As I’m a bit of a janeite, I buy every book I see about Austen. Even some rather dreadful sequels and continuations. I have even made a few cross words. So when I saw this book at Dymocks I just had to have it.
I’m still collecting my thoughts about this book – overall I liked it. Ms Collins focussed on Austen’s early years and the influence her father may have had on her. I say may have because there isn’t much evidence to support anyone’s theories on the relationship between George Austen and Jane. However, Ms Collins extrapolations strike me as plausible and the information about religion in the 18th century was enlightening (at least for me). I particularly enjoyed how Ms Collins highlighted events in Austen’s life that appeared in her published works. For example,
Jane’s visits to Godmersham undoubtedly gave her the knowledge of the daily routine of a great house, which she used effectively in Mansfield Park.
Irene Collins is probably the perfect person to write a book like this – sheÂ is theÂ Vice President of the Jane Austen SocietyÂ Â plus she is the Reader Emeritus at Liverpool University.
It’s an easy read and quite short (only 238 pages – excluding notes). Definitely worth a read if you’re at all interested in Austen.