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Jane Austen A Life av Claire Tomalin
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Jane Austen A Life (utgåvan 2004)

av Claire Tomalin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,6023311,035 (4.03)162
The novels of Jane Austen depict a world of civility, reassuring stability and continuity, which generations of readers have supposed was the world she herself inhabited. Claire Tomalin's biography paints a surprisingly different picture of the Austen family and their Hampshire neighbours, and of Jane's progress through a difficult childhood, an unhappy love affair, her experiences as a poor relation and her decision to reject a marriage that would solve all her problems - except that of continuing as a writer. Both the woman and the novels are radically reassessed in this biography.… (mer)
Medlem:opuscule
Titel:Jane Austen A Life
Författare:Claire Tomalin (Författare)
Info:Penguin UK (2004), 384 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:biography

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Jane Austen: A Life av Claire Tomalin (Author)

  1. 20
    The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens av Claire Tomalin (lilithcat)
    lilithcat: Tomalin is one of the finest biographers writing today, with a real knack for explaining the societal context in which her subject lived. Readers of The Invisible Woman will find the same excellent work in Jane Austen: A Life, and vice versa.
  2. 10
    Jane Austen av Elizabeth Jenkins (graceatblb)
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This one took a while to get through. It’s very thorough, and the author spent several chapters with in-depth descriptions of Austen’s immediate family, extended family, and neighbors. It made sense to give as clear a picture as possible of the people who meant the most to Jane Austen, and of the place where she was raised. These chapters weren’t, however, the most compelling reading, and even with my chapter-a-day style of reading nonfiction, I didn’t always accomplish that some days.

As Tomalin progressed through Austen’s life into her adulthood and writing, the book grabbed my attention more, and I especially enjoyed the chapters about her different books being published and their reception. I wasn’t sure what to think of the commentary on Mansfield Park, and I was surprised to hear how many people preferred Mary Crawford to Fanny Price. It’s been many years since I read that one, and I’m sure it wasn’t a particularly deep reading, so maybe I’ll have to take another look. I’ve always disliked Mary Crawford, in the book and in movie adaptations. It’s funny, as Jane Austen’s cousin Eliza was described, she reminded me of Mary Crawford. And Tomalin described Eliza as someone Austen admired.

As I got near the end of this biography, I kept wishing for a different ending to Austen‘s life than what she got, death at 41. It’s incredibly sad to think about how she died so young and must have had so many more stories to tell. And it just killed me to read about all the letters of hers that were destroyed by her sister Cassandra and her niece.

I’m glad I read it. It was very well-researched, and it certainly inspired me to reread the novels I haven’t revisited yet. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
The summer after graduating from college, I took a bicycle trip through parts of Europe, with a month in England to start. We stayed in a B&B in Winchester one night (the Cricketer's Arms - I wonder if it's still there. They were lovely!), and the next day wandered through the cathedral. I happened to look down at a grave marker in the pavement to find I was standing on Jane Austen, amazed to find the inscription said exactly nothing whatsoever about her writing. While I had gobbled up Bronte and Dickens et al., I had never read any Austen. So we stopped in a local bookstore and bought a paperback of Pride & Prejudice - and I was hooked. That was decades ago.

Tomalin is a fine biographer, who has gone through what documentation there remains of Austen's life and family with a fine-toothed comb, and creates a smooth and detailed narrative. It paints an insightful (though sometimes speculative) picture of Jane (alas, we have only a couple of dubious actual portraits of her). She comes to life on the page as smart, witty, observant, sometimes wry and even snide, against the circumstances of the lives led by most women in her era - constant worries about money, and the mercenary pressures to marry (which she chose to resist, though tempted once or twice), and - god help them - giving birth every year or so. Raised in a household of four brothers plus the boys her father took in as boarding students, Jane could be boisterous, outspoken, and chafed by the restrictions placed by social mores and economics on her freedom of action and movement. After watching several sisters-in-law die after delivering their seventh or eleventh child, she finally sighed that she found herself rather tired of all the children and felt herself lucky.

Tomalin's coverage of Jane's books themselves is a good read for those of us who love them, giving some insights into how she developed them (slowly, over a long time), some description of the publishing biz at the time (aided by her brother), and where she might have proceeded with her writing had she had the years to do so.

There is plenty of drama among Jane's family, friends and relations: a cousin's husband beheaded by the French Revolution, disabled children, difficult marriages, a sadistic psychopath of a neighbor, her brothers' travails and successes, death by a runaway horse, etc. - very little of which she wrote about. There is probably too much genealogical padding - Tomalin seems to have sought out every remote cousin, in-law, friend and cousins of friends, and houses and rectories and lodgings... enough to leave a reader floundering (and maybe skimming pages).

Given the dearth of primary evidence from Jane herself (thanks to her sister Cassandra's decision to burn or scissor all her letters), this is likely as full a biography as we can get of Jane Austen. A welcome read for those who already love her. And a relief to those who are sick to death of pseudo-Austenian "Regency romances," spinoffs, sexed-up Netflix and other streaming series (Bridgerton. I'm looking at you). Stick with the wonderful version of Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds - still the best of them all.

juliestielstra.com ( )
  JulieStielstra | Dec 14, 2022 |
This is a pretty good autobiography: It is well researched, and well-written. I felt the author has made a conscious effort to imitate Jane Austen's writing style, so that the book flows like an Austen novel about Austen's life. The overall spine of the book is straightforward: Austen was born; she grew up; she received education; she fell in love; she remained unmarried; her five works got published; she took care of nieces and nephews; she took ill and passed away. But the author writes well enough to make this an engaging story, and to deliver Austen and her family and friends as interesting characters.
( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
This is a brilliant biography of Jane Austen; I anticipated it would be, as I read the author's biography of Dickens back in 2012. She combines excellent, detailed research with an ability to tell a story of the subject's life that combines colour, incident and intelligent speculation based on her sources. This is more than just a literary biography, but also a history of the Austen and Leigh families, tracing their history back to the late 17th century; one of her great uncles born in the 17th century survived until Jane's teenage years. George Austen's clerical life combined with Cassandra Leigh's aristocratic descent in a successful marriage that produced six sons and two daughters. Jane was the shortest lived in a family that generally avoided the early mortality of most large families at that time and for long afterwards. There were plenty of scandals and jealousies and tensions as in all families, though Jane seems to have attempted to get on with all factions. Her literary career was very uneven, with her producing lots of short stories and poems from her teenage years, and before her 25th birthday having already written the first versions of what would later be published as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and (after her death) Northanger Abbey. Then she wrote almost nothing in the first decade of the 19th century, a decade punctuated by the death of her father, and moves around the country, including an unhappy period in Bath, before her final literary period in Chawton, near Winchester. In this small village her activities are described by the author as "making the very modest house into one of the great sites of literary history" - in a period of just six years Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811, Pride and Prejudice in 1813 – and three further novels were written here, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion (Northanger Abbey was written earlier in the 1790s). She also wrote the first 12 chapters of a new novel which was eventually published as Sanditon over a century later. Her early death at the age of 41 in 1817 in Winchester deprived the world of a great literary talent - if she had lived into her 70s as did her father and most of her siblings (and her mother lived to 87) just imagine what further works would have flowed from her pen. A great biography. ( )
  john257hopper | Nov 21, 2021 |
An admirably even-handed telling of a life that was sparsely documented despite Austen's popular novels. Tomalin pulls a narrative out of the histories of other better known Austen family members and their friends and neighbors. She discusses the novels as a whole in a way that was new to me. There is a convincing narrative of what life may have been like for JA, the crises and satisfactions.
A photo is included of the most long-lived of Jane's brothers who died at 91, an admiral. The caption identifies him and states that he preserved Jane's letters to him for fifty years but that upon his death his daughter Fanny burned them without consulting with any other family members. I hear much literary historian's regret in that brief statement.
The author mentions that more than 500 books were published on the topic of Jane Austen just in the twenty years 1951 - 1971. She somehow doesn't get bogged down in this sea of other opinions but keeps this life story clear.
I am looking forward to reading another biog by Tomalin. ( )
1 rösta Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (3 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Tomalin, ClaireFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bernard, ChristianeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gouirand-Rousselon, JacquelineÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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On a beaucoup exagéré en prétendant que la vie de l'auteur avait été sans histoire.

William et R.A. Austen-Leigh, petits neveux de Jane Austen
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A mes bons voisins Sue et David Gentleman
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Chapitre 1

1775
L'hiver 1775 fut rigoureux. Le 11 novembre, le naturaliste Georges White remarqua que les arbres, autour de son village de Selborne, dans le Hampshire, avaient perdus presque toutes leurs feuilles. [...]
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The novels of Jane Austen depict a world of civility, reassuring stability and continuity, which generations of readers have supposed was the world she herself inhabited. Claire Tomalin's biography paints a surprisingly different picture of the Austen family and their Hampshire neighbours, and of Jane's progress through a difficult childhood, an unhappy love affair, her experiences as a poor relation and her decision to reject a marriage that would solve all her problems - except that of continuing as a writer. Both the woman and the novels are radically reassessed in this biography.

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