Monday, July 31, 2017

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

Jane Austen at Home: A Biography by Lucy Worsley --- 386 pages including an Introduction, Epilogue, Acknowledgements, Sources, Bibliography, Notes, and Index.

Published on the 200th anniversary of the death of one of the earliest and most celebrated novelists in the English language, Lucy Worsley's biography of Jane Austen is sprightly and charming but mostly covers already well worn territory with speculation filling the gaps in the historical record. As Worsley points out, Austen was a prolific letter writer; but though her letters convey shrewd observations of people and events around her, they are far more reticent in revealing Austen's own thoughts and feelings.

Worsley is a British historian who has become a television personality in the UK as the host of a series of BBC television shows popularizing various eras and events in English history. In these shows Worsley acts as a narrator who also pops up on screen as a costumed reenactor on the periphery of unfolding events.  Many of these programs have also been broadcast here on PBS.

True to form, the publication date of this book occurred about six weeks after the television program Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors, hosted by Worsley, was broadcast on BBC TV.

Worsley combines her enthusiasm for Austen, her historical focus on the domestic aspects of British history, and her knack for personalizing the past, in this latest venture.

Click HERE to watch a promo by the author talking about the book on Youtube.

Click HERE to read the review from Publishers Weekly.

Click HERE to read the review from Kirkus Reviews.

Click HERE to read the review from the New York Times.

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