fascinate novice and Janeite alike !
I read this book on a KINDLE Paperwhite.
This review is based on my listening to the CDs and presumes that it is more or less the same as the hardbound version that I purchased.
The book covers two areas of "Austinia" -- the first is an intellectual biography of Jane Austin herself, locating her writing endeavors within a family where many members wrote stories and poems for each other. While uniquely gifted, Jane Austin was not unique in writing for others from a rather young age. The second aspect is a history of how her writings were published and received. Most attention is given to her work in England, but there is information about how her work came to the States and how it found its way to other parts of the world.
The author takes note of earlier treatments of these topics (such as a relative's biography of her) and either cites them as sources, or cites their shortcomings as reliable sources. The general approach to the topic is, "How did Jane Austin's novels acquire such popularity? How is it that even people who have not read the books, are still familiar with her characters and plots, and even some of the more memorable lines ("It is a truth universally acknowledged . . . ")?
The author deals (rather hastily, ISTM) with the recent film and miniseries adaptations; I wish she had done more there, as well as with the phenomenon of "fan fiction." Both of these get some attention toward the end, but not enough to do justice to them, especially in light of the details provided in other aspects of "Jane's Fame." For a book published so recently, I think there could have been more there. The book is so well written, I would have gladly read (or listened to) another 100 pages.
However, the Kindle edition has a terrible problem. It is entirely in italics.
I have not had this problem with any other book.
It is not ALWAYS entirely in italics. If I go to certain chapters and then come away from them, suddenly the book is NOT all in italics.
I think this is probably the result of faulty display coding of some kind.
In any case, I have not been able to control this phenomenon, so that the book is USUALLY all in italics. Imagine reading page after page, all in italics. It strains your eyes far more than, say, reading on a non-Kindle computer.
I have tried this, by the way, on Kindle for PC as well as on my Kindle 2 and the same phenomenon exists, so it clearly has nothing to do with my Kindle 2.
I am contacting Amazon customer service about this, but I think it's only fair to alert fellow readers to the problem.
Top reviews from other countries
It wasn't until the late nineteenth century that her reputation improved and her books were reprinted and sold well. It was at that point that the critics started to take notice of the six novels and they were divided into two opposing camps. Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story about Jane Austen's work being read in the trenches during World War I and providing common ground between all ranks. Winston Churchill took refuge from the stresses of World War II in the novels. Others hated the books and saw them as dealing with a society that no longer existed and concentrating mainly on people of the middle and lower orders.
This book discusses some of the many film and television adaptations both in the UK and in the USA starting with Geer Garson in a much altered version of `Pride and Prejudice'. It also touches briefly upon the many books which have been written in the last 50 years about Jane Austen and about her work and also about the many many sequels and prequels which have grown out of the novels themselves. Blogs and web sites are also mentioned. I felt this chapter could have been expanded as there are so many novels which owe their origins to Jane Austen's 6 novels.
Overall this is an interesting and lively book which will appeal to anyone who has read the novel themselves and wants to know more about Jane Austen herself and her reputation. It provides notes to each chapter, a bibliography, and index and photographic illustrations. It is written in a lively style and with an obvious love for Jane Austen's work.