The writer who changed my life
The six most polished, controlled and elegant social comedies to be found in English Literature were written by a woman whose personal life was unexciting and confined. Jane Austen’s cool judgment, ironic detachment, and her genius gave her books depth and charm and made them some of the most popular novels ever! It is not possible to cover all aspects of Jane Austen’s life and work here, I could talk for many hours about her greatness and have published many, many articles about her. I lecture regularly about Jane Austen, so please contact me to book a talk for your group.
Jane Austen’s life was a quiet one, but it was not uneventful. She began writing as a young teenager and has actually been compared with Mozart as one of the very few people in history to have produced works of genius while still in their teens.
Today, Jane Austen is the third most written about woman of all time. She is the first woman writer in England ever to be featured on her country’s currency. She has also made television history – that moment when Colin Firth as Mr Darcy emerges from a lake in a wet white shirt has been voted the favourite TV moment of all time! Pride and Prejudice has been voted the world’s most romantic novel, and it must surely be the most prequelled, sequelled and adapted novel ever.
“Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness.”
― Virginia Woolf
A great place to start your Jane Austen discovery journey is with my video talk – Jane Austen – Her life and works. In this fully illustrated 50 minute video I discuss Jane Austen’s life and work and give you my views on why Jane Austen needs to be read today. Watch it free on my YouTube channel.
Join me on a journey through her life and works – your life might never be the same again!
I invite you to join the Jane Austen Society of Australia, a member-based association which brings together lovers and admirers of Jane Austen in this part of the world. Although based in Sydney, the society has members in all states of Australia and overseas, and warmly welcomes visitors to events. This highly dynamic society produces regular publications, has a member’s library, and sells Austen-inspired items through their Regency Fair stall at meetings. Please visit the Jane Austen Society of Australia for more information.
There are hundreds of books available about Jane Austen and I’ve linked to some of these below.
Books on her life, on the era in which she lived, books connecting Jane Austen with food, fashion, the clergy, places such as Bath and Lyme, names, the navy, and the list goes on. There are the critical books, which analyse her style, irony, themes, responses to politics, her characters and her intentions – books that give us a deeper and richer appreciation of her brilliant novels. There are books about her rise to superstardom, there are novelised versions of her life, there are books about the film versions and theatrical versions, there are sequels, prequels, retellings, and adaptations. I have read hundreds of books about Jane Austen and am always eager for more.
It is sometimes wondered (by those who do not know her books) whether Jane Austen’s fiction is relevant in our modern world. Should students be studying her works in schools and universities? If her characters drive carriages while we drive cars, does this not make her stories dated? Not at all! Human nature has not changed in two hundred years and Jane Austen’s acute understanding of what makes people tick is demonstrated on every page of her novels.
If you’re keen to find materials to learn more, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to where I list many of the books, movies, and resources available – about her life, her times, her characters, style, and influence. It’s a compilation of items that I have referenced over many years and is by no means exhaustive, rather, just a starting point for your own Jane Austen journey.
Please use this search field to help find all the many articles about Jane Austen on this website.