Jane Austen's Country Life

Jane Austen's Country Life

Uncovering the Rural Backdrop to Her Life, Her Letters and Her Novels

Book - 2014
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"In this richly illustrated book, Deirdre Le Faye explores and evokes country life in Jane Austen's day, offering new perspectives on her life and work."-- Publishers website
Publisher: London : Frances Lincoln, 2014.
Edition: First Frances Lincoln edition.
ISBN: 9780711231580
Branch Call Number: 823.7 LE FAYE
Characteristics: 269 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 22 cm


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Dec 05, 2014

For those who love Jane Austen, and want to know more about her life, this book is a treasure. Based on her letters and those of, especially, her sister Cassandra, and documents, including drawings and paintings of the period. I gained a real sense of the round of country life in the time and places where the Austens lived. Now I will need to go back and re-read the novels, and read the few I haven't yet read. For instance, while I caught the role the army played in "Pride and Prejudice," it never occurred to me that the heroine of that book didn't like riding. Neither did Jane. Jane loved gardening, and gave that love to Darcy, as one more point in his favor. Both Jane and Cassandra had no fixed home after their father lost theirs and they moved to Bath. They had mixed feelings about this big city. It encouraged their father's gambling, which ate up their minimal money. But it was also close to the seaside, a love of both of the Austen girls, who had been taught by both parents to revere nature. When Mr. Austen died, Mrs. Austen and the girls were at the mercy of whichever of the their son and brothers would take them in. This was the fate of 19th c. single women whose class didn't permit them to "work" and who had no independent source of wealth. Jane worked in a corner of the living room, hiding her work when company came. This was an enlightening book about a woman who couldn't be enlightened because she lived in non-enlightened times.


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