Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

book cover
Jane Austen at Home
by Lucy Worsley

ISBN-13: 9781250131607
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Released: July 11, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from NetGalley:
Take a trip back to Jane Austen's world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen's childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses--both grand and small--of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a 'life without incident'.

Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but--in the end--a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.

Illustrated with two sections of color plates, Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home is a richly entertaining and illuminating new book about one of the world’s favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home.

My Review:
Jane Austen at Home is a look at Jane Austen's life from the perspective of what her daily life was like. Starting with her family and her birth, we learn what the house was like, how she was educated, what her social life was like, and so on. The author used letters, guidebooks from the time, old records, etc., to reconstruct what her daily life was like throughout her life and in different homes. She included many quotes from Jane's letters to her sister (and others), so we get to hear Jane's opinions in her own words.

The author mentioned Jane's marriage prospects and her path to publication, but she brought out the reasons why she might choose to marry or reject an offer and looked at how Jane found time to write, how she lived with a brother (who was her advocate with the publisher) when double-checking the galleys, and so on.

I really enjoyed how she pointed out real people and occurrences that happened in Jane's life that have echoes in novel. Since I enjoy learning about Georgian and Regency daily life and enjoy Jane Austen's stories, I found this book enjoyable on many levels. I'd highly recommend this interesting book.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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