QNPoohBear's Reviews > Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel

Brave Jane Austen by Lisa Pliscou
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it was amazing
bookshelves: austenesque, biography-memoir, picture-book

Finally, a succinct biography of Jane Austen I actually like! It's a cradle to the grave biography to introduce Jane Austen in the context of the time period she lived in. It's simple enough for young readers to listen to and casual fans to learn more about the author's life in an entertaining way. It does tell a little story about Jane but it doesn't make assumptions about her personality or feelings. It shows how she read, observed and finally wrote what she knew only changing it up a bit. The author sums up the plot of First Impressions and it sounds like a silly romance but added to the context of Austen's life, it's a fine enough summary for a children's book. Kids get the idea that Jane wasn't like ordinary girls and therefore Lizzie wasn't like ordinary girls. I also enjoyed the quotes from the novels at the end. The author explains what they mean so young readers have the understanding of Jane Austen's language and time before they read the books or see the movies. This is SO important in understanding the novels. If you don't have the context you can't understand the complexity and richness of Jane Austen's beautiful stories. My only quibble is Austen's first novel was "Susan" (Northanger Abbey) even though it wasn't published until after her death.

The illustrations are not my favorite but I liked seeing a depiction of Jane Austen with dark hair and hazel eyes. Mrs. Austen resembles the stylized portrait done after Cassandra's watercolor sketch of Jane. The way the people are drawn feels a little off to me. They're too angular or something for my taste. I'll see what the artists in the family think. In this book the Rectory looks like a house and not a grand mansion and Chawton Cottage is depicted accurately with Jane's writing desk and her bed with the quilt the Austen women made. I liked those little details that Janeites will adore.

I can't wait to share this book with my nieces and hope they learn enough about one of my favorite authors to want to read her books. (Not including BabyLit and Cozy Classics they read when they were toddlers).
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 1, 2018 – Shelved
May 1, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 19, 2018 – Shelved as: austenesque
May 19, 2018 – Shelved as: biography-memoir
May 19, 2018 – Shelved as: picture-book

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