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Publisher's Summary

With the same sensitivity and artfulness that are the trademarks of her award-winning novels, Shields here explores the life of a writer whose own novels have delighted readers for the past two hundred years. In Jane Austen, Shields follows this superb novelist from her early family life in Steventon to her later years in Bath, her broken engagement, and her intense relationship with her sister Cassandra. She reveals both the very private woman and the accomplished author behind the enduring classics Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. With its fascinating insights into the writing process from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Carol Shields' magnificent biography of Jane Austen is also a compelling meditation on how great fiction is created.
©2001 Carol Shields (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This tightly written biography brings Austen to life in a way rarely seen. Here she is the living, breathing woman not the prim literary classic. Outstanding job." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Decatur, IL, United States
  • 08-14-12

Everything Jane

I very much enjoyed this brief biography of Jane Austen. The biographer was knowledgable about her subject; enough so that she could make a compact but smooth-flowing account of Jane Austen's life. The narrator was marvelous. The references and quotations from the books written by Jane Austen were not overwhelming to someone who had not read them all. A pleasent listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 06-14-10

With Apologies to Ms. Peters

I love Austin and I think Sheilds is in the same category as Munro and Atwood, as a Canadian writer who is intelligent and writes perfectly simple sentences, full of meaning...and more meaning...and even more possible meanings...She is the kind of reader worth reading again and again.

Nevertheless, I just cannot finish listening to this book because (even on double speed) I find the narration unbearably dull and starchy. In this case, the voice of the author is much more powerful on the page.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Jane Austen

narrator very good, a good biography of Jane relating her books to her life circumstances; good information on her immediate family also and sister Cassandra relationship throughout their life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Place to Begin

Donada Peters is not a bad narrator, as some have said. She did a fine job. This biography is scholarly, balanced, interesting, and worth the time for anyone who is interested in beginning to understand Austen and her novels.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 05-31-12

Jane Austen Junkies

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Not particularly...

Has Jane Austen turned you off from other books in this genre?

Absolutely not- I read everything and anything they slap Jane Austen's name to! :-D

What three words best describe Donada Peters’s performance?

Crisp, clear, professional

1 of 2 people found this review helpful