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Summary

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the world in which our best-loved novelist lived. This new telling of the story of Jane's life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her and the way in which home is used in her novels to mean both a place of pleasure and a prison. It wasn't all country houses and ballrooms; in fact her life was often a painful struggle. Jane famously lived a 'life without incident', but with new research and insights Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. A woman who, far from being a lonely spinster, in fact had at least five marriage prospects, but who in the end refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.

©2017 Lucy Worsley (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Outstanding!

I have loved Jane Austen since my early teens and thought I knew all about her. However this charming, erudite and hugely sympathetic biography gives me a rather different view of what was obviously, her rather difficult and constantly financially anxious life. It has a wonderful sense of period, full of fascinating small details, which bring so much of it beautifully to life - and through it all, runs Jane's gentle, funny and ironic voice. Beautifully written and wonderful.y read - I think that I will listen to it again, now - I'm not sure that I am quite ready to leave her behind, just yet!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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from an amateur austener (?)

I liked it.

The overall flow was good, I learned a lot and encouraged me to start reading Jane's books.

Of the audio: the narration was also very nice, but I found the occasional acted-out parts to be annoyingly exaggerated and unauthentic.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Incredible!

Incredible, exciting and insightful at the same time. Enjoyed every moment and chapter of Jane's history, like it was going through a time machine. Worth the read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Jane Austen at home

Really enjoyed this book and hearing about life as a Georgian woman in the social class Jane Austen moved around in, being a spinster in those days and how this may have coloured her stories. Brilliantly read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must for Austen fans!

Really enjoyed this book. Added so much to knowledge of Jane Austen and he.r novels. Lucy worsluey's voice came over strongly _ would have only been bettered if she had read it herself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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"Every word is written with love".

This book does a nice cross reference with other Jane Austin biographies and recorded memoirs to give a broad view of her life and times. The descriptions make it easy to visualise Jane Austin's homes and family members, sometimes feeling insufferably stifling and at other times completely joyful and hopeful. Lucy Worsley makes regular comparisons to characters in Austin's novels that show a real love for the stories and a deep understanding Austin's motivations. Lucy narrates the introduction, where she says the quote in this headline and the epilogue,which were both funny and enlightening. Ruth Redman is also a very good narrator and her voice and steady style suited the subject perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent and entertaining

One might have thought little more could be written on Austen but Lucy Worsley has done an excellent (and readable) job in drawing together details of her life and setting these in the (female) social context of the period to gve us an insight into Austen's life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An excellent insight

I found this book to be both an excellent insight into the life of Jane Austen and into understanding her books on a deeper level. It made made me want to start reading her books all over again. It also made me realise how relevant the subject matters of her books remain today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Plenty of interest but long and fragmented.

Where does Jane Austen at Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top half.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Tried to make it more continuous and connected. Tried rather more conjecture about the actual writing of her books. Less cut and paste collection and more editing.

What aspect of Lucy Worsley and Ruth Redman ’s performance might you have changed?

Lucy - less gush: Ruth - more pace.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, except perhaps the last chapter,

Any additional comments?

Maybe unreasonable to expect it but I'm still wondering what kind of person Jane Austen really was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A joy.

An absorbing wonderfully told story of the domestic, family and creative challenges that Jane Austen faced. It provides deep insight into the inspiration for her novels - her characters, their flaws and their responses to life in genteel Georgian England. This book shows the same sharp wit, verve and deep affection in describing and imagining its elusive subject as Jane did for her own so very human creations. I

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 22-05-17

Very informative

Definitely worth a listen for anyone who wants to know more about Jane Austen. The author emphasizes that the Austen family was very careful to create and nurture the image of Jane as a refined lady, and to preserve that image, much of her personal writing (letters, any personal writing such as diaries, etc) were destroyed. So much of this biography is about Austen family members, andhere are a LOT of people to keep track of. I liked that the author noted the people, places, and occurrences in Jane's life that she used in her stories. The narration was beautiful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful