Jane Austen by Carol Shields
As this book lacked an interesting title in which to title my post, I had to pull lyrics from Jefferson Starship‘s song Jane.
About three years ago I was in the library. While I was roaming through the stacks, I came upon this book and was intrigued by such a slender biography. I had been disappointed by another Jane Austen nonfiction, published by Cambridge, which seemed to tear apart her books quite horribly. I hoped this one would be better.
When I read the introduction, Shields confessed to being more of an Austen fan, then a researcher. In that moment I began to have high hopes for this book.
A fellow Austenite/Janeite?
And then I started reading the book
And I really enjoyed it.
Shields presents all the facts of Jane’s life very directly and resolutely, not over-dramatizing or romanticizing it, but presenting the truth.
Shields focuses on Austen as a writer, how her life influenced her works, it being one of the few avenues an unmarried women could try, etc.
Not only was it informative, but Shields analyzation of her family, friends, and possible romantic interests was also very illuminating.
I highly recommend it for any Jane Austen fan wanting to know more about the women behind the books.
I do have one criticism. At times the book can be a bit dry. I love history and read such books all the time, so that wasn’t why I had issue. I just felt that at times it needed a boost as it became a little boring.
Otherwise, it was a great biography and you should check it out.
For more on Jane Austen, go to One of a Kind
For more book filled posts, go to It’s a Fan World After All