The Real Jane Austen

The Real Jane Austen Cover

The Real Jane Austen

A Life in Small Things

By Paula Byrne

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061999109, 380pp.

Publication Date: January 7, 2014


Acclaimed biographer Paula Byrne explores the forces that shaped the interior life of one of the most beloved novelists in the English language: her father's religious faith; her mother's aristocratic pedigree; her eldest brother's adoption; her relatives in the East and West Indies; the family's amateur theatricals; and her determination throughout her long struggle to become a published author. The woman who emerges is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture. Like a superb archaeologist, Byrne uses artifacts from Jane Austen's life to craft a vivid and more complex portrait of the writer than we have ever seen.