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101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen: The Truth about the World's Most Intriguing Romantic Literary Heroine
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101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen: The Truth about the World's Most Intriguing Romantic Literary Heroine

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  397 ratings  ·  64 reviews
You've read Emma. You own Pride and Prejudice. You love Sense and Sensibility. But do you know all there is to know about Jane Austen?

Find answers to questions such as:
Who was the Irishman who stole her heart?
Why was their affair doomed?
Which Austen heroine most resembled Jane?
Who were the real Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy?
Why did Jane never marry?

These fascinating
Paperback, 242 pages
Published January 19th 2007 by Adams Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Most biographies of Jane Austen will reveal the quiet life of maiden Aunt Jane, who scribbled in secret, loved to dance, and lived her entire life in the country removed from the chaos of the world. Did you also know that she was also romantic, tragic and mysterious?

Patrice Hannon's 101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen: The Truth About The World's Most Intriguing Literary Heroine,is a gem of little Austenisms quite suitable for gift giving. Despite having one of the longest and most mis
This book takes a lot of liberites with Jane Austen's life. It states that Austen loved Tom LeFroy--there is no evidence to support this claim. Be careful not to trust everything you read as gospel. I found a lot of misconceptions in this book.
Oct 14, 2008 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rebecca by: Laurie
I love biography. And I loved the way this biography is structured (101 short chapters with intriguing titles). When I first heard the title I thought it was going to be a bathroom-reading-type of trivia book but I loved it all the more for NOT being that. It's detailed and well-researched and fun and gossipy all at the same time. It feels like it was written by someone who loves Jane Austen's novels as much as I do. And even though I had just finished a different Jane Austen bio (Carol Shields' ...more
Wellll...the title overstates its case. I guess there were hardly any revelations about Jane Austen that I didn't know already. Beware young Janeites, some of the revelations are highly speculative. Still for those who have read only the usually requisite P&P and have not read any of the bios such as the great one by Park Honan, this may hold some surprises. And the format is fun.

Mar 22, 2010 Vic rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jane Austen lovers
Tons of good and useful information about Jane Austen. I am rereading the book and am on page 68. Again.
UGh! Where do I even begin. Let me just say that I think this book came about from two ideas mixed into one book and that wasn't a good thing. I enjoy Jane Austins books so I wanted to learn more about her. Over the last few days this book gave me a total of about 30 minutes reading time about Jane herself, the rest of the book contained recaps of all the books Austin wrote. I'm going to find a much better biography to read and Patrice, if I wanted to know the details you gave about Austins book ...more
Nicole Shelby
Why, on earth, do you love Jane Austen? It's all just cry, have tea, get married...blah, blah, blah. Is the common reaction I receive when others learn that Jane Austen is my favorite novelist.

My husband made fun of Austen so much, that I forbade any more jokes until he'd gotten through one book. I think he's still stalled in the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice. That said - he's the one who's bought me my beautiful copy of the Jane Austen collection. And, he's the one who brought me home t
First of all, having previously read Jane Austen: A Family Record by William and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh, I already knew most of the 101 things. However, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting account of Jane Austen's life, in which the author ties in and analyzes Austen's writings according to events that occurred throughout her life. If you are a Jane Austen fan and would like to know more about her life and how it influenced her writing, I would definitely recommend this book. I' ...more
Grandma found this one at Barnes & Noble (thanks, Grandma!) and I gave it a try and was not disappointed. After reading several books this year about Jane Austen's life, I didn't necessarily learn anything new, at least historical facts, from this book, but it is very well-written and has an interesting perspective on how the events in her life impacted her stories, and even gives examples from all the novels, as well as the unfinished novels and stories written in her youth, to support the ...more

Now that I've finished it I can say I'm glad that I did. The author is an English Lit. prof who truly admires Austen's work. She calls her the greatest English novelist, or words to that effect.
The book is part biography and part literary criticism. While Austen's characters and plots reflect her view of the world I discovered that it is all fiction. I somehow concluded on a visit to her home in Chawton that Jane had drawn much of her work from real-life acquaintances and events. That is not the
2007 bookcrossing thoughts:

It was a really interesting book although I had read about most of the things in the book last week. I thought her writing style was engaging and kept interest up - the only thing that was mildly annoying now and then were these little comments ending with an exclamation mark. Oh goodness!!!.... Although to be fair, I actually prefered this book over the other one that I read (Jane Austen: The World of her Novels by Deirdre Le Faye).

Very sorry to say I still havent rea
I liked learning the random facts of life in the regency era, and I liked learning more about Jane Austen. This book can adequately be described as a starter book (and indeed it was meant to serve as such) for those who are interested in Jane Austen the person. I wish fewer segments were dedicated to Jane's relations and connections to other people, since I care little for that. I want more about life in the time period, Jane's innermost thoughts and intentions, and more about the nature of nove ...more
I have read this book a couple of times and loved it! Although some of the topics are based on historical trends of the time and "most likely" applied to Jane Austen, there are great insights to her childhood and personal life that shaped her into the great author that she was. This is an easy read for someone who does not like long biographies.
A fantastic little read I finished in a few days. If you're interested in reading up about Jane Austen's life, this is the way to go. The information was broken up into little passages that made it easy to digest. I would read a section, finish making lunch, read another, do the laundry, read another and not feel as though I was breaking up the natural flow of the book. Hannon covers every major aspect of Jane's life and includes information about the lives of her family and how it affected her. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was about half and half for things I knew already and didn't. A few of her conclusions I disagreed with (but mostly not), and some aspects I wished she would talk about for longer, but mostly it was a really great read. More than anything, it just made me want to reread and reexamine her books--again. It especially maid me want to look more in depth into her biography. It's incredibly easy to read and entertaining and goes very quickly. It's definitely a great book ...more
Everything about Jane Austen was fascinating, and I was excited about this book. I hated the format, because it was unnecessary in this case. It would have been better named a brief history of Jane Austen, and the author should have let it be one continuous book. She ended up repeating a lot of information, and using the number format did not make sense. When you think of "101 things you didn't know," you think about facts, and this book was really just continuous information with some numbers t ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Diana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Diana by: Anita Smith
This book, as it is arranged as 101 disparate facts about Jane Austen, does tend to jump around a little and the later entries occasionally recycle some tidbits mentioned in previous entries. However, how wonderful to get the trivia of Austen's life without having to dig through three equivalently lengthy biographies!

Such gems as her relationship with her sister, her flirtation with Tom LeFroy, her reviews by Sir Walter Scott, and her take on each of her characters lives after the novels end mak
Huma Rashid
A very well researched biography of Jane Austen's life, family, and work, presented in the form of a series of questions/topics. I feel like I know all of the main characters in her life as well now as I do the main characters in most of her novels. The author does a great job presenting an awful lot of information about Jane Austen, without the book feeling too weighty or cumbersome. Still, it's not written to be all that engaging, and at times I had to force myself to keep going, as opposed to ...more
If you are a loyal Jane Austen fan, which I am, and you have read all of her books, which I have (okay, not Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park, but those don't really count), then you will enjoy this little volume. The title is a bit misleading--you find out maybe 30-40 things you didn't know about Austen; the rest of the points are comparisons/contrasts about the characters/settings, etc. in her books (little mini-essays)...But a fun and interesting break from novel reading. A great little addi ...more
Anyone who has read Jane Austen's novels will find this book fascinating. It's not a biography, but relates interesting facts about Austen's life and the era she lived in that will actually make fans appreciate the books more. For instance, one short section notes that she consulted her two sailor brothers when writing about the navy in Mansfield Park and Persuasion, while we also learn more about the cost of living, Austen's religious views, etc. A really fun read that Austen aficionados won't ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: keepers
Awesome book, definitely a keeper. It makes me want to get her earlier works and read them, to compare them to her more "mature" works. :)

Cute book and a keeper, if only so I can remember the titles of and download the works and authors Jane Austen enjoyed, so I can understand her a bit more. It also makes me want to read more detailed biographies about her. I have a publication of her letters to her sister, which is mentioned in this work a lot, so I'll probably be reading that book soon.
Jul 21, 2009 Zhuoshi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Austen readers who care about her life
Some of the most interesting facts about Jane Austen are presented in a friendly manner in this book, with 101 short chapters which are in turn organized into nice, well-defined sections. It would have helped if I read all of Austen's works, including her juvenilia and shorter ones, but I have learned a lot about her nevertheless, and am able to draw parallels to *Sense and Sensibility* and *Pride and Prejudice,* though not her other novels and stories that this book often refers to.
I wasn't particularly thrilled by this one. I guess I was expecting the type of book that, when it claims to have 'x' number of facts about something, is laid out with one factoid per page and then moves on. This wasn't the case here. The author had each of the bits categorized, but beyond that, there seemed to be little rhyme or reason to the way they were presented. Some of the discussion points were kind of interesting, but mostly, I just couldn't get into this one.
I was afraid this was going to be a pretty fluffy book, but it's actually quite interesting, and the author appears to have some genuine academic credentials. I think she had to strain sometimes to find enough items to make up the "101 Things," but I did learn some new tidbits about Jane. I just wish the title weren't quite so sensationalist--"The Truth" makes it sound like some deep dark secret about Jane is revealed, when of course, that isn't the case.
It's a stretch to call this 101 Things You Didn't Know about Jane Austen. It's more like...101 ramblings about Jane Austen, her family, and random conclusions about Jane based on her novels. Many of the 101 things were cobbled-together pieces based on the novels but not really about Jane herself. Jane Austen is my favorite author but I had no idea it was possible to make her life sound so boring. I had to force myself to finish reading this.
Jun 12, 2013 Abigail rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Classic lovers, Jane Austen fans, writers, any woman.
Recommended to Abigail by: My friend Leanna
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book! It covers everything: her family, her opinions on all sorts of subjects, the romantic love interests of her own life, her writing habits, and so much more! I recommend this book to all Jane Austen fans! I thought I knew everything there was to know about Jane Austen, as I have written a long essay about her life for a college term paper, but there are things in this book I never found in all my research!
Etta Mcquade
Although I use this as a reference book and haven't read it all the way through, I want to acknowledge it. I like it better than a biography because the 101 topics of the author, such as "Girl Friends," makes for fascinating reading. I've perused the Index to read everything about "Persuasion" and "Sense and Sensibility" to quickly learn, not only about the heriones' ingriguing lives, but Jane Austen's as well.
This was a fun, quick and entertaining little read. True, I didn't exactly discover 101 things I didn't already know, and the author occasionally gets carried away, as when she asserts that Austen can be compared "only with Shakespeare" and "is the world's favorite novelist." OK, she's good, she's really, REALLY good, but . . . ? But I'll forgive her for the pleasure of the fun, lively, non-muck-raking read.
I usually don't delve into the lives of authors or any famous persons but I really enjoyed reading about my favorite 18th century novelist and discovering little tidbits of information. I always pictured Jane Austen as her character Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice and it's nice to know I wasn't far from the truth. This is a quick, easy read which you can pick up and put down at anytime for pure enjoyment.
I started this book just before heading to Bath for the Jane Austen Festival in Sept. 2009. I continued reading it while there and found a lot of the information just interesting and made the visit to Chawton and the Jane Austen Centre just a little bit more intimate, being better acquainted with the subject upon arrival and even moreso afterward. Definitely recommended for anyone that is a Jane fan!
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Patrice Hannon is the author of Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love (Plume, 2007) and 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen (Adams Media, 2007). The latter won the Jane Austen’s Regency World Award for “Best New Regency Know-How Book,” presented by The Jane Austen Centre in Bath. Patrice holds a B.A. from Saint Peter’s College and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, both in En ...more
More about Patrice Hannon...
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