Jane Austen at Home

A Biography
Narrated by: Ruth Redman
Length: 14 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (319 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Take a trip back to Jane Austen's world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen's childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses - both grand and small - of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a "life without incident".

Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows listeners a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but - in the end - a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.

Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home is a richly entertaining and illuminating new audiobook about one of the world's favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home.

©2017 Lucy Worsley (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

" Jane Austen at Home offers a fascinating look at Jane Austen's world through the lens of the homes in which she lived and worked throughout her life. The result is a refreshingly unique perspective on Austen and her work and a beautifully nuanced exploration of gender, creativity, and domesticity." (Amanda Foreman, best-selling author of Georgianna, Duchess of Devonshire)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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As a Devoted Janeite - I loved this book!

I loved it.The narrator for this book was exceptional! I have read every biography written (I think) about Jane Austen and this one was refreshing and offered some little bits of new information about more recent archeological findings and interesting twists of analysis on prominent Austen family lore. I was prepared to be skeptical from some other reviews I read else where and it just proves that "everyone to their own taste, said the lady as she kissed the cow." I plan to buy the book. I think Lucy Worsley has done a wonderful job writing a biography on a subject that has been much studied and discussed. I would like to shout out to Audible: I do wish they would re-record Claire Tomalin's biography as well.

21 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Normally, I do not really enjoy reading biographical books. But Jane Austen is one of my all time favorite authors, so I had get this book. I was very surprised because it was not just a spewing of facts but a very entertaining account of her home life and the lives of her loved ones. At times, this book is really funny and at other times it is heartbreaking.

The narrator did a wonderful job. The intonation he uses is perfect and keeps the listener interested in the subject matter.

I would highly recommend this book to all book lovers especially to any Jane Austen enthusiast.

6 people found this helpful

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The best Austen biography I've read/listened to

I'm a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and have, in addition to JA's books, many books ABOUT Austen. Even so, I learned many new things from this biography. The author, Lucy Worsley, is a favorite of mine from her BBC history specials. She includes an incredible amount of information about Jane - astounding research and scholarship. I knew quite a lot of it already but was never bored. The narrator is fantastic - wonderful accent. There are "other voices" inserted - not sure if the narrator did some of them or if they were "guest narrators." At any rate, the narrator was perfect and I could listen to her reading a telephone book.
I took a trip with JASNA in 2010 to the places in England where Jane Austen had lived or visited and this book brought them back for me again.
Thank you Lucy & Ruth!

5 people found this helpful

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OMG - Who doesn't enjoy Jane Austen!

I have read all of her Books A Million times I have watched all of the movies made about the books 2 million times. Finally someone sat down and wrote a book about her Jane Austin. Her life her family her circumstances. I found that this book was a direct reflection on the 5 books that she completed before her death. She died way too early I am sure she had so many more interesting stories inside of her to share.

11 people found this helpful

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fascinating, lively picture of a beloved author

I've been a "Jane-ite" for years, but the narrative I always heard about her life was something along the lines of "her sister burned her letters so we know almost nothing about her except that she flirted with Tom Lefroy". Well, enter the brilliant, vivacious historian Lucy Worseley to paint a quite vibrant picture of the entire span of Austen's all-too-short life, drawing on a wealth of knowledge about daily life in the Georgian period to give a richer picture and contextualize Jane's life and writing. I am a history buff but have always preferred social history and info about how people lived over political and military narratives, so I applaud Worseley's multifaceted approach to studying the past. She makes it very human and relatable. Being a biography, this can be a bit dense for the commute, but it's still much more accessible than many history monographs. I only wish Lucy could have narrated the whole thing as the text very much has her delightful, down-to-earth voice! it does get a bit hard to distinguish when quotes are being used within a sentence, but overall the narrator did a lovely job and had a pleasant, elegant voice.

4 people found this helpful

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Delightful and fascinating

This wonderful book follows the Georgian author and her family through the many houses and homes they occupied. Worsley does an astonishing amount of clarification of the little data available about Jane Austen; without adding opinions, she pieces together the facts and smushes quite a few rumors along the way.

Home and family were of utmost importance to Jane Austen and most women of her time, and by choosing to relate the writer’s life via those values, this extraordinary personality is remembered with the respect she always deserved.

Ruth Rodman does a fabulous job with the narration. She was the perfect choice for this work. And Ms. Worsley introduces and closes the book herself in her usual enthusiastic manner.

Highly entertaining and strongly recommended to all who are interested in this time period.

3 people found this helpful

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Very interesting history about life in the 18th ce

I've never read Jane Austin,although I have seen some of the movies. I really enjoyed this book. You really get an insight into her family's life and life in England at that time. It made me want to read one of her books.
Well done, Lucy!

3 people found this helpful

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More interesting than I expected

As a devoted JA fan, I wanted to learn more about her life, and didn’t know if this would be entertaining or boring. Hooray! Never boring at all, loved the different voices and the historical insights. I will listen to this again.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Read

This is the second biography book I've read about a life of a famous woman during the 18th and 19th centuries. Women in that time really had it rough!! As it was life was not ideal for the many common people, but women especially had it worse! Lucy Worsley really describes in great detail about Jane Austen's life with as much as what was found in all of Jane's letters to her sister Cassandra and what others have written about her in those times. I really felt like I was there in those places that Jane and her family lived with all the homes, towns, gardens and places being described in such great detail. I have only read Pride and Prejudice, but now that I know some of the characters, heroins and places Jane writes in all her books are from the very same people she surrounded herself with and the places she has been to, I am definitely planning on reading the rest of her books. I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed how Lucy Worsley brought Jane Austen to life again in this book. Thank you!

3 people found this helpful

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Fabulous!

Really enjoyed the performance. Enjoyed learning about not only Jane's life, but her family's as well. A definite must read/listen for any Austen fan for sure!

2 people found this helpful