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Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  25 reviews
What was Jane Austen like as a child? What were her formative influences and experiences, her challenges and obstacles, that together set her on the path toward becoming a writer?

Drawing upon a wide array of sources, including Austen’s own books and correspondence, this award-winning biography offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of young Jane Austen. Also included
Paperback, 188 pages
Published April 20th 2015 by Wyatt-MacKenzie
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There is a significant bit of information (though not nearly enough) about Jane Austen's adult life, but her childhood is rather a blank slate. What was Jane Austen like as a child? What did she do and how did she fit into her family? How did she grow into a writer? I was tickled to see that one author asked herself these questions and tackled it in this sweet tale that can be appreciated by young and young at heart alike, by the pleasure reader and the amateur scholar and by those who have a lo ...more
This review was first posted on Babblings of a Bookworm: http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot....

There are many biographies of Jane Austen, most of which focus on her writing years. We know that Jane wrote plays and stories from around the age of 12 but this biography instead focuses more on her life before she started writing, to look at what formed her up until that point. Not much is known of Austen’s childhood, but Pliscou has pulled together what was known of general life at the time, and o
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
A Scholarly Representation of Jane Austen’s Childhood

Diehard Janeites don’t need to be told that there is a dearth of biographical information available about Jane Austen’s life. We know that Cassandra Austen burned most of Jane Austen’s correspondence, we know that there is a long period of silence where precious little is recorded or written by her, and we know that her childhood home, her beloved Steventon Rectory, stands no more. These are truths we must acknowledge, but oftentimes find very
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at Peeking Between the Pages (

There is little know about Jane Austen’s childhood and in Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer releasing today, author Lisa Pliscou recreates for us what young Jane’s life might have been like. What may have shaped Jane Austen into the writer she became? Was it her childhood, her family, or was it just destiny? In the beautifully written Young Jane Austen we are given a glimpse into ‘what might have been’.

Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer by Lisa Pliscou is an unusual biography in that it is written from the perspective of a young girl, the now famous Jane Austen. In the introduction the author said she has created a “speculative biography” because there is so little known about Austen’s younger years. She includes a time line for the biography and a list of sources, as well as a delightful annotated version of the biography in the back of the book. Annotations help provide context to the well ...more
Apr 10, 2015 added it
Shelves: austenesque
Quick summary: Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer is a unique biography of Jane Austen in that it focuses on her early years, from birth until she first picks up her pen.  There is very little information available about Jane as a young girl, but Lisa Pliscou takes what little history there is and what is known about where she lived and when she lived and creates a beautiful portrait of “Jenny,” her relationship with her family, and the love for reading and words that would one day inspire her ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Ce petit livre nous présente une idée de départ alléchante: retracer l'enfance de Jane Austen pour mieux comprendre ce qui a fait d'elle l'auteur que nous connaissons. C'est Lisa Pliscou elle-même qui a eu la gentillesse de me l'envoyer, joliment emballé. En l'ouvrant, j'ai découvert l'ouvrage, son format et ses illustrations avec beaucoup de plaisir. C'est une édition particulièrement soignée et je suis ravie de la compter parmi mes nombreuses autres possessions austeniennes.

Pour ce qui est du
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lisa Pliscou has written a delightful short novel about the early childhood years of Jane Austen. The first half of the book gives the story of Jane’s early life in short vignettes coupled with great illustrations and laid out on beautiful pages. The second half of the book repeats the first half, but this time with in-depth annotations on where the information came from to base the story. Also included in the end was a brief biography of Jane Austen and what she went on to accomplish after her ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Virtual Feast for the Eyes and a Delight to Read

This narrative gives the reader a glimpse into the first twelve years of the life of Jane Austen. As the author, Lisa Pliscou states, it is a ‘speculative biography’. Ms. Pliscou reconstructs Jane Austen’s youth in an attempt to show how her world, the time and place, influenced her to become a writer that has stood the test of time.

Young Jane Austen is in full color from beginning to end and is a virtual feast for the eyes. The narrative is divide
Claire Saim
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tout d’abord, l’objet-livre... Nous souhaiterions souligner la magnifique qualité de cet ouvrage des éditions américaines Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing. La première de couverture est faite d’un papier cartonné lisse, l’intérieur ressemble aux pages d’un journal intime, avec un très beau papier bleuté décoré de petites fleurs, un peu dans l’esprit tout britannique de Cath Kidston. Avant lecture, le livre se feuillette avec plaisir, en particulier grâce aux mignonnes illustrations de Massimo Mongiard ...more
Heather C
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans
I should start this review by saying…I’m not a Jane Austen fan! SHOCKER!!! I’m never interested in the Austen spinoffs, sequels, prequels, what-have-you that have come out in recent years. However, something about Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer stood out to me. I think it was more of a stylistic thing rather than the content that lead to me picking it up.

There are 2 “versions” of the book included here: the illustrated version at the front and the annotated version at the back. They both t
May 05, 2015 added it
I enjoy the way this book is formatted. The first half (or so) tells the story of Jane Austen as she grows up---before she became a writer. It gives a strong historical background of the expectations (or lack of expectations) for women at the time. While much isn't known about Jane's early life, the author does an excellent job creatively interpreting events with what we do know. The next section is an annotated version that reveals the author's decisions for the text, and the last portion discu ...more
☽ Su ☾
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
a great biography of Jane Austen.
her early years from birth until she starts writing.
Lisa Pliscou created a very beautiful portrait of Jane.

I loved the Design if the book, it's gorgeous, the illustrations by Massimo Mongiardo are simple yet amazing.

♥ the first part is about Jane’s childhood from the perspective of a child.

♥ The second part is the annotated version of Young Jane Austen. This section gives some interesting information and facts related to things mentioned in the first part.

♥ The
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this speculative biography of Jane's younger years. The first part had beautiful drawings opposite the narrative which were an artist's depiction of the author's description. The paper copy makes it better to see how the picture and narration go together as they are on opposing pages versus the ebook, where you have to change pages.

In the next part of the book the Jane Pliscou uses annotations to show where she comes by the information for this work. I found it informative and plausib
This is a small cute gem of a book.

A third of the book is speculative biography of what Jane might have been like in her childhood. Brief passages of what could have been Jane are presented like snapshots from a family album.

The next two-thirds of the book is an annotated version with tidbits that include things related to Jane's novels. Fun for those into trivia.

And the final third of the book is a short bio of Jane with a timeline for period covered in the book.

I really like how this story is
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An imagined biography, research-based, yet fleshed out with imagination--a unique concept in biographical writing, the author has created an engaging and charming story that fills a long-standing gap in our knowledge of Jane Austen's early years. It examines the multiple, probable influences which fed Austen's imagination and which likely led to the characters she later developed. Very enjoyable, it comes in two versions, the second annotated for more curious, academic readers. A very enjoyable ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was written in a different style than I expected. The first half of the book is illustrated and shows the reader Jane Austen's very early years in storybook-form. The second portion is the same narrative, but footnoted with sources supporting the story. Not much is known about Miss Austen's early life, but the author takes what is known and makes it an interesting premise. It was an enjoyable, quick read.
Theresa Cummings
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was gobsmacked over the presentation of this most charming and eloquent book! It had the air of an old world nonchalant classic! Looking further into this bundle of goodies, one is swept away by the writing; such charm and grace reminiscent of Jane Austin herself! I had to stop to pour myself a cup of tea, you are welcome, too!
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is pure charm. Hasn't every Janeite
pictured Jane Austen as a child? This very
speculative "biography" uses many sources
to assemble a portrait of the author. I highly
recommend this for all except the purists!
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just entered to win! Can't wait to read it, and will promptly update my rating!
While there isn't much known about Jane Austen's adult life, there's even less known about her childhood. This book was well written, using known facts drawn from the time that she was a child in an attempt to piece together what her childhood was like. It reads like many historical fiction and story book. The only complaint I do have is that this book was written twice: the second time the author drew from sources to explain how she reached the conclusions she did below/at the end of every chap ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I admit I am a closet Jane-ite. I love all things Jane Austen, so this was the perfect birthday present from my friend.

It is brief, but considering the paucity of information the author had to go on, I thought she did a great job with the story. I LOVED the style of the book. The illustrations and page designs are truly beautiful and add so much to the book. I also liked the notes she had after every chapter.

If you, like me, love Jane, you should read this book.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
A cute, basic biography of young Jane for young readers
Nicole Michelle
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
* I won this book via Goodreads Giveaway.

I would have given this book three stars had it not been written for adults. I found the short notes about Jane fairly rudimentary for the adult Austen lover but would be a great spark to interest younger readers. I was then put off by the insightful psychological annotations that went along with the earlier diary-like entries. While they (annotations) seemed a little more instep with adult-focused writing it felt our of place from the earlier text. The
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
An illustrated and annotated version of the story. Perfect for Young Adult Readers as well as adult Jane fans.
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Rachel Dodge
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Jun 18, 2018
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I write books for children and adults. My latest, from Macmillan: BRAVE JANE AUSTEN: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel, a picture-book biography.

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“Words made you mighty. Words, stories, books: they could take you anywhere, and they could go out anywhere in the world. Jenny -- Jane -- picked up her pen, and began to write.” 1 likes
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