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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Austen immersion, 7 Mar 2010
Author, and Jane Austen scholar Maggie Lane's lushly illustrated and thoroughly delightful volume on Jane Austen's life, times and works is one of my Austen favorites in my library.

I gravitate to this lovely volume on my shelf when I need a quick Austen escape. Its large coffee table format allows for lush color photographs and period illustrations on each page, and author Maggie Lane was cleverly arranged the keynotes into five chapters, representing important aspects of Austen's world; Who was Jane Austen? Daily Life in Jane Austen's England, Society and the Spirit of the Age, The Visual World, and The Immortal Jane Austen. This volume also includes a well written introduction, chronology, helpful index and author's acknowledgments. Here is an example of the first topic in chapter one...

Chapter One: Who is Jane Austen?

The Woman: We learn about Jane Austen's birth, family and home environment that nurtured her genius. Her physical appearance, character and personality are described and exemplified by Lane's thorough research, aptly including insightful quotes from her letters and family reflections.

"Her unusually quick sense of the ridiculous inclined her to play with the trifling commonplaces of everyday life, whether as regarded people or things; but she never played with its serious duties or responsibilities - when she was grave, she was very grave." Anna Austen Lefroy

Inevitably, comparisons of Austen's personality lead to the paring of her attitudes and personality with the characteristics of her own heroines. Even though each of her heroines is highly individual, Lane hints at similarities in the characters of Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse and Anne Elliot, and though I agree for the most part, I was amused to see how one can find what they need to suit, by reason and ingenuity.

The chapters are broken down further by topics and continue in chapter one as follows; The Writer, Beliefs and Values, The Letters, The Portraits, Family Background, Home at Steventon, The six brothers, Some female relations, Love and friendship, Family visits, Bath and the West Country, and Return to Hampshire.

Even though Maggie Lane is qualified to write a scholarly treatise, she knows her audience, and her light style is approachable and engaging. She includes enough biographical and historical detail to introduce us to the subject, and not weigh it down with heavy language and minutia. The photographs and illustration have been thoughtfully selected, significant to the topic, and important historically. Her scholarship is exemplary.

This is my favorite Austen book to give as a gift as an introduction to Jane Austen, and as eye candy to the indoctrinated. It has never failed to please, and I hope that we shall see many additional editions for future readers.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL BOOK ON AUSTEN AND HER TIMES..., 14 Oct 2004
By 
S. BARRATT "Currer Bell" (YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gorgeous and lavishly illustrated. Excellent information and beautifully put together.
Everything you could want to know about Austen, her life, her novels and general social life of the late 1700s early 1800s.
Includes the film versions, biographies, Austens letters and the towns and homes she lived in.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Austen's world, 27 Nov 2012
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I found this an accessible, lively and comprehensive look at the background to Austen's novels. The illustrations support the text beautifully - it is an excellent book for dipping into a section at a time. It also functions as a reference guide to the era as it is arranged under headings like 'courtship' and 'music'. The references to the novels and to Austen's life are timely and informative - I like the occasional film and TV adaptation photos, too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen's World: The Life and Times of England's Most Po, 3 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Fantastic book, contains everything you might need to know about Jane Austen, her life, regency times & the films.
This lovely book will appeal to Jane Austen fans, students& anyone interested in the regency period.
Highly recommended
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen world, 14 Dec 2012
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Love this book as am a mad Austen fan. Contains detailed accounts of life at the time her books were set. Was in good condition for a used book.
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Jane Austen's World: The Life and Times of England's Most Popular Novelist
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