The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

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9780007358328: The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

In The Real Jane Austen, acclaimed literary biographer Paula Byrne provides the most intimate and revealing portrait yet of a beloved but complex novelist.

Just as letters and tokens in Jane Austen’s novels often signal key turning points in the narrative, Byrne explores the small things – a scrap of paper, a gold chain, an ivory miniature – that held significance in Austen’s personal and creative life.

Byrne transports us to different worlds, from the East Indies to revolutionary Paris, and to different events, from a high society scandal to a case of petty shoplifting. In this ground-breaking biography,  Austen is set on a wider stage than ever before, revealing a well-traveled and politically aware writer – important aspects of her artistic development that have long been overlooked.

The Real Jane Austen is a fresh, compelling, and surprising biography of the author of some of our most enduring classic books – from Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility, Emma to Persuasion – and a vivid evocation of the world that shaped her.

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From the Back Cover:

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things offers a startlingly original look at the revered writer through a variety of key moments, scenes, and objects in her life and work. Going beyond previous traditional biographies which have traced Austen’s daily life from Steventon to Bath to Chawton to Winchester, Paula Byrne’s portrait—organized thematically and drawn from the most up-to-date scholarship and unexplored sources—explores the lives of Austen’s extended family, friends, and acquaintances. Through their absorbing stories, we view Austen on a much wider stage and discover unexpected aspects of her life and character. Byrne transports us to different worlds—the East Indies and revolutionary Paris—and different events—from a high society scandal to a petty case of shoplifting, She follows Austen on her extensive travels, setting her in contexts both global and English, urban and rural, political and historical, social and domestic—wider perspectives of vital and still under-estimated importance to her creative life.

Literary scholarship has revealed that letters and tokens in Austen’s novel’s often signal key turning points in the unfolding narrative. This groundbreaking biography explores Jane's own story following the same principle. As Byrne reveals, small things in the writer's world—a scrap of paper, a simple gold chain, an ivory miniature, a bathing machine—hold significance in her emotional and artistic development. The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things introduces us to a woman deeply immersed in the world around her, yet far ahead of her time in her independence and ambition; to an author who was an astute commentator on human nature and the foibles of her own age. Rich and compelling, it is a fresh, insightful, and often surprising portrait of an artist and a vivid evocation of the complex world that shaped her.

About the Author:

Paula Byrne is the critically acclaimed author of five biographies, including Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice, The Real Jane Austen, and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, the academic and biographer Jonathan Bate.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Who was the real Jane Austen? Overturning the traditional portrait of the author as conventional and genteel, bestseller Paula Byrne s landmark biography reveals the real woman behind the books.In this new biography, bestselling author Paula Byrne (author of Perdita, Mad World) explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain s most beloved novelist: her father s religious faith, her mother s aristocratic pedigree, her eldest brother s adoption, her other brothers naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, the family s amateur theatricals, the female novelists she admired, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author.Byrne uses a highly innovative technique whereby each chapter begins from an object that conjures up a key moment or theme in Austen s life and work-a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a laptop writing box, a royalty cheque, a bathing machine, and many more.The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of `dear Aunt Jane would allow. Published to coincide with the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, this lively and scholarly biography brings Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007358328

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Who was the real Jane Austen? Overturning the traditional portrait of the author as conventional and genteel, bestseller Paula Byrne s landmark biography reveals the real woman behind the books.In this new biography, bestselling author Paula Byrne (author of Perdita, Mad World) explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain s most beloved novelist: her father s religious faith, her mother s aristocratic pedigree, her eldest brother s adoption, her other brothers naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, the family s amateur theatricals, the female novelists she admired, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author.Byrne uses a highly innovative technique whereby each chapter begins from an object that conjures up a key moment or theme in Austen s life and work-a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a laptop writing box, a royalty cheque, a bathing machine, and many more.The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of `dear Aunt Jane would allow. Published to coincide with the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, this lively and scholarly biography brings Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007358328

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