Friday, December 11, 2009

So I've just started re-reading Jane Austen by Carol Shields (2001, Phoenix).

It's an okay-ish biography, but probably not the best. It's written by an enthusiastic amateur rather than by a scholar, and it's all a little bit sketchy, not to mention that the details and chronology jump all over the place.

I'm plowing through it again pretty quickly, but I don't think I'm going to find anything particularly insightful or useful in it. I've ordered a few more books and can't wait till they get here. Deirdre Le Faye's biography seems to be the must-have text, so that's the next thing on my purchase list. I also really want a copy of Jane Austen's letters, those that still exist.

I'm grateful for any suggestions about must-reads. I'm interested in getting a clearer picture not just of Jane Austen's life, but also of the world she inhabited, customs, etiquette, fashion, the lot.

My (occasionally very nice) hubby has also suggested that now might be the time for us to take a Jane Austen tour, something I've wanted to do for years! If anyone has followed in the footsteps of Jane Austen, I'd love to hear from you.

More when I've actually read something interesting,


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