This is a fantastic book about one of the world’s best loved authors – Jane Austen! In the company of historian, TV presenter and curator Lucy Worsley, herself an ‘Austenite’, the world of Jane is brought to life. I found it a fascinating read. Although it’s over 400 pages long, I didn’t get bored at all (somewhat unusual for a book of this length) and this is because of Worsley’s engaging style. Her writing is lively and amusing, like that of her literary heroine.
Jane Austen is not my favourite author. I’ve read her novels and have a particular liking for Emma, but I used to think that the author was perhaps a little over-hyped. However, this book has changed my opinion and made me realise that she was an innovator with a brilliant mind. Many obstacles were in her way, but she achieved success with some truly remarkable novels. Her stories and characters continue to influence popular culture. She’s even on the British ten pound note. This biography made me want to read her novels again.
This is a straightforward biography which follows Jane Austen’s life. It includes background on her family and friends, the historical and social contexts of the times, her possible romances and her writing process. There’s a special focus on the importance of home, as Jane had to move several times, usually as a result of (to put it bluntly) men inheriting property. I think that Lucy Worsley being a historian lends an excellent sense of detail and atmosphere to the book, more than perhaps you’d find if a literature scholar had written it. Two sections of illustrations are also included.
First published in 2017, Jane Austen at Home is one of the best writer biographies I’ve read.