Miss Austen: A Novel
For fans of Jo Baker’s Longbourn, a witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?
England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her ...more
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Hornby has mingled attention to the real biographies and letters with something imagined - yes, there's a kind ...more
When I spotted this book's title, I assumed that it was another novelisation of Jane Austen's life. Like most people, when I hear the words 'Miss Austen', my immediate thought is of the author ofPride and Prejudice. It is so easy to forget that while Jane Austen was alive, she wasnotMiss Austen. That title belonged to her elder sister Cassandra. So many pages and pages have been wasted on whether or not Jane Austen ever knew love, who ...more
The picture of Jane here was interesting and might dismay some who want to see her as perfection ...more
Why Cassandra arrives in such hurry? With the slow moving story, it seems as it takes quite some time to find out. Eliza, Isabella’s mother, was Cassandra’s dear friend. Both sisters, Cassandra and Jane, wrote many intimate letters to Eliza and they could still be here. As ...more
It is impossible to describe this book. While it is largely set in a country village it does not involve 3 or 4 families. There are no rogues, no villains, no real high plot points, just a gentle story about 19th-century spinsters who were devoted to their families in different ways. The story opens in 1840 when Jane Austen's sister Cassandra, now in her 60s and frail, travels on her own, unannounced ...more
If you love Jane Austen, but already read all of her works a few times and are always a little disappointed with the "fan fiction" from various authors, you will not be disappointed with this one!
The protagonist is Jane's beloved older sister, Cassandra. It is a fictional account of her later years, after Jane is long dead, when visiting extended family members and helping to clean out their house after a death, Cassandra finds a huge stack of letters written by Jane and other family members and ...more
The title of Miss Austen immediately brings to mind Jane Austen: an author who is a favourite of millions (including myself). Conversely however, Gill Hornby’s novel centres around Cassandra Austen: Jane's elder sister and therefore, in Regency circles, the correct owner of the title.
We meet Cassandra Austen as an elderly lady, travelling to help a family member who has recently lost her father. As Isabella is unmarried, she must vacate her childhood home of the local ...more
The first part of the novel is charming, with a jolt of great sadness when Cassandra's fiance dies in the West Indies, leaving her future uncertain. More than perhaps any other I've read, this novel brings home the frightening situations of unmarried woman who cannot work and have no money of their ...more
The author takes what little we know in regards to the correspondence between Jane and her sister Cassandra, and weaves a lovely tail imagined of the interactions and love felt between sisters, family, and friends.
I love anything Jane Austen, and I was not disappointed in getting insight from a different angle into Jane’s life through her sister.
Thankyou to Netgalley for a sneak peak
Not so this excellent book.
“Miss Austen” is told through the the eyes of Cassandra Austen, “Miss Austen” indeed, and it alternates, through Janes reimagined missing letters between the past and present. It begins with Toms ...more
Finally a novel about Cassandra Austen! While I love Jane, I've always wanted to know more about Cassandra's life. Jane overshadows her sister in history, even though ironically it was Cassandra who took great pains to preserve her sister's memory. ...more
by Gill Hornby
Pub Date 07 Apr 2020
I am reviewing a copy of Miss Austen through Flatiron Books and Netgalley:
By 1840 Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen’s sister lives alone spending her days visiting friends and relatives, while working purposely to preserve her sisters reputation. By now Jane has been gone for two decades and Cassandra is in her sixties, and is going increasingly frail so Cassandra goes to say with the Frowles of Kintbury the family ...more
This was an enjoyable read. It was interesting following Cassandra as she does her best to unobtrusively find letters in the home of her long-dead fiance. The story bounces ...more
Miss Austin is Jane’s sister Cassandra. She is getting old and wants to ensure that there are no letters in her extended family that might impact on her sisters reputation in the future. The story is ...more
Written in an Austen style the story goes back and forth from their early twenties to a number of years after her death.
I can see the appeal of ...more
Such a charming and witty novel referencing and sometimes written in the style of Jane Austen.
Jane's sister, Cassie, (Cassandra) who outlived her, travels to the old parsonage to retrieve letters written by Jane to herself and Lizzie to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands. She is given a room in the parsonage by Isabella, Cassie's niece who is preparing to leave after her father's death. Cassie is now an ...more
This had the potential for a very good novel, examining why (as happened in real life) Cassandra destroyed a stack of her sister’s letters. Alas, for me the novel fell short. I found the story uninteresting and the characterisation fairly humdrum. I was never drawn in.
The story switches between the present, with Cassandra as an elderly spinster, and - through the letters - back into the romance of their youth where Jane was still struggling to publish her novels.
I enjoyed this a lot - a dramatization based around some historical facts, with some powerful characters - plenty to love and ...more
I got so involved with the characters, lovely Cassandra who tried to help everyone, Jane who had her own issues, as well as the parents, brothers, wives etc. I was so sorry that Cassandra wasn't in the end able to be married, she would have made a wonderful wife and mother.
Of course all the time you're reading, you have to remember that these are real people who actually lived and experienced the things Gill Hornby wrote about.
It is written very much in her style, a mixture of humour & keen eye for detail. There is both a keen wit & pathos. Gill Hornsby has clearly done her research well. It gives a fascinating insight into the lives of Jane Austen & her family & friends.
If you are a Jane Austen this is a must read
Recommended for historical fiction fans.
Having just studied Pride and Prejudice in a university class I was eager to dive into some background. This book feels like an old friend and I'm so happy to have received an ARC from NetGalley.
Cassandra was full of humour and love, and I felt the thought that went into each character.
A great read to start off the summer with :)
I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
As she ages, Cassandra is concerned that letters that was shared amongst their family may fall into the wrong hands and will thus damage the reputation of Jane.
This was a great book and I learned so much more about the life of the Austen's .