Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s books are famous for the portrayal of English social manners in the 1800’s. She only published four novels in her lifetime, but the stories still resonate today with many screen adaptations, fan fiction and a multitude of recommendations on Five Books.

“Austen’s purpose is to illustrate this very Aristotelian virtue of prudence: that you’ve got to look out for your interests, you mustn’t just give in to passion.” British philosopher Edward Skidelsky discusses Sense and Sensibility in his interview on the best books on virtue.

Austen never married and died aged 41 in 1817.  “As you probably know she was proposed to, she accepted the man, she thought about it overnight and she rejected him in the morning. One doesn’t know very much about the man – but the fact is she rejected what would have been a very practical marriage, to a friend of the family, a prosperous man, who would have taken care of her. That may suggest that she really personally had a very romantic view of marriage, and wasn’t willing to settle.” Austen scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks  tells us about the joy of rereading Jane Austen novels

Books by Jane Austen

Interviews where books by Jane Austen were recommended

Books that Changed the World, recommended by Amanda Craig

Jane Eyre, 1984 and Anne Frank’s diary all make it onto novelist Amanda Craig’s list. On Black Beauty‘s underrated importance: ‘People forget that William Wilberforce, who abolished the slave trade, also founded the RSPCA.’

Devoney Looser on The Alternative Jane Austen

Thanks to her ability to be many things to many people at once, Jane Austen is one of the vast minority of writers who manage to be both eternally popular and canonical. Here, Austen scholar Devoney ‘Stone Cold Jane’ Looser presents alternative Austens, from subversive youngster to video-game heroine

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