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A Portrait of Jane Austen Paperback – 20 Nov 1980


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Paperback, 20 Nov 1980
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (20 Nov 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140054111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140054118
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 1.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,156,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Cecil has a profound grasp of his subject. The author, her writings and the times in which she wrote are all clearly considered..
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book - not easily found now. Bit of a classic. And a trip to chaw ton, Hants, is always worthwhile.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss S. Bonnick on 23 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
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David Cecil's magnificent and highly enjoyable portrait of a writer who represents for us, as no other, the elegance, grace and wit of Georgian England.

Inc Photos

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a lover of JA, I am delighted to have a splendid, well conserved copy of a biography that I missed, at a very wonderful price.
I like to buy used books on JA, if they are well, it is a way to share a passion.... Received in time, very satisfied.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic 29 Sep 2009
By Wanda S Sauerland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After I read this book, I truly felt that I got to know the woman behind the mask, the real OZ of Jane Austen. While reading Ms Austen's books, I always felt that Jane allowed a portion of her own traits to be portrayed in the desires of her heroine, including the good with the bad. Yet, how sure could I be?

The author of this biography on Jane Austen was able to get private letters and other data from the Austen family, and there are plenty of photos along the way. Sadly, not even ONE photo of Jane exists. He delved deep into what made Jane into the person that she became. I grew to love and respect her even more.

On a whole the book is very well written. However, I can never actually sit down and read a biography quickly. It takes me a couple of weeks. I recommend this book to anyone who has read any or all of Jane's books and who wants to know the woman behind the pen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Illuminating portrait of a supreme artist 9 May 2014
By LizaJane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is much insight here into what the milieu of the artist especially her large and affectionate family. I felt Cecil's insight into the late eighteenth century attitudes of the English gentry quite valuable. For instance, he corrects the mistaken view that Austen was middle class. She was related to members of the aristocracy and the closest her family came to that class was to have members in banking and law.

Where I disagreed with the author was when he judged that her romantic disappointment when young was not that big an event in her life. He says that she only knew the young man (his name is not known, only that he was expected to propose before he was called temporarily away-- then a letter arrived to say he had suddenly died.) The idea that such a brief acquaintance could not be decisive shows a certain lack of understanding surprising in someone as cultured as the author. He also believed that her art was more important than anything else in her life. In my opinion, if she had been asked to choose between a happy marriage to a man she loved, and being a successful author, she would have chosen the former. However, we must be grateful to whatever misfortune carried off her suitor, since most of her writing was done after he disappeared from her life. Think of Beatrix Potter, undoubtedly a genius, who never wrote another book after marrying!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
vintage biography 12 Oct 2013
By Lauren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This biography, while well written, is clearly from a 'hero worship' perspective. While most of the information is correct, some facts have been reevaluated due to more current scholarship. Also, the author does slant his information to his own bias regarding Jane Austen. Best read as a piece of history, rather than an acturate biography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great look at a favorite! 9 Jun 2013
By Lizzy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Jane Austen and anything about her is interesting to me. This was another "look" at her and I enjoyed reading it.
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