Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Deirdre LeFaye/JANE AUSTEN: THE WORLD OF HER NOVELS


In this lively and readable overview, LeFaye tackles Jane Austen's life, times, and background for each of her six books (she even discusses the unfinished seventh). As a Jane Austen fan, I was pretty riveted; the only "boring" portions were the plot summaries, a small component of the book, but I found myself even enjoying those because the author jammed them full of trivia about where Jane got her ideas, etc.

I was particularly interested in the book as a publishing professional because of the components describing Jane's writing and publication processes (I collapsed some, but not all, of the interesting points into this blog post awhile back). But there are so many very interesting topics to cover--for example, in a world so focused on propriety and manners, what would one do if one happened to be at a neighbor's house when one had to do a poo? How did these super-proper people keep themselves clean when there was no hot water in the winter? I was fascinated to read about how dangerous carriage rides could actually be, or how truly daunting travel was and why.

Best is that there is nothing dry about the telling of all this, despite the author's scholarly background and (obvious) copious research. Anyone who is a Jane Austen fan or a history buff will not be able to put it down.

7 comments:

Cheryl said...

You know I have to read this now, right??

I_am_Tulsa said...

Oh dear, I must find this too... Thank you for the intro!

moonrat said...

haha. dudes, if you're a Jane lover you will definitely enjoy. let me know what you think!

Pamala Knight said...

I browsed this book at one of the booksellers exhibits at the JASNA-AGM this past October, but put it back because I was already at my spending limit for that day. Thanks for reminding me of it--I'm off to Amazon to order it (and to hide the rest of my purchases from my husband who can't understand how I can bring home as many books from the library as I do and yet still keep several Amazon employees....well, employed, lol). Someone's going to have to stop me soon, I know.

Teehee.

moonrat said...

Pamala--what is this JASNA thing of which you speak? is this something i should be attending?! it sounds like it might be!

Casey said...

Ooo I'll definitely have to read this!

Pamala Knight said...

You're in luck (ha! see how I did that thing, teehee) because the 2009 JASNA-AGM (which stands for Jane Austen Society of North America-Annual General Meeting) is being held in Philadelphia. So, not too far from you NYC types. Here's the link:

http://www.jasna.org/