Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Making of Jane Austen Hardcover – May 16, 2017
|New from||Used from|
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book (Nonfiction) of 2017
About the Author
Devoney Looser is a professor of English at Arizona State University. She is the author of Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750–1850 and British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser is an essential book for those who are already in love with Austen's work and an important one for those looking to take the plunge into her largely vanished world of wit, grace and keenly observed human behavior. For many lovers of Austen's novels, it is her uncanny ability to recreate Georgian England's middle and upper strata of society, and the elegance of their formal social discourse with its nearly choreographed personal interactions, that is most enticing. This formality and elegance includes precision in language, a respect for others (even those with whom strife is indicated) that includes bowing upon meeting and upon taking one's leave, and an oblique form of speech that merely implies emotions without denying their existence. This grace and social elegance did not survive the Romantic era but Jane Austen managed to capture it for all time.
The Making of Jane Austen is an exhaustively researched book written with appropriate elegance about the "branding" of Austen's novels. But even more than that, it is about the creation of the Austen mythos. It tells the tale of a woman writing in relative obscurity, essentially creating for herself and the edification of a few friends and family members, in an age that was not conducive to the acceptance of women writers. As Austen's work circulated after her death, its excellence was slowly recognized and championed by a coterie of admirers. The Making of Jane Austen is especially witty and charming when it discusses several of these admirers whose eccentricities may resonate strongly with fans of Austen. In the way that life often imitates art, a few of these admirers reminded me of some of Jane's inimitable characters like Mr. Collins, Mrs. Bennet and the acerbic Mr. Palmer from Sense and Sensibility. These admirers of Austen were crucial in raising awareness of her genius throughout the 19th century. With their help, Austen overcame the tendency to view the early 19th century's female writers as sentimental and genre-prisoners, allowing her work to reveal its edginess and glistening wit which was absolutely unique for its time. The Making of Jane Austen also contains some superb illustrations that go a long way in explaining the evolution of opinion about her work.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It reveals the nature of some of the unique interactions and relationships between Austen and her readers, which is fascinating. Those relationships are different than the way fans of Dickens interact with the image of that great writer. It is a more personal relationship, more emotional in many ways, which is paradoxical because Dickens was a writer who relied on emotion far more than did Austen. Fans of Jane Austen will come away from this book with their own unique insights. As we commemorate the bicentennial of her death (18 July 1817), The Making of Jane Austen is an appropriate celebration of her life and work.
I don't really qualify as a Janeite, having read only three of her novels and seen a couple of films, but I found the book fascinating. The author has dug up an amazing amount of obscure but revealing stuff: perhaps my favorite was her analysis of various early versions of the script of the 1940 Pride and Prejudice movie, and the strange directions that the Hollywood scriptwriters kept going off in. Critics have found much in this movie to object to, but it ended up a lot better than what might have been!
The book is a good source for what might be called footnotes to history: the strange fate of the man who wrote the first scholarly treatise on Austen, the surprising back story of Eva Le Gallienne and the play Dear Jane, why Mr. Collins is a librarian rather than a clergyman in the 1940 film, and many more. There's something interesting on every page. Highly recommended both to hard-core Janeites and casual readers.