Friday 21 July 2017

Book Review: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

Title: Jane Austen at Home
Author: Lucy Worsley
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 11 July 2017
Pages: 418
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

On the eve of the two hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen's death, take a trip back to her world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen's childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses - both grand and small - of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a 'life without incident'. Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but - in the end – a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy. Illustrated with two sections of color plates, Lucy Worsley's At Home with Jane Austen is a richly entertaining and illuminating new book about one of the world’s favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home. (Goodreads Synopsis)

 Jane Austen at Home is an entertaining and informative read. While I have been a huge fan of Austen's works for many years, I have never read anything biographical about her, so I was deeply interested to learn more of her family and life. Worsley's work centres around Jane's various homes over the years and the impact they had on her circumstances and her writing. Naturally, though, she also considers familial relationships and friendships, taking us through the changing (often for the worse) fortunes of the Austen family. Overall, Jane Austen at Home is an engaging work that will appeal both to Janeites and to students of Georgian history. 4.5 stars

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