22 August 2021 Susannah

The Best Books about Jane Austen

There are thousands of books available about Jane Austen. 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 even books about ‘Jane Austen and Freud’ ,’Jane Austen and Mozart’, and ‘Jane Austen and Darwin’. Then there are the critical books, which analyse her style, irony, themes, responses to politics, her characters and her intentions – books which 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.

For this talk I turned to my large collection of Jane Austen books and selected some especial favourites. It wasn’t easy, but I have tried to choose a range of biographical / critical and historical. I have left out many excellent books, but I could not cover them all in this talk. I hope that my choices will encourage you to do further reading about Jane Austen and that they will take you back to the six novels with a better and deeper understanding of Jane Austen’s extraordinary achievement.

Books and videos by Susannah Fullerton
Books recommended by Susannah Fullerton
Books recommended by Dr Ruth Wilson
The Jane Austen Society of Australia

When I took my tour groups to visit the Murray archive, our guide was David McClay. He has now produced a delightful book – Dear Mr Murray: Letters to a Gentleman Publisher, selected and introduced by David. It’s a fabulous collection of letters from Jane Austen, Byron, David Livingstone, Axel Munthe, Freya Stark, Beryl Cook, and many more.

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