Jane Austen: Her Life

Park Honan, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (452p) ISBN 978-0-312-01451-3
This new biography of the author of Pride and Prejudice, etc., by University of Leeds (England) professor Honan is aptly subtitled, for it concentrates in a major way on the novelist's personal and family life at Steventon, Bath, Chawton and, finally, Winchester, with full treatment of the writings given only in the Chawton period. The study is based on extensive research into the large quantity of Austen and Leigh family manuscripts: letters, poems, diaries. Thus a detailed and winning portrait emerges of Austen and her relationships with friends and family, especially her sister Cassandra. New material includes a wry account of the novelist's very brief engagement in 1802 to the well-to-do but unprepossessing Harris Bigg-Wither, six years her junior, as she accepted and then rejected the offer of social and financial security. Honan shows clearly yet subtly the people and events that were transmuted into drily humorous, quietly ironic masterpieces of English fiction. Illustrations. (February 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-312-14632-0
Paperback - 484 pages - 978-0-449-90319-3
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-1-904435-81-5
Hardcover - 978-0-09-921621-6
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