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40 Reviews
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that illuminates Jane Austen
When I was a student there was a furious debate about whether art, literature and music should be judged purely in terms of their own merit or whether they should be looked at in the context of the time and conditions in which they were created. This book is weighty evidence in favour of the latter argument.

Because of the clarity and simplicity of her prose...
Published on 10 Jun 2012 by Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but..
Interesting, enjoyed it. But "twenty crucuial puzzles solved" it is not. Some of the "puzzles" were not puzzles at all, and some things which I would have liked further information on, were not included.
Published 16 months ago by A. Campbell


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 22 Dec 2013
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This is great fun to dip into. John Mullan explores a variety of issues in Jane Austen's novels, such as why age and income matter. It's an entertaining and educational read and a must for any Jane Austen fan. A super accompaniment to the novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 23 Nov 2013
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A good bedside book for Jane Austen admirers. Fills some of the gaps and provides reflection of her well-loved novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts, 30 Aug 2013
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I really enjoyed the format. All twenty chapters have a question as the title and each chapter explores possible and plausible answers. The questions are very thought -provoking and encourage the reader to want to find out more, especially if he/she is familiar with all Jane Austen's novels. Cross-references are made and detailed information is given in each chapter. It is very clear that the author is an outstanding authority on the life, times and work of Jane Austen. A must-read for Janeites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Matters in Jane Austen? John Mullan, 11 Aug 2013
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Great fun is you're a Jane-ite. Perhaps a little confusing otherwise, or at least, it would be better if you read her books first. If not all, then I suggest: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. This will give you the "handle" to Mullan's book and afterwards you may decide to read her other novels too - particulary Mansefield Park, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
Enjoy!
(I heard John Mullan at Edinburgh Book Festival last year (2012). He set the audience a quiz. It was all tremendously stimulating.
But it does help to know Austen's works already.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 July 2013
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This is an absolutely fascinating book for those who know Jane Austen's books well. It makes one aware of social issues and details of life in the early 19th century that are there in the narratives but 'hidden' as one reads them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable and enlightening, 20 Jun 2013
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Well written by somebody so immersed in the novels' detail that he cannot live any other life, satisfying if you have a real interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book with re-read value - so many 'aha!' sections, 29 Mar 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Great insights into Austen's books. A knowledge of her books is preferable before reading this, but it's made me want to revisit some of them with new perspectives in mind!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion to the novels of Jane Austen, 23 Mar 2013
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This is a sprightly exploration of Austen' s technique that should satisfy both admirers and scholars of her work. A worthy companion to the novels, perfect for dipping in and out of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Austen fans, 29 Jan 2013
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S. B. Kelly (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I know Austen's novels inside out but Mullan still made me think about points that had never occurred to me. How is it, for example, that everyone always knows how much capital/income/dowry all the other characters have? Would you believe that announcements of engagements often included the amount of the bride's dowry? Who is the only married woman who addresses her husband by his Christian name, and why might that be?

I tried to ration myself to a chapter a day but the subject of the next chapter was always so enticing that I read the whole thing in about three days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought of this things before, 7 Aug 2012
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When I first saw this book in a bookshop in Newcastle I wasn't sure if I want to buy a hardcover and not wait for the paperback but after reading the first chapter I was blown away. So I bought it and wasn't dissapointed. I don't agree with everything (women today feel younger than 200 years before and were worne out earlier) but it has so many things in it to think about and to look from a new point of view that I haven't regret to buy it as a hardcover. I'll read and reread it many times in future.
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