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Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage
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Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Caroline Jane Knight shares more than Jane Austen's name and DNA. As a direct descendant of Jane's brother, Edward Knight, Caroline is the last of the Austen Knight family to grow up at Chawton House on the estate where Jane Austen lived and enjoyed the most productive period of her writing career. Caroline explored the same places around Chawton House and its grounds as J ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by Greyfriar Group
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-austen
Of Austen, Ancestry, and Adapting

Ever wonder what modern-day descendants of Jane Austen’s family think of her? What are their opinions on her work and celebrated fame? How does it feel to be related to one of the world’s most celebrated writers? How has it impacted or influenced their lives? If your answers are yes, here is a book for you.

Jane Austen’s fifth great-niece, Caroline Jane Knight, descendant of Jane’s brother Edward (who is responsible for bringing Jane to Chawton Cottage) candidly a
...more
J
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all of you Jane fans out there, this book is an amazing peek inside of her former home, and inside the lives of her descendants. The book is rich in history while staying mostly in present time. She recounts her life at Chawton house, which is at times very painful, and sometimes very happy. This book made me feel so many things. I laughed and cried, sometimes in the same chapter.

From a girl who never thought she fit in, a grandmother who secretly carried the weight of the world, and a gran
...more
Jessica
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audiobook, biography
This was an interesting take/approach to Jane! Interesting to hear from someone actually in Jane's family, but it often meandered into personal sections of the author's life that weren't related to Jane at all. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not what I was expecting!
As an audiobook, this made for a lovely commute this week! To hear such vivid and colourful descriptions of at least part of Jane's life is a very interesting read/listen.
Carole (in Canada)
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History / Jane Austen

Ms. Knight, I want to thank you for sharing your story and giving us a glimpse of the history of your family, your childhood and the painful loss of Chawton House as your family home. I loved learning the history behind the stained glass windows depicting the various Knight family shields through the centuries.

The poignancy of your own journey was deeply moving and your bravery in finally facing your fears lifted such a weight, not only from your shoulders, but from your heart. Seeing some para
...more
Rose Servitova
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an intimate, honest book. I found it very moving. The author takes us, not on a tour of privilege & entitlement, but on a deeply personal journey through the emotions of our sense of self, ancestry and home. I could sense Jane Austen walking about in the background, throughout.
Milena Mesiano Ciliberti
I absolutely loved this book! So beautifully written and I felt everything along with Caroline. The mix of old with new made it a wonderful read!
Hazel Mills
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fabulous book that I could not put down. It was both entertaining and enlightening and it was refreshing to read about aspects of lives touched by Jane Austen never before considered. Having visited Chawton several times it was so interesting to see it through the eyes of someone living there. Caroline writes in an witty and thoughtful way, painting pictures with her words. I will never look at a microwave again without thinking of the potential disaster befalling a precious piece of Austen hi ...more
Debbie
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In short : If you are a Janeite, read Caroline's story! I guarantee you will love it

In long : I was fortunate enough to meet Caroline a few years ago at one of the Jane Austen Literary Foundation's 'High Tea for Literacy' in Melbourne. It was a such a good experience, she was a wonderful speaker and later took the time to converse with everybody afterwards while were taking tea. I was so excited to speak to her, she was absolutely delightful and she exudes the admiration and pride she feels for
...more
Lady Drinkwell
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely fascinating. There are three different themes. It is a book about Jane Austen including quotes from her books, letters etc. It is the story of the authors life and her relationship with Jane as one of her surviving relatives and it is the history of a family descending into genteel poverty and eventually having to leave their ancestral home. The author was clever enough to generally put in her own emotions in relation to the other themes in the book which were obviously ...more
Brittany
I had the pleasure of hearing Caroline speak in Melbourne about her life and Chawton and I subsequently bought a signed copy. Immensely interesting (and sad) story of the all too common decline of English estates. Really enjoyable and insightful read. I also love the Pride & Possibilities blog!
Gerri Bauer
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must for Jane Austen fans, and for anyone who wishes to gain insight on how it feels to be displaced from a family home. For that's what Chawton House is/was to Caroline Jane Knight - home. Intellectually, she understood the reasons behind how the future of Chawton House had to be played out. That didn't make it any easier, emotionally.

I enjoyed learning the personal journey and family history of the author, who is Jane's fifth great-niece and a direct descendant of Jane's brother, Edward Aus
...more
Julie
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Caroline Jane Knight is the 5th great niece of the writer Jane Austen. She grew up at Chawton House - the home of the Knight family, where Jane Austens brother Edward Knight inherited. Caroline, and her brother are the last of the family to live at the house, and in this book she writes about the rich history of the Knight and Austen family.

This however is the story mainly about Caroline and her life, and somehow I think I was expecting to find some Jane Austen secrets in the book. A found manus
...more
Jennifer
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Her rambles into her own personal life was very discombobulated, and often jumped around randomly in time or topic. Also I was annoyed by the authors few stock phrases. ‘I loved every minute of it....’ appeared at least once a chapter, usually much more often. This aimless, drifting person managed to get by for many years on defiantly avoiding her family heritage, but always landing on her feet. She’s human, and eventually likeable, but only after many years of the whining, not interested woman ...more
Julia Tutt
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was given this as a gift, and as someone who has never enjoyed Jane Austen content ( I know, I know) I was reluctant to start it. It turned out to be quite well written and kept me interested, but I was constantly wondering why it was written. Caroline Jane Knight wasn't overly likeable, and towards the end of the book I was truly over her struggles- I just didn't care or connect to her. I'm not sure if this is because I'm not an Austen fan, or if the book was pointless. Either way, it's off m ...more
Claire
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although the hook is the connection to Jane Austen I actually found Carolines own story more fascinating from a social history point of view. As a daughter she would never have inherited the big house, regardless of the financial situation, but what actually happened to the money? A personal account of the decline of a gentry family.
Holly Simpson Fling
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If, like me, you've ever visited Chawton House and wanted to know more about Edward Austen Knight's home, this is a read for you. The book, written by a direct descendent of Knight, who also happened to grow up in the house, is a fun read with a lot of great information about the entire Austen/Knight family, Jane Austen included. :)
Yvette
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author is a descendent of one of Jane Austen’s brothers and spent her childhood in Chawton House, the estate where Jane did much of her writing. They all left when she was 16 and found it difficult to confront the pain of leaving it behind. Her personal story was well entwined with aspects of her family history. Overall this was a great insight to the family.
Kathy
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A must for JA fans. This book provides insight into the life of an Austen descendent who grew up at Chawton. It explores her youth, surrounded by the legacy of Jane, her difficulty in moving away and then finally coming to peace with her ancestry
Becca
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written biography with correlations to her very special ancestor woven in. Her own story is wonderful and I this book gave me a new way to connect to Jane Austen.
Leslie
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. I learned a lot!
Donna Luu
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Not the very best prose, but it's an interesting personal perspective on Jane Austen's family and where she did most of her writing.
Vee Stojcevski
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly Recommended!

Wow amazing on so many levels. Firstly to hear first hand from a descendant of Jane Austen what it was like to live in Chawton House. It was so much more though. What Caroline’s thoughts were regarding all the attention. The visits from strangers.
The secretive nature and aloofness of the close relatives. The lack of communication between generations. Leaving a young Caroline with many questions unanswered.
The suffering on so many levels upon leaving Chawton. Mentally, and ph
...more
Erna
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Apr 06, 2018
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Dec 15, 2017
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Caroline Jane Knight shares more than Jane Austen's name and DNA. As a direct descendant of Jane's brother, Edward Knight, Caroline is the last of the Austen Knight family to grow up at Chawton House on the estate where her fifth great-aunt Jane Austen lived and enjoyed the most productive period of her writing career. Caroline explored the same places around Chawton House and its grounds as Jane ...more