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

Jane Austen: Her Life

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Drawing on diaries, memoirs, and letters written by members of the Austen family,this sympathetic and probing biography enters the private world of Jane Austen,  revealing experiences and observations she drew upon to write such masterpieces as Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. Austen's childhood is recreated, sketching her devot ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by Little Books (first published January 1st 1987)
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 Jane Austen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jane Austen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
David
Jul 31, 2015 David rated it liked it
Like Emily Dickinson, details of Jane Austen's life do not seem to have revealed much of who she really was. We can only know from her writing, and that's how it should be for any writer. Who cares if Jane set fire to her older brother (which she did not), for example, or Hemingway cracked John O'Hara's walking cane over poor John's head at the Algonquin (which he did, and maybe that matters)? We have learned to love these authors through their stories. Biographies of authors are essentially gos ...more
Emily
Apr 13, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every latent Lizzie Bennet!
Recommended to Emily by: the library shelf
I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but once again I'm relistening to a book-on-tape. I checked out some other books-on-tape from the library after finishing this one, and they ended up being so insipid and flat after the real-as-flesh life of Jane Austen, that I just couldn't return this one to the library, just yet. So, I'm catching more details the second time around, read in a clipped formal British accent.

Besides, Kirstie Lovell just loaned me "Becoming Jane" on DVD last week, and I had to
...more
Beth
Feb 23, 2013 Beth added it
Shelves: biography
This book is dense and very scholarly.

Though I love Jane Austen’s novels, her life isn’t fascinating reading. She loved her big family and lived the mostly quiet life expected of an unmarried lady of her time. That’s about it.

The excitement was in the life of the mind and in her very careful attention to her writing, but that is hard to discern, much less write about.

Still I’m glad I read it. It reminded me of all she had to overcome and what a short life she had to write her books.
Maggie
Mar 17, 2015 Maggie added it
Good writing. Seemed sometimes like conjecture was presented as fact. Had the view that reading aloud was Austen’s version of a writer’s workshop, which is very interesting. And after her death, her family did their best to describe her as loved and lovable in spite of being a writer and a woman prone to books.
Melissa
Sep 26, 2007 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
As far as Jane Austen Biographies go...this one is okay. Honan is more interested in placing Jane Austen in context with her family and social surroundings and all that was going on around her, than he actually is in her, which is unfortuneate as she is interesting in and of herself.
Cindy
Jan 05, 2010 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
I love Jane Austen and wanted to learn more about her. I borrowed this book from my mom, but just could not get into it. I had it for more than a year and finally gave up. I have since read other things about Jane Austen which I liked more.
Jessica
Jun 28, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok
This book analyzes Austen writing instead of her life. What was in it about her life was good and informative, but I wish they would have kept it to just her life.
Debra
Debra rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2017
Shannon
Shannon rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2014
Sallie
Sallie rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2007
Holly
Holly rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2007
Beth
Beth rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2016
Melinda
Melinda rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2012
Rumeysa Temel
Rumeysa Temel rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
Zachary Harless
Zachary Harless rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Andrea
Andrea rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2008
Rachel
Rachel rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2010
Jossalyn
Dec 12, 2012 Jossalyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought in Jane Austen's house in Chawton, Hampshire.
delightful bio.
Elizabeth Millard Whitman
Elizabeth Millard Whitman rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2014
Marielle Fernandez
Marielle Fernandez rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2012
Joy Prevosy
Joy Prevosy rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2014
Andrea
Andrea rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2008
Karris
Karris rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2012
❀⊱Rory⊰❀
❀⊱Rory⊰❀ rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2013
Kelli
Kelli rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2014
Julie
Julie rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2012
Éowyn
Éowyn rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2008
Carol
Carol rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2011
S.ntiko
S.ntiko rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2014
Michael Outlaw
Michael Outlaw rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jane Austen: A Life
  • Searching for Jane Austen
  • A Portrait Of Jane Austen
  • The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
  • Jane Austen's World: The Life and Times of England's Most Popular Author
  • Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters: A Family Record
  • Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World
  • Jane Austen's Letters
  • Jane Austen: A Life
  • The World of Jane Austen
  • A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen
  • Henry James: A Life
  • Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen
  • In the Garden with Jane Austen
  • Jane Austen, Obstinate Heart: A Biography
  • The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
  • Wit & Wisdom of Jane Austen
  • The Brontës:  Charlotte Brontë and Her Family

Share This Book