Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels


With a wealth of details about Jane Austen's life and times, this volume brings to life the world of her novels. Austen scholar Deirdre Le Faye first gives an overview of the period, from foreign affairs to social ranks, from fashion to sanitation. She goes on to consider each novel individually.
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With a wealth of details about Jane Austen's life and times, this volume brings to life the world of her novels. Austen scholar Deirdre Le Faye first gives an overview of the period, from foreign affairs to social ranks, from fashion to sanitation. She goes on to consider each novel individually.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Jane Austen's novels were published, some readers dismissed them as "too natural to be interesting." Yet their very true-to-lifeness helped earn Austen (1775-1817) her place in the literary canon. Nearly 200 years later, many praise what Austen scholar (and obvious fan) Le Faye calls her ability to create the "sensation that we are visiting genuine places and joining in the lives of genuine people." Le Faye (Jane Austen: A Family Record) argues that modern readers need a thorough explanation of Austen's milieu-Georgian and Regency Britain-in order to fully understand and enjoy her fiction. She provides just that by weaving together carefully researched biographical information, meticulously detailed descriptions of everything from social hierarchy to cosmetics and sanitation, as well as summaries of and contemporary reactions to Austen's novels. Color illustrations and maps provide further illumination, particularly the portraits suggesting what beloved characters such as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet might have looked like. Although the volume comprises distinct sections of biography, history and criticism, the three are intermingled throughout. This generally succeeds at making the book more engaging, but sometimes Le Faye fails to clarify whether she's discussing Austen's siblings, Englishmen of no relation or fictional characters, which may frustrate readers who aren't that familiar with Austen's work. Despite this, and the fact that some points are almost painfully obvious-of course contraception and refrigeration have improved since 1817-this book is a worthy addition to the Austen fan's library. 100 illustrations, 80 in full color. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780711222786
  • Publisher: Lincoln, Frances Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 578,245
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Deirdre Le Faye is an expert on Jane Austen, and the author of several books, including the definitive biography Jane Austen: A Family Record for the British Library, and a completely new edition of Jane Austen's letters. She lives in Portishead, North Somerset.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Pt. 1 The World of Jane Austen 8
Jane Austen and Her Family 8
England and the World 40
A Sense of Place 126
Pt. 2 The Novels 148
Sense and Sensibility 154
Pride and Prejudice 178
Northanger Abbey 204
The Watsons 222
Mansfield Park 228
Emma 252
Persuasion 278
Sandition 298
Epilogue 308
Further Reading 311
The Novels: Dates and Main Characters 313
Index 316
Acknowledgments 320
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2009

    A new respect for Jane Austen

    While browsy through the New Amsterdam branch of the New York Public library, the jacket caught my eye. Because I loved the movies Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, I wanted to read about Jane. This book by far was the best introduction into her life and how she began to write and why she wrote the stories she did. I couldn't put the book down! Sometimes hard to understand due to the times she lived in, I found even rereading passages was not boring. I wanted to learn more and more about her and what she had accomplished in her short but amazing life. Now I want to purchase the book and have it in my personal library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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