Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review: Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

Description (from Goodreads): Some may know Jane Austen simply as the English novelist whose books are required reading in high school and college. Perhaps it wasn't until the BBC's extremely successful TV miniseries of Pride and Prejudice or Emma Thompson's film Sense and Sensibility that many became entranced. Now younger readers are flocking to Austen with a unique twist in the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance, by Seth Grahame-Smith. In this Christian Encounters biography, fans of Jane Austen will discover the Christian faith that was in the weft and weave of her character and how it influenced her writing and her life.

My thoughts: I was so happy when I noticed that Thomas Nelson had published this book and that it was available for the booksneeze reviewers. For years I've been Austen addict and I knew that this book would be perfect addition to my collection.

This book, like many Austen biographies, included the basic stuff: her childhood, stories of her family, her process of writing and her death. What I liked about this book where the little details. I love trivia information and this book provided it a lot for me. I liked the quotations and additions from Austen's relatives and other people who have know her or studied her.

I must say that there was one thing which really annoyed me during the whole process of reading. From time to time, the author addresses Jane Austen as Jenny. I do not know was that really her nickname, I've never heard about it, but it made me really angry. Also because of that the text was hard to follow at first because first the author was talking about Jane, then Jenny and then again Jane.

Even though this book is part of Christian Encounters series I must say that the role of religion in Jane Austen's life was not hugely emphasized in this book. There were some random parts in this book which, in my opinion, were totally out of context, just talking about the bible etc. But since there were only couple of those parts they did not bother me that much.

Jane Austen by Peter Leihart is a great addition to a bookshelf of Austen addict. It is also great book for a one who is doing a research about Jane Austen. The book is not very long and it provides a lot of interesting information about Jane Austen.


  1. Yeap and I did not find anyhing. I tried to google it with different words such as "jane austen nickname", "jane austen jenny" etc and i did not find anything...

  2. I have never heard of Jane Austen being called Jenny, but I'm no huge expert.

    I would like to read more about the role of belief in Jane Austen's life, but I think not in the way its probably written about in this book, but more in a scholarly manner. Your mention of random passages about the bible made me take this book of my reading list for now. I'd like to look at it sometime, but not so desperately as to buy it.

  3. Sounds great, Milka! I would like to read this one!

  4. Oh, now I see why Cleverly Inked was asking about Jane being called Jenny on my blog, heh! :) Well, this Best Friend book that I've just reviewed is narrated by a girl called Jenny and the author says that this girl's real name was Jane, but she changed it to Jenny, which was a common pet name for Jane apparently. Here's proof:

    "One is that her name really was Jane Cooper, but because I couldn’t have two Janes, I changed her name to Jenny, a common pet-name form of Jane at the time."


    Hope this helps! :)

  5. Oh, okey. Thanks!
    It's just that since I've never heard about it before, never read about it from any other biographies, I was confused with it. I hope it does not appear in any other biographies since it made me a little crazy from time to time.

    I think that this book explained the Christian faith of Jane Austen pretty well. There were couple of parts when the author just started to explain so Biblical stories, which were not familiar to me since I am not religious, and then somehow tried to link them to the life of Jane Austen.

    But as I said, for a Jane Austen fan/addict/collector etc., this book is a good find.

  6. Sounds like this is an instance of an author having a great subject but just not quite sure how to put it all together.

  7. Sounds interesting...I love Jane Austen and this would be interesting to read.

    How did you find booksneeze? I thought about joining.

  8. I found it via some other blog, I do not remember which blog it was though. They sometimes have great books there, if I find an interesting one I request it. There are also a lot of books that do not interest me at all (a lot of religious books) but it is okay. :)

  9. Sounds great. I am a huge Austen fan myself and there are a lot of sequels out there, and you never know what book to read. If you go to amazon and type Pride and Prejudice sequels or Jane Austen sequels, you get so many results. That's why I like to read customer reviews so I can find out which one is worth reading. Anyway, great review!

  10. I normally order books from and there are also so many Austen sequels that it is really hard to know which one is readworthy and which not. I use goodreads a lot to see the rating of the books and I also love to read reviews of Austen sequels to see which I should read.

  11. Great review! The Jenny thing is a little strange, I hadn't heard her called that before. Who knows!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!