The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

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9780061999093: The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

Since her death , people have got Jane Austen wrong. The real Jane – revealed for the first time in this landmark biography – was a less cosy, more spiky, more modern figure than she is usually imagined to be. Far from retelling a familiar story, Byrne’s book uses new research and new techniques to give us Jane Austen for the 21st century.

Paula Byrne – an internationally renowned Jane Austen scholar and a best-selling biographer – has uncovered a very different Jane Austen to the Jane of popular imagination.

This Jane is a woman deeply immersed in the culture around her, but also far ahead of her time in her independence and tough-mindedness.. Throughout, this audio-book gives the sense of Austen as an astute commentator on human nature in general and her own age in particular, and above all as a writer of independence and ambition.

Each chapter is focussed on a key moment in Austen’s life: eg. when her handicapped brother is removed from the family, when her exotic cousin Eliza arrives in the family circle, when her aunt was arrested for shoplifting, her time alone in London. The book also gives detailed attention to the novels themselves.

After this book, no longer can Austen be viewed as someone who did not engage with the great political events of her time. How many lovers of her work are aware that the Prince Regent kept a debauched household down the road from her village, that she was related by marriage to other major literary figures of the time such as the libertine Gothic novelist William Beckford and her favourite poet George Crabbe. The book will also identify her long lost seaside love as well as argue that her assumed ‘genteel’ sense of humour could also be savage, highly subversive irony.

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Product Description:

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 paperback of the landmark biography, bestselling biographer Paula Byrne uses objects that conjure up a key moment in Austen’s life and work – a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a writing box, a royalty cheque, a bathing machine, and many more – to unlock the biography of this most beloved author. The woman who emerges is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of ‘dear aunt Jane’ allows. Byrne’s lively book explores the many forces that shaped Austen’s life, her long struggle to become a published author, and brings Miss Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century.

Review:

‘Brilliantly illuminating … Its great merit is … by focusing on one thread or another of Austen's experience, Byrne allow us to grasp the richness of Austen's inner life’ Guardian

‘Perceptive and energetic’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Byrne's essays add up to a fine appraisal of the novelist's environment, truly Austenish in the way they burrow into a sequestered and often secretive private world’ Observer

‘A neat approach to biography, allowing Byrne to burrow deep beneath the surface of Austen’s existence. The result is a delightful and engrossing portrait’ Sunday Times

‘A perceptive and energetic guide to Austen and her surroundings … Byrne’s critical study consists of a series of beautifully written, interrelated essays … [her] style gives fresh charms to her subject matter. ‘The Real Jane Austen’ is bold, fast-moving and accessible’ Daily Telegraph

‘Engaging, compelling, a delightful and engrossing book. Of course we all know that the "real" Jane Austen will forever be a mystery, but most 21st century Janeites will adore this one. Byrne's passion is nothing if not persuasive’ Sunday Times

‘What is fresh in Byrne's biographical approach is her use of a succession of contemporary objects that Austen owned, or that might be seen in intimate connection with her interests … this adds an attractive immediacy to a well-known story … Byrne's affectionate study paints a pleasingly lively picture of Austen's life’ Independent

‘Brilliantly illuminating … riveting. By focusing, chapter by chapter, on one thread or another of Austen's experience, Byrne allows us to grasp the richness of her inner life’ Simon Callow, Guardian

‘The portrait of Austen that emerges is sparklingly multi-faceted, catching the light in intriguing ways … her Jane is far less likely to go for a quiet walk in the garden than she is to be whisked into town in search of a velvet cushion, a necklace or a smart new dress’ Irish Mail on Sunday

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Book Description Harper, 2013. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Vividly persuasive. THE REAL JANE AUSTEN is excellent particularly on the dissonant topics of theater and slavery.Byrnes section on slavery is better still, establishing links between Austens protagonists and contemporary figures, her pointed references and contemporary events, which highlight her supposedly oblivious fictions sharp views on the slave trade. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0061999091

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 156 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780061999093

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 156 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780061999093

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