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A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  879 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of his aunt Jane Austen was published in 1870, over fifty years after her death. Together with the shorter recollections of James Edward's two sisters, Anna Lefroy and Caroline Austen, the Memoir remains the prime authority for her life and continues to inform all subsequent accounts. These are family memories, the record of Jane Austen's ...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1869)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,637)
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Vania Prodanova
Винаги съм искала да прочета повече за живота на Джейн Остин и да си призная очаквах дисекция на цялата налична информация за нея в тази книжка. Оказа се обаче една много ретро и напълно в стил Джейн Остин биография, написана от нейн племенник.

Книжката не разкрива почти нищо за авторката на "Гордост и предрасъдъци", но с онзи учтив и изтънчено-елегантен изказ, характерен за нейното време, ти се дава общ поглед върху нейното творчество, мнението и мястото й като писател в онази епоха и даже отпа
...more
Sherwood Smith
I avoided reading this for the longest time, assuming it would be content-free hagiography. Was I wrong! Though it is very much late Victorian in tone, it's the crispy, slightly ironic but altogether compassionate view that one sometimes sees in those whose lives spanned most of the 1800s.

Read in conjunction with Deirdre Le Faye's edition of the Letters, it is an especial treat.

REREAD: I especially appreciated the reminiscences about life in Steventon and at Chawton. And the fact that Jane enter
...more
Rikke
This book isn't important or even interesting because of the words in it. What makes this book important are the words that are deliberately left out, cut from a picture that didn't fit.

This is a memoir of Jane Austen written by her own family. It was written because the Austen-family feared that if they didn't write it, someone else would. It is written in the vain hope of securing a fitting image of a prestigious author – even if it means reshaping the actual image.

And in fact, James Edward A
...more
Shayne
Jan 22, 2011 Shayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is quite a charming account of Jane Austen's life, written years after her death by her nephew, assisted by two of his sisters. It's diffident, and gently affectionate; noticeably careful in what it says, but not descending into hagiography. By her nephew's account Jane was a much-loved daughter, sister and aunt, warm-hearted and certainly witty, but not someone who would stand out in a crowd. "... she was to be distinguished from many other amiable and sensible women only by that peculiar ...more
Eleonora
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara La porta
Oct 11, 2015 Sara La porta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
scoglio iniziale a parte, va via liscio; grazie al nipote per questo ricordo!
Marcia
Feb 15, 2015 Marcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ontem terminei de ler Memórias de Jane Austen e fiquei por muito tempo pensando a seu respeito. Ela era uma mulher realmente incrível. Bem resolvida para as mulheres de sua época. Aceitou e viveu feliz com as escolhas que fez para sua vida. Viveu reclusa do mundo literário e escrevia de forma "amadora". Não conviveu com outros escritores, não teve seu talento "lapidado" pelos editores. Escrevia com a alma e o coração (não é surpresa para ninguém!!!). Seu sobrinho chega a comentar que não lembra ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Nov 05, 2015 Valerie Kyriosity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I enjoyed getting to know Jane a little better. I have a vague recollection of hearing Austen-Leigh's account called too affectionate, and therefore not entirely reliable, but I'm rather of the opinion that love is the best truth-teller not in spite of the absence of critical eye, but because of it. Hence I am happy to believe every superlative ascribed by a fond nephew to his aunt. How nice it would be to deserve such a description myself. As it is, while a part of me dearly wishes I might have ...more
Duane
Mr. Austen-Leigh was a nephew of Jane Austen and his account of her life, her memoir, is gracious and flattering, as you would expect from a proud relative. He wrote this from his personal recollections, but he was only 19 when she died and this document was written over 50 years after her death. So his depth of material was somewhat limited and he even states in the first chapter, "Of events, her life was singularly barren: few changes and no great crisis ever broke the smooth current of it's c ...more
Ruth ☆☽
Sep 07, 2014 Ruth ☆☽ rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Written by her nephew, this biography provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of Jane Austen. In addition to personal and family memories, there are excerpts from her correspondence, as well as a previously unpublished chapter from Persuasion, which she had discarded and replaced. There is also some description of her physical appearance, as well as her personality, something I haven't come across before.
I didn't find it a very easy read, as the language is somewhat old fashioned and there
...more
Janine Zachariae
Sep 15, 2014 Janine Zachariae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning I thought: oh, you didn't know her at all and you just write it because it was your aunt and you just want your piece of cake from her success.
He wrote about the food, furnitures, some family histories - about a gran-gran-something.
But thanks, it ended and he took letters from Miss Austen in it, background stuff of her stories and the two chapters in persuation which she just changed.
And how she died. All in all it was good written, some new informations and the best of it: her
...more
Luciana Darce
Jul 14, 2015 Luciana Darce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essa foi a primeira biografia escrita sobre Jane Austen – e escrita por seu sobrinho, alguém que de fato a conheceu. Tal fato representa vantagens e desvantagens: por um lado, temos um relato em primeira mão sobre a autora; por outro, Austen-Leigh não foi dos mais imparciais biógrafos.

Uma Memória de Jane Austen serve como um bom ponto de partida para conhecer a pessoa por trás do ícone literário que Austen se tornou em tempos modernos; bem como para entender o contexto histórico-social em que el
...more
Jennifer
I enjoyed it because I enjoy learning about Jane Austen. It was a bit slow but it only goes to show that Jane Austen lived a normal, quiet life surrounded by a loving family. I appreciated her nephew's discretion and honesty when it came to his memories of his aunt.
majoringinliterature
Oct 24, 2014 majoringinliterature rated it liked it
Shelves: 19th-century
My Austen in August quest to read more about Jane Austen's life begins with the first 'official' biography. Written in the late Victorian period, more than fifty years after she died, A Memoir of Jane Austen is offered to readers as a kind of 'family record' of the author. Austen's nephew, J.E. Austen-Leigh, was responsible for compiling family histories and records into a coherent account of her life.

It's no secret that A Memoir of Jane Austen is a flawed account, and deeply unsatisfying for A
...more
Warmisunqu Austen
Jul 13, 2014 Warmisunqu Austen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reseñas

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Esta primera biografía ha sido llamada la fuente primaria de todos los escritos biográficos posteriores, de ahí mi interés en mirar otras biografías, porque la verdad sea dicha, me ha dejado un poco decepcionada debido a la poca profundidad sobre Jane Austen. Y el mismo autor lo menciona, debido al escasísimo material físico que había de ella.

Hubo una primera edición publicada del autor en 1870, al año siguiente se publicó una se
...more
Annette
A Memoir of Jane Austen was re-published in 1871, originally published in 1869. The re-published edition included two of her unfinished stories, Lady Susan and Sandition. A Memoir of Jane Austen was written by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh. His memories of aunt Jane was when he was a young boy. He mentioned in this memoir that "he was the youngest at her funeral." He remembers Jane as being "sweet-tempered, loving-heart, kind, sympathizing, amusing," she made an impression on him as well ...more
Dante
I read this memoir with great interest because, well, I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen, and because this is my first biography of hers. Also, the author is related to Austen. James Edward Austen-Leigh is one of Jane's nephews. He is the son of James Austen, Jane's eldest brother.

Basically, this book is about his recollections of his aunt.

Here are some of the things I learned:

1. Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775;
2. Her father, George, was a clergyman. Her mother, Cassandra, came from a gentr
...more
Payal Niharika
Oct 03, 2015 Payal Niharika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book gives good insight into Miss Austen's life, her personality and her career. Laced with her letters and her manuscripts, this book sets out to satiate all those souls who have been scourging the internet to find out more about their favourite author. Mr. Austen-Leigh also shows us how the society was like in the 18th century, and has appropriately prosed and structured the book. The fair for writing certainly runs in the family!!! :)
Recommended for all the Janeites! :)
Freeman Crouch
Sep 28, 2014 Freeman Crouch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
For even marginal Janeites, this is rather good! A number of years after Austen's death, one of her nephews pulled this together. It is a narrative of what he and other relatives remember, as well as some of her letters. While some of his paragraphs are a little long-winded now and then the book overall has the virtue of being rather short. It's also historically interesting, because it triggered a revisiting of Austen.
Pi
May 22, 2016 Pi rated it liked it
It was an interesting read but since this book was written by her own relatives I was expecting more profundity. I think they give unnecessary information about other people but they hardly explain anything about Jane Austen's life that other authors haven't talked about yet. Don't get me wrong, I like that they respect her privacy and don't reveal every detail about her life, but I wish it had been more personal.
Zell
May 24, 2015 Zell rated it liked it
I enjoyed every account that Jane Austen's nephew has provided. However, I find myself feeling unsatisfied with it. I wanted to know more than just what had been written by him. It's a pity that Jane didn't write her memoir all on her own. If not, I think every fan would have a copy of it. However, this memoir nonetheless has provided me with some insights into the authoress' life, even if it's only a little.
Kristin
Jan 18, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
Aug 18, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fifty two years after Jane Austen died, her nephew wrote this short memoir based on his and other family members' memories. Now and then we catch a glimpse of Miss Austen, expert at satin stitch and other needlework, upset when her father decided to resign his parsonage at Steventon and move with his family to Bath, and telling her family the doings of some of her characters after the novels' end. These brief recollections combined with excerpts from her letters are perhaps as close as we can ev ...more
玉梅 石
Aug 05, 2013 玉梅 石 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found it on the Gutenburg website and read it for free. It was 89 pages and included the chapter from Persuasion she had scrapped containing the original version of Frederick Wentworth's re-engagement to Anne Elliot as well as excerpts from Sandition, the entire surviving fragmentary draft of which I had already read, and a surprising number of letters she had written. I felt closer to her than I had ever felt from anything else I had ever read, heard, or watched before. I believe it would be ...more
Danna Mangalindan
Liked it even though was quite disappointed that it was not as thorough a memoir I expected. But as the author has mentioned, resources were very scarce as letters were destroyed etc. Still interesting to have an insight on how Jane was perceived by relatives and other people during their time.
Hannah
May 29, 2014 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was really informative and a great way to begin reading Jane Austen's books. The author had a distinct "Austen wit" (though obviously no where on par with his Aunt) and the personal recollections gave a nice depth to the book. Unfortunately, there really isn't as much information on her as a reader would typically like, but it was still a nice brief overview.
Silvia Frassineti
Jun 14, 2015 Silvia Frassineti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
It was interesting , but it lack of obiectivity.
The author is honest and don't pretente to be an historian, but I felt him biased.
It wasn't my first Biography of Jane Austen so I think that coulb be the reason why I wasn't appalled.
Carol
Sep 19, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I knew so little of the Jane Austen family background, I found this book very informative. Saying that, I must admit it was very family oriented rather than a synopsis of the books she wrote. The book was written so many years after Austen died that it entailed more of the memories of children (the author is a nephew plus two neices who contributed)plus excerpts of letters that Jane had written to her very close sister, Cassandra, and an entry her brother, Henry, wrote 50 years after her ...more
Lagarto Blanco
Dec 18, 2015 Lagarto Blanco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesante, aunque me hubiece gustado ver más sobre los amores que tuve Jane Austen en su vida, y aunque hubo una que otra equivocación de parte del sobrino de la autora, estuvo bastante bien.
Judith
Jun 12, 2016 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jane-austen
I've read the e-book version from Project Gutenberg.

It's really intriguing to get such a biography. Edward Austen-Leigh uses personal recollections and those of people who knew Jane Austen and puts together a portrait.

He also adds letters, scraps of her writing and some interesting "historical" information, i.e. his opinion of the changes that came about in the past 100 years. He writes about 50 years after Jane Austen's death, so the time frame is valid and it gives one a much better insight i
...more
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