The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

by Paula Byrne


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


In The Real Jane Austen, acclaimed literary biographer Paula Byrne provides the most intimate and revealing portrait yet of a beloved but complex novelist.

Just as letters and tokens in Jane Austen’s novels often signal key turning points in the narrative, Byrne explores the small things – a scrap of paper, a gold chain, an ivory miniature – that held significance in Austen’s personal and creative life.

Byrne transports us to different worlds, from the East Indies to revolutionary Paris, and to different events, from a high society scandal to a case of petty shoplifting. In this ground-breaking biography,  Austen is set on a wider stage than ever before, revealing a well-traveled and politically aware writer – important aspects of her artistic development that have long been overlooked.

The Real Jane Austen is a fresh, compelling, and surprising biography of the author of some of our most enduring classic books – from Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility, Emma to Persuasion – and a vivid evocation of the world that shaped her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061999109
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 473,698
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Paula Byrne is the critically acclaimed author of five biographies, including Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice, The Real Jane Austen, and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, the academic and biographer Jonathan Bate.

Table of Contents

Authors Note xi

Prologue: Captain Harville's Carpentry 1

1 The Family Profile 13

2 The East Indian Shawl 29

3 The Vellum Notebooks 53

4 The Subscription List 75

5 The Sisters 91

6 The Barouche 109

7 The Cocked Hat 123

8 The Theatrical Scenes 135

9 The Card of Lace 153

10 The Marriage Banns 173

11 The Ivory Miniature 193

12 The Daughter of Mansfield 213

13 The Crimson Velvet Cushions 225

14 The Topaz Crosses 237

15 The Box of Letters 253

16 The Laptop 267

17 The Royalty Cheque 289

18 The Bathing Machine 311

Epilogue 327

Notes 331

Picture Credits 359

Acknowledgments 363

Index 367

What People are Saying About This

Maureen Corrigan

“Byrne’s aim is to show how these objects, many of them reproduced in her book in lush color plates, reveal a much more cosmopolitan awareness of the world than is commonly credited to Austen.”

Customer Reviews