Monday, April 19, 2010

Jane Austen: how Jane Austen conquered the world. Claire Harman

OK all you Janeites!! there is a new (ish) biography that it utterly fascinating!
Jane's Fame by Claire Harman (2009) How Jane Austen conquered the world. Well written, interesting critique, well researched, such that I am in search of her other three books now too. How did I miss the one on Robert Louis Stevenson??

Paraphrasing some of the pages: "two hundred years and tens of thousands of books on Austen later... her fame and readership continue to grow." the Dawn of Janeism was around 1870 with Margaret Oliphant. In 2007 Pride and Prejudice was voted the book the UK couldn't do without (the Bible was 6th)...Til then Jane was as an author "a critic's novelist - highly spoke of and little read" in the 1830s-60s. Many people liked that there were no letters, no private information of either her or Shakespeare to keep the mystery and make the work itself more important...

Enjoy reading, and then peruse the footnotes, the biography, and be inspired again.

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