In this new biography, best-selling author Paula Byrne (bestselling author of Perdita, Mad World) explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain's most beloved novelist: her father's religious faith, her mother's aristocratic pedigree, her eldest brother's adoption, her other brothers' naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, the family's amateur theatricals, the female novelists she admired, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author. Byrne uses a highly innovative technique whereby each chapter begins from an object that conjures up a key moment or theme in Austen's life and work-a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a laptop writing box, a royalty cheque, a bathing machine, and many more. The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of 'dear Aunt Jane' would allow. Published to coincide with the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, this lively and scholarly biography brings Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century.
From the reviews of Perdita: 'A fine biographer has conjured up a dazzling personality and brought her, laughing, back to life
'Imagine Nicole Kidman, Monica Lewinsky, Susan Sontag and Madonna all rolled into one, then ask yourself, how is it that we've never heard of her? Utterly absorbing'
Publication date: 17/01/2013
Publisher: HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||17th January 2013|
|Publisher:||HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography,|
|Categories:||Biography: literary, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers,|
Paula Byrne was born in Birkenhead and has a PhD from the University of Liverpool, where she is a Research Fellow in English Literature. Her first book, Jane Austen and the Theatre, was shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize. Her second book, Perdita, was a Richard and Judy bookclub pick and Mad World was a Sunday Times bestseller. She lives in Oxford with her two children and her husband, the critic and biographer Jonathan Bate who is Provost of Worcester College.More About Paula Byrne