Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Portrait Of Jane Austen” as Want to Read:
A Portrait Of Jane Austen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Portrait Of Jane Austen

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Not much about Jane Austen's personality can be gleaned from her works.It is from her letters, from the evidence of the friends and relations, and above all from a knowledge of the kind of life led and ideas held by the society she was born into, that we are to know her.
Published (first published April 1st 1979)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Portrait Of Jane Austen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Portrait Of Jane Austen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 201)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
In writing A Portrait Of Jane Austen, David Cecil has "taken particular pains to set [his] heroine in the context of the period and society in which she lived." The reason for this, he argues, is the often "comically misleading portrait" drawn by fellow biographers and critics who interpret Jane Austen's life from a contemporary point of view.
The prologue is dedicated to the world of Jane Austen. He describes the society in which she must have roamed, and the established classes and social conve
Lord Cecil paints a picture, not just of Jane Austin, but also of the world in which she lived. She lived a fairly uneventful life, but Cecil focuses rather on portraying Austen as mensch. Before reading this book, I was on the verge of becoming a "Janeite"; this has pushed me completely over the edge. Besides being a brilliant author, Jane Austen was a charming, humorous, and pious woman – how impossible not to fall in love with her?
Lord David Cecil writes about Jane Austen's world, linking what was known by about 1950 to everything known about the time in which she lived. It's a rather sentimentalized view, but enjoyable even so. I actually bought this book at a second-hand store for $2, and it isn't the paperback; it's the first hardback edition on very heavy, quality paper with beautiful plates and a perfect dust cover. Book collectors, envy away!
Fémi Peters
Une très bonne biographie, qui se lit comme un roman, sur un des mes auteurs de prédilection. A recommander à tous les "austeniens"!
Recommend it to Austen lovers. Intelligent treatment of her family life and times.
I learned so much about Jane, and have a new appreciation for her gifts.
Interesting insights into the famous author, Jane Austen. Unfortunately, her history has been pieced together because some of her journals/letters have been burned (mostly by her sister Cassandra). So I think there's still some discrepancies and confusion on some of the facts of her life. For instance, this book downplays her relationship with Tom Lefroy; yet other accounts point out that it was more serious and in fact greatly influenced her writing.

This biography was well written. Cecil brushe
Farida Mestek
I've just started reading this wonderful book! He writes so sweetly about Jane Austen's time and her way of life that I just want to be there... The images in the book are lovely!

It was a delightful read. Utterly charming and sweet. The portrayal of Jane, Cassandra and Fanny reminded me a great deal of them in "Miss Austen Regrets", which I'm thinking of watching now. I really liked it. I wish though that Jane would have lived 100 years! It pains me to read about her untimely departure...
Joana Starnes
One of the most enjoyable biographies of Jane Austen that I have ever read. Others were perhaps more detailed, more scholarly, more of an 'outsider-looking-in' kind of biography. The author of this one is, however, very much of an insider, with a perfect understanding of the world Jane Austen wrote about and her characters inhabited. Added to that is the high quality of beautiful illustrations - a definite must read for an Austen enthusiast
After seeing the movie Becomming Jane, I had a desire to read her biography. The tragedy of the 19th century mores made her sister burn a large part of their correspondance. It is so frustrating that we don't have the truth about Jane in those years that are missing!
Joanna Humpherys
This was interesting to get to know more about one of my favorite authors. I learned a lot about the time she lived - what was going on in England at the time, the customary ideas & such of Jane Austen's time.
informative but a bit dry. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot of actual information available about Jane because she was so private. I learned alot about the time period & history which was interesting.
This is a wonderful book for insight into the life of Jane Austen. Using her letters and family members' letters you can see her sense of humor, intellect, and views on life around her. Very enjoyable.
May 09, 2010 Julie added it
One of my favorite authors, and a book I hadn't yet read. I bought it in England, and visited Jane's grave in Winchester Cathedral.
i'm not a huge fan of biographies, even good ones so this wasn't that exciting to me. well written and the illustrations are amazing!
Very enjoyable glimpse into Jane Austen's life. I learned a great deal and admire her even more!
Christmas gift from my father
Amy Baker (#2)
Amy Baker (#2) marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2014
Caroline Derycke
Caroline Derycke is currently reading it
Nov 12, 2014
Meghan marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2014
Rehan Abd Jamil
Rehan Abd Jamil marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2014
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2014
Erin Vance
Erin Vance marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Alice added it
Nov 07, 2014
Joy Jude
Joy Jude marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2014
Debbie Whitten
Debbie Whitten marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Melbourne The Young Melbourne The Cecils of Hatfield House: A Portrait of an English Ruling Family Early Victorian Novelists Max: A Biography

Share This Book