978-1-55970-435-9 / 1559704357

Jane Austen: Obstinate Heart

by Myer, Valerie Grosvenor

Publisher:Arcade Publishing



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About the book:

There has been a veritable explosion of interest in the works of Jane Austen during the last two years. With five films based on Austen novels recently released via film and television, her books are finding a new audience among both readers and booksellers. Thus Valerie Grosvenor Myer's recent biography, Jane Austen: Obstinate Heart proves most timely. In fact, Jane Austen is best read in conjunction with its subject's novels, for so much of Jane's life went into her six books, although her heroines generally fared better than their creator. Born the seventh of eight children into the genteel but impoverished home of a clergyman, Jane Austen quickly learned what it meant to be a woman without money--a situation most of her female protagonists shared, yet often overcame through marriage. Austen, however, refused to marry without love, and thus never married.

Jane Austen does a fine job of relaying the details of its subject's life--her relationship with her family and friends, the indignities of her unfortunate financial circumstances, and her pleasure in the success of those novels she lived to see published. But more than that, Myer delves into the mores and manners of Austen's times--the importance placed on marriage, respectability, and financial security, all central to the author's novels. Most engaging is Myer's exploration of Jane Austen's prickly, imperfect personality, revealed through letters, diaries, and the recollections of her family. In Jane Austen the reader discovers a fully-drawn woman, complete with flaws, strengths, and a burning talent that lives on today, 200 years after her death.

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