Friday, August 4, 2017

REVIEW: Jane Austen At Home

Jane Austen At Home
Author: Lucy Worsley

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of  Jane Austen's death. Historian Lucy Worsley's new book, Jane Austen At Home, gives us a peek into her home life and family relationships. Austen's life was not one of excitement, but a life lived within the constraints of society. Worsley does not fictionalize or sensationalize, but gives facts and details about Austen's life in a witty and engaging style.

This is the first book by Worsley that I have read, but I have watched several of her historical documentaries. Her wit and humor make history interesting and accessible. I found her book to be much the same.  Some of the events in Austen's books mirror challenges or hardships faced by her and her family. I find I have a greater understanding of her writing and characters after reading this book. I can't imagine living within the constraints of Georgian society. An unmarried woman could face huge financial and property issues...not to mention the difficulties faced by female writers. The fact that Austen faced these challenges and produced several books that remain widely popular after 200 years is astounding and beautiful.

It took me several days to finish this book because I read it a little bit at a time. I enjoy historical non-fiction in small bites, rather than gulping my way through it all at once. I think this is why I enjoyed this book so much....rather than reading it quickly and getting bogged down in all the detail, I took it slowly and savored my time in the Austen household. It was so interesting learning about what actual life was like for Austen and other women of the time period.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in history and Austen's writing! I hope that Worsley does a documentary or series on this topic as well!

Worsley is the author of several books on history including The Courtiers, The Art of the English Murder and If Walls Could Talk. For more information on her books and television documentaries, check out her website here:

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from St Martins Press via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

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