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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

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  482 Ratings  ·  71 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, 256 pages
Published January 19th 2007 by Adams Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sophie Turner
Jan 15, 2017 Sophie Turner rated it really liked it
There's not a lot of new ground covered here, and some speculation. However, I did find myself highlighting a lot of little details. For the reader who doesn't know a lot about Austen's life, this will be a great overview, and for those who don't, there will be some new bits to learn.
Jan 04, 2010 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing
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
Nov 30, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok
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.

Jun 04, 2009 Vic rated it really liked it
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.
Monica Rice
Feb 18, 2017 Monica Rice rated it really liked it
A lot of helpful research, but some of the ordering and construction are confusing. Also, because of the encyclopedic nature it often left me wanting to know more about a particular topic covered... guess I'll have to be inspired to do my own research in those areas. Overall enjoyable to this Austen fan.
Nicole Shelby
Apr 03, 2009 Nicole Shelby rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-again
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
Interesting read. But then, I am interested in basically all things Austen. I was intrigued to see just how many things I actually did NOT know. And there were more than 101 things mentioned. This was more like 101 categories and then some facts fleshed out within those categories. I think I knew about 75% of this information. I liked learning new things, and I liked remembering things I have learned about Austen over the years. I liked the ties between Austen's life and her books. The book flow ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
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
Jul 04, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2016 Jessica rated it did not like it
I'm not quite sure I know what I just read. At times it had the tone of a biography for young readers (which would have made her excessive use of speaking to the audience and ! exclamation ! points ! at the end of sentences that certainly do not need it much more forgivable), at others, it entered into analysis that I might expect to find in an undergraduate lecture or paper. The author simply couldn't pick an audience and stick with it. Furthermore, while I acknowledge that the writings of Aust ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Danna rated it really liked it

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
Sep 22, 2007 Hailey rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2014 April rated it did not like it
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
Jan 23, 2014 Camilla rated it liked it
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
Huma Rashid
Jan 28, 2012 Huma Rashid rated it liked it
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
Oct 02, 2010 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, history, jane-austen
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
Jan 02, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jan 05, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Jul 20, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it
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
May 24, 2011 Jen rated it it was amazing
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 27, 2012 Elysa rated it liked it
Shelves: history, jane-austen
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
Apr 13, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 27, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
May 29, 2013 Abigail rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 23, 2011 Etta Mcquade rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 12, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
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.
Jul 12, 2009 Zhuoshi rated it really liked it
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.
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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
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“In person she was very attractive; her figure was rather tall and slender, her step light and firm, and her whole appearance expressive of health and animation. In complexion she was a clear brunette with a rich colour; she had full round cheeks, with mouth and nose small and well formed, bright hazel eyes, and brown hair forming natural curls close round her face. If not so regularly handsome as her sister, yet her countenance had a peculiar charm of its own to the eyes of most beholders.” 0 likes
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