Anyone that knows me is aware that I consume books. I have always wanted to find a way to do reviews for a company. I have finally been able to realize that goal with Thomas Nelson. This book was sent to me by them for review. My first assignment? A Christian biography of Jane Austin. So - here it goes!
Jane Austen by Peter Leithart
This book is a biography of the writer Jane Austen, with a Christian focus.
For the most part, I found the book very informative and interesting. There were spots of slow reading when the book focused on Jane's relatives or friends. Sometimes it wasn't immediately relevant and therefore uninteresting. I'm glad to say that those parts are not so dry as to make you want to put the book down and it picked up quite nicely afterwards.
Jane was raised a preacher's kid and her faith played a prominent role in her life. She was also a perfectionist and did not feel secure enough in her writing to publish her books right away. Some of her books she worked on for 20 years...writing and re-writing. I also found it very interesting that we have no real portrait or likeness of this author to pass down to her readers.
What I found most interesting to read about is how the "Cult of Jane" began after her death and how it built. Her whole personality was sanitized and she was made out to be very different than she actually was. Even her appearance was "adjusted". It wasn't until the 20th century that the true Jane was recovered.
If you have any interest in Jane Austen I would recommend this book. She is was an interesting, yet quite average individual with a great talent. The book left me feeling like this was a person I wish I had been able to meet and know. At this time I have only read two of her novels, but after finishing the biography I look forward to reading the the others on my book shelves.
Lucky for me I actually own most of her books...I just have never picked them up to read - beyond Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. So which of the others should I pick up first?