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Jane Austen's First Love

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  605 ratings  ·  146 reviews
~ Inspired by Actual Events ~  
Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things: doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love. When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor—a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections. Jane knows a match between he
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Berkley (first published 2014)
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Story_Girl I believe the visit is the true event - Jane Austen and her family going to visit her brother just before he is married to meet his future bride. But …moreI believe the visit is the true event - Jane Austen and her family going to visit her brother just before he is married to meet his future bride. But pretty much everything else is fiction. Nothing is really known about what happened at the visit, or which people she would have met etc. A lot of the scene seem to have been taken from some of Jane Austen's writings, as if giving a possible explanation to where her ideas came from. If you are looking for truth about Jane Austen - this book isn't for you. But it is a fun what if. Jane Austen went to visit her brother so imagine if...(less)

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Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Jane Austen
Recommended to Jenna by: NetGalley
4.5 Stars

I haven't read that many "romance" novels as of late, but it was so refreshing to read this historical fiction of Jane Austen and her first love, Edward Taylor. With Austen's love of life and adventurous side, this book wasn't smothered in romance but quirky and fun in addition to the excitement of courtship in the late 1700's.

This novel was written very well and although I received this book through Netgalley, I will more than likely buy the audiobook just to get swept away again with
Amy Lignor
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The popularity of Jane Austen has grown exponentially over the decades. And it has become a well-known fact that the lady who’s still the undisputed queen of romance has a lot in common with this particular author. Simply put, where both women are concerned, their writing is exemplary.

Syrie James has long been a ‘giver’ to Austen fans everywhere, and with this new novel she takes them on a fun adventure back to the early days of Austen’s life. A girl not even old enough to come out in society, J
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the characterization in this novel and I loved seeing hints to Jane's novel in her own character and in the personalities and events around her during this time.

What I didn't love was that it was very much a 15-year-old protagonist, and I found that a bit weary after a while. (To Syrie James credit, of course).
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Austen-Inspired, Biographical Fiction

TIME FRAME: The summer of 1791, our beloved authoress is fifteen

MAIN CHARACTERS: Jane Austen, Cassandra Austen, Edward Taylor, Edward Austen, Elizabeth, Sophia, and Fanny Bridges

WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL: So many reasons…but I’ll be brief – it is by Syrie James, an author who has written some of my most favorite novels including several magnificent gems about Jane Austen and her life.

SYNOPSIS: To celebrate the engagements of t
Maria Grazia
Syrie James confirms her skills as brilliant story-teller and creator of lively pictures of Regency life. Well-researched historical novel as well as delightful summer read, her new Jane Austen’s First Love is based on an imaginative interpretation of Jane Austen’s enigmatic reference to a “Him, on whom I once fondly doated” (from one of Jane Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra). Intriguing matter for a talented researcher and passionate Janeite like Syrie James.
When we think about Jane Au
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all Jane Austen fans
Loved this possible first romance with Edward Taylor whom Jane meets in Kent as her family and others are celebrating her brother's engagement. He has lived in several countries, loves to challenge the limits of many things, including climbing trees, and seems like a perfect partner for Jane, who attempts his dares. When rain ensues, everyone joins in the production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." However, nothing turns out quite like Jane images or thinks would be best for the various couples. ...more
The summer of 1791 was so firmly fixed in my memory that I believe I can never forget it; every detail is as fresh and vivid as if it occurred only yesterday, and looking back, there are times when it seems that my life never really began until that moment- the moment when I first met him. p. 1 Jane of Jane Austen's First Love

I was utterly enchanted at the idea of reading a story that retells even a portion of Jane Austen's earlier life that all began when the author spotted a curious sentence t
Jul 09, 2014 added it
Shelves: austenesque
The inspiration for Syrie James’ latest novel, Jane Austen’s First Love, was a single line Jane wrote in a letter to her sister Cassandra in 1796: “We went by Bifrons and I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure the abode of Him, on whom I once fondly doated.” The resulting novel is a beautifully written tale of 15-year-old Jane Austen falling in love for the first time in the summer of 1791 on a trip to Kent to celebrate her brother Edward’s engagement to Elizabeth Bridges. Despite knowing dee ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A couple of vague references by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra about an Edward Taylor, and the Austen's visit to Kent when their brother got engaged, inspired this wonderful story by Syrie James.

When Jane's brother Edward, who has been adopted by their cousins the Knight's who have and estate in Kent, gets engaged to Elizabeth Bridges, Lady Bridges decides to have a month long celebration. The celebration will include strawberry picking with a picnic, a ball, and a bonfire on Midsummer's Ev
Sep 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
A very tempting title, isn't it, for someone who loves Jane Austen? What could be more perfect for a novel? But if I had to sum up this book in one word it would have to be BORING. I kept waiting and waiting for this book to "kick in" and it just never did. It was dull from the first page. I mean - seriously? - a whole chapter for the party guests to decide they are going to stage a play? Another entire chapter devoted to coercing the lady of the house to allow them to stage the play?? It was as ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I love Syrie James....not like I love Jane Austen but I still adore her. She's great at capturing Jane's voice that I feel like I've found another piece of Jane for awhile. My absolute favorite of Syrie's is The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen but I think that after reading this book, I prefer the older voice of Austen. I still really enjoyed this book though. It was nice seeing how a younger version of Jane might have been. ...more
May 23, 2014 added it
Shelves: austenesque
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review was first posted on Babblings of a Bookworm: http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot....

I had never read anything by this author before, though I know she has written stories focusing on the lives of authors such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, rather than their works. In the latest book by Syrie James the focus is on Jane Austen, aged fifteen.

One of Jane Austen’s brothers caught the eye of a rich relative and his wife, the Knights. As the Knights didn’t have any children, they too
Abigail Bok
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jane Austen’s First Love is historical fiction, fleshing out a little-known incident from Jane Austen’s teen years. At fifteen, she met a boy named Edward Taylor, a little older than she, and was bowled over by him. Nothing came of the brief romance, but Jane Austen remembered it poignantly in later years.

From this thin thread Syrie James has woven a vivid and convincing story. The author’s historical note at the end sheds valuable light on the additional research that was digested and transform
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
In true Austen style, Syrie James weaves together a tale of a fifteen-year-old Jane in her new story, Jane Austen’s First Love. Inspired by a letter written by Jane Austen to her sister, Cassandra, and some true events, Syrie's imagination creates a lovely picture of when Jane first meets Edward Taylor, someone whom just may have been Jane Austen’s First Love.

With the news of Edward Austen’s engagement to Miss Elizabeth Bridges, Jane, Cassandra, Charles and Mrs. Austen are off to Kent to join i
Jane Greensmith
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jane Austen's First Love is aptly titled--James has created a fictional story about how 15-year old Jane Austen, a lively, big-hearted, and clever young lady, falls in love with the equally lively and dashing Edward Taylor. Edward lives near the Bridges family in Kent that Jane's brother Edward is about to marry into. As luck would have it, Jane's parents allow her, her sister Cassandra, and younger brother Charles to spend several marvelous weeks in the summer at the Bridges's palatial home--es ...more
Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
3.5 Stars.
I have to start out by saying that I'm not too familiar with Jane Austen, I've only read one book of hers which was 'Pride And Predjudice' which I picked up after enjoying a movie adaptation of said book, however of her personal life I pretty much know nothing, so when the opportunity arose to review this book I was intrigued enough to give it a go, being a fan of historical romance's worked in this book's favor as well.

While this is fiction it's based on true events, helped along by l
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James takes readers back into Jane Austen’s teen years, between the time she is a young girl free to play and the time she comes out and becomes a woman. While her sister Cassandra and she share everything and every confidence, there are some tender emotions that are too new and sacred to share right away — that of a first love. Jane Austen is 15 when she is given an unprecedented opportunity to attend a ball and a month of festivities in Kent to celebrate her b ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At the age of fifteen, Jane Austen spends a summer holiday with her elder brother at his fiancé’s home in Kent. Five families come together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials and along the way many, including Jane, discover much about love and relationships. There she meets a young man who both exasperates and thrills her, leading her to learn life lessons that greatly encourage and influence her writing.

Edward Taylor is, as the author has considerately detailed in her notes, a real person in Ja
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-setting
I really enjoyed this imaginative tale about the kind of teen Jane Austen might have been. I had no intentions of finishing it today, but somehow (due to good writing I'm sure) I just continued to read and all of a sudden I was done. This was the first book I have read by Syrie James, and am now anxiously looking forward to reading more. She made the characters of Jane, Cassandra, Edward, and all of their family & acquaintances come vividly to life. I do wonder if Jane would've been a daredevil, ...more
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's a testament to this book to note that I read it in 5 days. An impressive fact given my reading habits lately.

Syrie James is a good writer and her story sucked me in. The notes at the end explaining the facts that are known about Jane Austen's first love made it all the more exciting for me. Having only read Pride and Prejudice I can't call myself an obsessed fan of Austen (yet) but I thought this book was so interesting.

I suppose fiction "insipred by actual events" will always be fascinat
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
The novel takes you back to the early days of Austen’s life and the fictional first love – and possibly lasting impressions made - on this young Jane. For you see this story evolved from an actual written quote! Be sure to check it out!

Full review at:
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful read. I found this to be a thoroughly researched, well crafted story.
Jane's early years were really brought to life and the insight into her supposed first love was beautifully executed.

Well done!
Joy (joyous reads)
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
For someone who practically devoured every single Jane Austen novels in record time, I’ve never really been interested in reading her biography. My knowledge of her background is pretty much limited to her choice to be a single woman until she died. I did, however, see Becoming Jane; a movie about Jane Austen’s supposed love affair with the consummate bad boy, Tom Lefroy. I’ve always considered her to be a feminist way ahead of the times. And this is based on her characterization of Elizabeth Be ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
From my review blog 12/3/14 (

In September 1796, Jane Austen wrote in a letter that she has passed by the estate of Bifrons, "the abode of him, on whom I once fondly doated." "Him" is Edward Taylor and Syrie James has taken this mysterious nugget and spun a tale of fifteen-year-old Jane Austen and her first crush in 1791.

Seventeen-year-old Edward Taylor, heir to Bifrons, makes a favorable impression on the young Jane when he and his friend Tom Payler stop t
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jane Austen's first love? Gimme gimme gimme. #GrabbyHands

Was DYING to read this book and it did not disappoint. Special thanks to the folks at Berkley Trade for FINALLY approving me to read the ARC after much pestering. You guys rock!

I loved the way the story progressed. The buildup to the romance was perfect. I particularly appreciate that this piece felt original. Instead of beating us over the head with Austen t
Carole (in Canada)
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: JAFF, Fiction

"We went by Bifrons and I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure the abode of him, on whom I once fondly doated."

I love how Ms. James has taken a small tidbit of information from Jane Austen's life, researched it completely and found further details to provide us with the 'possibility' of a first love for Ms. Austen. I was drawn in within the first few pages and was captivated completely.

We get a glimpse into her childhood, as she is only fifteen, and what may have happened upon the visit to h
Chelsey Wolford
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Syrie James has quite the reputation as the queen of romance and I just want to know how I have never been introduced to her books before? After reading this four hundred page book in a day and a half, I feel that I should dive quickly into all her others. She brought Jane Austen to life for me like no other author ever has. Are you familiar with those books that make you lose track of time and forget that you haven’t stopped for dinner? This is one of those books. The writing was marvelous and ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-wins
I won this book from a Goodreads, first-reads giveaway. I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy.

This is my first book by Syrie James so I didn't really know what to expect. I have all the Jane Austen books but have not read them yet. I know! It's horrible of me. I really enjoyed all the movies and I love the era. I really enjoyed this book!

You get 15 year old Jane Austen and her hurry to grow up. This is her story reminiscing, about her first love, Edward Taylor. She go
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a big, fat Austenite, I love reading novels written by the well-loved English novelist, but in recent years, I have also begun enjoying all the spin-offs, mash-ups, sequels, and semi-autobiographical material that has been released. This novel is inspired by actual events in Jane Austen’s teen years, and offers up plausible sources of inspiration for her wonderful writing which continues to delight readers to this day.

It’s an interesting look at a headstrong young woman, finding love for the
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 02:15PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 03:22PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 05:55PM  

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Syrie James is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance, which have been published in 21 languages.

Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” Syrie’s novel “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war and became an international best

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