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I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend (Jane Austen #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  2,399 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews
When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashin ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Apr 11, 2011 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little skeptical of this one at first, because this is a really bold premise.

But I thought it was fun to see a young Jane Austen, as the author imagined her to be, and I thought the writing style, particularly the character descriptions and developing love story were very Austen-esque, albeit not exactly in her language, but that would have been impossible so it's best she didn't attempt it.

I liked it even more when I read the author's note at the end and saw how much research she had do
I absolutely adored this book, from start to finish. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourites so I was really interested to read the author's take on young Jane. Everything about this book was just lovely... from the gorgeous cover to the writing that flowed really well. I enjoyed all the characters and really felt like I got to know them. The book was charming, witty and just fun to read. I loved the story of Jenny and Jane- they were both portrayed excellently. I was also glad to see the au ...more
Kukala som na to slovo "kamoška" a tak nejako si urobila názor, že jediné, čo to bude mať s historickým settingom spoločné, bude meno Jane Austenová. Viete, pubertiačky v osemnástom storočí s mentalitou dneška, plesy sú cool a chalani sexy.

Ale prekvapivo... nie. Jane a jej sesternica Jenny (reálna osoba, who knew?) žijú a myslia tak, že tú historickú atmosféru knihe uveríte už po pár stranách, a ako sa tak dievčatá chystajú na plesy alebo riešia ľúbostné problémy, celkom sa do toho ponoríte. Je
Amy (Turn the Page)
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend follows the teenage life of Jane Austen, her cousin Jenny, and Jane’s immediate family, in a diary-like format. There are little illustrations dotted about, supposedly drawn by Jenny (and mostly of the handsome men she happens to meet!) with scraps of Jane’s writing attached for safe keeping. What’s interesting about this story is that the basic plot and the characters are all real, taken from facts known about that particular time in her life. Jenny Cooper, the m ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Lenka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Táto kniha bola presne tá, ktorú som potrebovala aby ma nakopla do čítania. Zbožňujem romantické knihy z tohto obdobia.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Away at boarding school together, cousins Jenny Cooper and Jane Austen get into mischief. When Jane falls ill, Jenny knows she must send a letter to her aunt. The school mistress refuses her request, so in the dead of night she escapes to alert her aunt to the severity of Jane's illness. It's improper for a lady to be wandering the streets alone.

During her escape, Jenny meets Captain Thomas Williams. He's the perfect gentlemen, escorting her to the
Crash Queen (Whimsy and Stardust)
We all know who the real star of this story is. I mean, the title is even 'I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend.'

Jenny: *blushes*

Alternate Titles:
- I'm Sorry I'm Not Jane Austen
- I'm Jane's Cousin
- I Wish I Was Jane

Ok, ok. I liked this book. No, really! I love reading journals and I absolutely love everything Jane Austen.

Jenny was just...All she did was blush and stay silent. But luckily that left me to focus on Jane Austen.
I loved seeing the author's take on what Jenny and Jane's
Amanda Vance
Jul 26, 2010 Amanda Vance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jenny Cooper is an immediately likable character, risking everything to get a letter to Jane’s mother to let her know that she is very ill. Like many of Austen’s own characters, you get a sense of who she is right away and she’s endearing through the thoughts she keeps in her diary. The book is meant for teen readers and Jenny is just 16 years old so the diary reflects the thoughts and dreams of a girl that age, many of which are true no matter what time in which you live.

This books is a great p
emma grace
I wish I could have given this 4.75 stars. It was almost five stars; the reason it did not, is I didn't really like how the author portrayed Jane and her mother. By the end of the book though, they kind of grow on you, and aren't too bad. I guess it is possible that Jane Austen and her mother did not get along very well, but I never imagined it that way. And I always thought that Jane and Cassandra were best friends; Cassandra did not really act like a loving big sister in this book.

But, enough
Nov 18, 2009 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was thrilled when I read the blurb on this book to see that the central character had the same name as me. However I was then very disappointed by the book itself, a weak regency romance with the conceit that the protagonist is Jane Austen's cousin. The romance is insipid, and the pitching of the novel is confusing. The maturity of the writing seems aged at 11-12 years, yet the subject matter would surely only interest older readers. A great idea that was not executed as well as I would like.
Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic)
*Mild spoilers*
Some of you may know that I tried reading Emma by Jane Austen last week. I really wanted to enjoy such classic masterpiece however, I read a couple of chapters (Emma was such a fun, sweet character!) but I just couldn't get into the writing, I think maybe when I'm a bit older and in the right mood for a classic then I'll read it. :)

So I was browsing my shelves, looking for something that was modern but had a classic air to it and found this spin-off novel of Jane Austen, sitting
Rebecca- Books
Apr 26, 2011 Rebecca- Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I waited until my holiday for this one because I knew I would enjoy it and it seemed like one of those summer romantic reads to read on holiday in the sun...not in dreary raining, cloudy England. Although I hate the novels themselves, I'm starting to like the Jane Austen lifetime books at the moment. They're so interesting.
Cora Harrison herself, I found out, has released lots of books - I've never heard of her before!

Synopsis: When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she
Mar 13, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love feel good historical novels
Shelves: my-picks
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend is a delightful, witty and entirely addictive historical novel!

I hadn’t really intended on reading I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend but when I ordered it for the library, one of my students asked me to read it before she did in case it had too much kissing. So of course, as a diligent and obliging librarian, I said I would. And I am so glad that I did.

I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend is the story of Jenny Cooper – Jane’s best friend – who documents her life in her
Jun 11, 2010 Milka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The reader is introduced to Jane Austen's cousin Jenny Cooper who is a little older than Jane. The book begins with the girls going into a boarding school in which Jane has got ill. In order to get Jane out of the school to home to get better Jenny has to leave the school during the night and wonder in nightly South Hampton where she meets Captain Thomas Williams which who she falls in love right at the first moment even though she does not know it then.

Jane and Jenny are taken away from the hor
Apr 25, 2013 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ls-583
I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend
Name: Danielle Autumn Shur
Harrison, C. (2010). I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Print (Book)
Selection Process: WorldCat
Jenny Cooper is an orphan who has been abandoned by her brother and his controlling wife. Her only refuge is her best friend and cousin, Jane Austen. When Jane falls violently ill Jenny sneaks out of the ghastly boarding school the pair attend to send an urgent midnight letter t
May 07, 2011 Catharine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up really liking this book despite the title and despite the cover art. Those put me off because they seemed a little smug? I'm not sure the exact right word here, too worldly, too put together? Who knows, but the book isn't like that at all. I really enjoyed getting to know Jenny, who in the book isn't sure in the knowledge that she's Jane Austen's best friend though she does feel welcomed by her family. Jenny is shy and unsure of her place in the world and I enjoyed seeing her develop ...more
Not brilliant, but decent enough fluff. You know (or perhaps you don't) me and my Austen-y spin-offs. This one is of her own life. An intriguing fictional glimpse of Austen as a teen. Realistic in emotions and flaws within characters. Author Harrison acknowledged changing a couple of things (like Jane Cooper's name and her age), though I have to say that there were a few more things than that (like dates of meeting Tom LeFroy, how old the girls were when they went to school, when Eliza came to v ...more
Rosalyn Eves
This book was, surprisingly, much better than I'd expected. I'm always interested in Austen adaptations, but most of them are sadly disappointing (yet I still find myself reading them. Why?). In this book, Jane Austen's young cousin, Jenny Cooper, comes to live with them for what proves to be a momentous year in her life. The story itself is told with sensitivity, I thought, and the author has clearly done her research into Austen's family life (I never knew, for instance, that Jane had a mental ...more
I did not really enjoy this book. I was bored at so many times, I am even becoming dull with writing this review. I just finished a five star book review, all excited and pumped from writing it and now I coming to this one. I am recalling all the scenes and found this book rather childish. I did not enjoy it. I would have given it 1 star but it was an okay book. There were just a few scenes (maybe one or two) that I enjoyed. I liked reading Jane's writings. But the whole story being upon love at ...more
I really liked this one. Strange but mostly it was true characters and main storyline really happened if you believe author's note in the end of the book. But I guess she didn't need to make it up and you can really check it out if you like. So I believe it to be true. That makes this book even more interesting.
Captain Thomas Williams is what a gentleman should be. And Jenny is kind and loving and very shy. The way how she thinks herself in love with that young man and then another is very cute.
3.5 stars:This is a sweetly told story from the perspective of Jane Austen's best friend Jane (Jenny Cooper). There really isn't a lot of information out there in regards to Jane Austen's teenage years so this provided a fun, imaginative idea of what Jane may have been like. Although the focus is on Jane's best friend Jenny, Jenny is living with the Austen family throughout the story so we also get to meet Mr. and Mrs. Austen, as well as Jane's sister Cassandra and her brothers.

Reading the auth
Jul 03, 2012 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Jane Austen did have a best friend, that friend could have kept a journal. And if the friend kept a journal, she would have written about her best friend, Jane. And if she wrote about Jane, her journal might have resembled this YA novel -- capturing what the girls' lives were like in 1791. But a journal is not a novel, so this is more like events listed chronologically, and lacking a plot. Some events seem to be forced into the book, not because they added to the storyline, but because they h ...more
Debbie Smith
Dec 30, 2011 Debbie Smith rated it it was amazing
For anyone who loves Jane Austin's novels this book is the perfect escape literature. The story of Austin's teenage years hasn't really been told because so little is actually known about it. Through the use of the character Jenny, (who really was Jane's cousin) Cora Harrison gives the reader a delightful interpretation of what Jane's teenage years might have been like. There are enough Austiney (is that a real word? Probably not. Oh well.) moments to satisfy even the most demanding readers. I f ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think Cora Harrison accurately depicts what Jane Austen's childhood would have been like. I loved all of the characters in this book, in particular the main character, Jenny. This book really captured the essence of the 1700's and I now want to read all of Jane Austen's books! (I haven't yet). There's not really much more I can say about this book without giving too much away, other than the fact that I loved every minute of it and couldn't put it down. So, yes ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A viete čo, mne sa tá kniha páčila, aj keď som sa na konci ale že úúúúplne roztopil, také to bolo sladké. Ale aj také knihy treba niekedy čítať. A bolo to príjemné vytrhnutie z fantastisko-dystopicko-futuristickej reality môjho každodenného čítania :)

Nehovoriac o tom, že sa celkom veľmi teším na dvojku, veď sa to prebohaživého volá: Jane Austenová mi prebrala frajera.
(view spoiler)
Very interesting, but more because of the questions of authenticity and what limit there is (or isn't) to how far you can invent about real, well-known characters in historical fiction, than because of great quality to the writing. Mrs. Austen is Mrs. Bennet but massively more competent, Cassandra is surprisingly sour, and Jane herself a bit dubious. Jenny (whose diary this is) is fine, as very little is known about the real Jane Cooper.
Fun, interesting and light read about one of my favorite Authors. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from the author that the facts in the book are correct about Jane Austin and her family.
Jul 29, 2015 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mundane and mildly interesting plot. Like the idea that it's based on real persons and events, especially the 3-weeks-romance bits.
Jan 08, 2016 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book! It was amazing! There was nothing inappropriate or anything. It was the perfect story! I would recommend this book a thousand times!
Georgiana 1792
La dodicenne che è in me lo ha adorato!

Già dal titolo - e dal numero di stelle - si capisce pienamente che ho gradito immensamente questo libro. Ritengo, infatti, che la Harrison abbia centrato in pieno il suo obiettivo, ovvero quello di fare avvicinare pre-adolescenti e adolescenti a Jane Austen. Mentre lo leggevo, mi sono ricordata della prima volta che ho preso in mano la mia edizione ridotta di Una ragazza fuori modadi Louisa May Alcott: stavo provando esattamente le stesse sensazioni! Legge
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Cora Harrison worked as a headteacher before she decided to write her first novel. She has since published twenty-six children's novels. My Lady Judge was her first book in a Celtic historical crime series for adults that introduces Mara, Brehon of the Burren. Cora lives on a farm near the Burren in the west of Ireland.

More about Cora Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

Jane Austen (2 books)
  • Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend

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