Jane Austen is one of the most popular and enduring English novelists of all time, and yet little is known about her life. She kept no diary that we know of; 160 Austen letters survive but none written earlier than her 20th year.
She was born in 1775 in the remote Hampshire village of Steventon where she spent the first 25 years of her life. She never married, although many of her novels are about marriage, and always lived with her parents and sister Cassandra. Whilst not unaware of the larger political and social goings-on at the time, she chose a small canvas for her novels, preferring to focus on the family as a microcosm through which to explore human nature. She died in 1817 at the age of 42, having just begun to find fame as a novelist.
Carol Shields, whose own celebrated novels have been compared to those of Jane Austen, has written a wonderfully observant and revealing biography of this remarkable writer whose characters are as alive today in their longings as they were two hundred years ago, when Jane Austen first gave them breath.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 04 / 2001
- 141 x 205mm