Histories, Biographies and Non-Fiction

  • “Praying with Jane” – a Review by Laura Boyle
    In Praying with Jane, Rachel Dodge has managed to present Jane Austen’s life “in a style entirely new”, taking a closer look at the heart behind the one of the most beloved authors of all time. Much of what is known of Jane’s life comes in the form of her (censored) letters and the reminiscences …
  • Jane Austen News – Issue 108 – Janeites and Shelley Go-to books for a JaneiteJaneites! What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

    Mary Bennet and Frankenstein’s Monster

    This is an important year for fans of Mary Shelley, it being the 200th anniversary of the publication of her most famous novel, Frankenstein. There will be plenty of books published this year which centre on the book and on the author herself, …

  • An Interview with Author Rachel Knowles What regency Women Did For UsNot all Regency women were alike…
    Author and Regency history blogger Rachel Knowles came to visit us at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath recently, and she was kind enough to tell us a little more about her latest book, What Regency Women Did For Us, and about some of the amazing women of the Regency.
    Over …
  • The Enduring Love For Jane Austen By Jon Michail

    Jane Austen passed away 200 years ago, yet the names of Lizzy Bennet and Mr Darcy are familiar even to people who have never picked up one of Austen’s novels.
    Then there are those who have read Austen’s works…. countless times. The academics, the Janeites, and those who simply appreciate her work for …

  • The Formative Years of George Austen, Jane’s father George AustinA look at James Cawthorn, George Austen and the Curious Case of the Schoolboy Who Was Killed by Martin J. Cawthorne

     
    Jane Austen’s father, George Austen has many connections to the city of Bath.
    On the 26th April 1764 he married, by special licence, Cassandra Leigh in St Swithin’s, Walcot.  The Austen family were regular visitors to …

  • An Interview With Helena Kelly, Author of Jane Austen the Secret Radical Jane Austen the Secret Radical by Helena KellyAn Interview With Helena Kelly, Author of Jane Austen the Secret Radical
    Helena Kelly’s book, Jane Austen the Secret Radical,  began an interesting debate around the beloved Regency author when it was released in November 2016.  Kelly’s book explored Jane Austen as a radical, spirited and politically engaged writer, and this was a shock for
    those people …
  • Visuality in the Novels of Austen, Radcliffe, Edgeworth and Burney
    Jessica A. Volz’s latest book, Visuality in the Novels of Austen, Radcliffe, Edgeworth and Burney (London and New York: Anthem Press, March 2017), examines how four famed women novelists publishing their oeuvres in Britain between 1778 and 1815 used visuality – the continuum linking visual and verbal communication – to achieve a degree of rhetorical …
  • Writing In Tough Times: Jane Austen in Bath and Southhampton Jane Austen Writers' ClubExclusive content by Rebecca Smith, author of The Jane Austen Writers’ Club

    One of the hardest things about writing is just keeping going.
    Lots of people can write well, but to finish a novel, receive rejections, keep on editing and revising and then do it all over again takes real stamina. Most published authors’ first novels aren’t …

  • Our Books of the Year 2016 Books of the Year 2016It’s been an extremely varied 12 months here at the Jane Austen Gift Shop as far as reading matter goes…
    Our biggest sellers have been the Jane Austen Classic Colouring Book and the Pride and Prejudice Colouring Classic. Whether young or old, it’s hard to resist getting out the pencils, paints or crayons to add a …
  • The List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen: A Review The List Lover's Guide to Jane AustenJoan Strasbaugh’s list loving book is the perfect gift for the Janeite who has everything!
  • So Jane: Crafts and Recipes for an Austen-Inspired Life, A Review So JaneExplore Hollie Keith’s adorable craft book, So Jane, a lifestyle primer.
  • Jane Austen and the State of the Nation by Sheryl Craig: a Review by Laura Boyle In “Jane Austen and the State of the Nation”, Dr. Sheryl Craig posits that one can not only trace the Georgian political and social climate through the chronological reading of Jane’s novels, but even more so Jane’s answer to the ever growing crisis around her…
  • The Love of Strangers – What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s England 1815 was of course the year that Jane Austen’s Emma was first published, but in 2015 another important, unpublished work from the period surfaced – the diary of a young Muslim student named Mirza Salih Shirazi. His diary tells the real-life story of six scholars enjoying the very best of Regency life in England.

    The Love of Strangers by Nile Green delves into …

  • Growing Older with Jane Austen, by Maggie Lane: A Review growing older with jane austen…excerpted from Jane Austen’s Regency World and reprinted here with permission.
  • A Jane Austen Christmas by Maria Grace- A Review detailing several Georgian holiday customs from the season of Advent through Twelfth Night
  • Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan, a review A Review by Sophie Andrews
  • Jane Austen Novels Books life and times Jane Austen Novels Books Life and Times
    JANE AUSTEN – A LIFE IN TWO WORLDS?
    It is truth universally acknowledged that the author of these opening words, which are among the most famous in English literature, is perhaps the greatest writer the English language, indeed any language, has known, bar Shakespeare.
    One might find it hard to think …
  • Dinner with Mr. Darcy: Recipes Inspired by the Novels and Letters of Jane Austen, by Pen Vogler – A Review dinner with mr darcyPlan your own ‘Dinner with Mr. Darcy’, Box Hill style picnic and more… reviewed by Laurel Ann Nattress
  • Jane Austen and Food, by Maggie Lane – A Review Review by Sarah Emsley of Austenprose
  • Jane-a-Day: The 5 Year Journal, by Potter Style a review by Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose
  • Jane Austen’s England by Roy & Lesley Adkins A review by Shelley DeWees of Austenprose
  • Bergère, Poke and Cottage: Early 19th Century Headwear Serena Dyer’s Millinery Masterpiece, A Review
  • The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After: A Review Is happiness in marriage entirely a matter of chance? Elizabeth Kantor takes on the question…
  • Mrs. Hurst Dancing a review by author Cari Hislop
  • Why We Read Jane Austen A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen
    Review By Arti of Ripple Effects
  • Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson by Paula Byrne Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson
    Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson
    For those who enjoy the Regency period and life of George IV, this is one of the most perfect books to introduce you into the famous lives of the period. Mary Robinson’s was a brief, intense and fascinating life which pushed the established mores to their …
  • Medically Speaking The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine
    by Roy Porter
    I decided, given the variation in literature available, to read and review three books on medicine by Roy Porter at once. They are this one, The Cambridge Illustrated History: Medicine, as well as The Greatest Benefit of Mankind and Gout, the Patrician Maladay. I thought this was the …
  • A Jane Austen Education Reviewed By Arti of Ripple Effects
  • Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen A review of Sarah Jane Downing’s history of fashion
    by Vic Sanborn
  • Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love Dear Jane AustenDear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love
    When we reviewed Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating a while back, we remarked that reading the advice contained therein was like receiving a letter full of good advice from Aunt Jane. In Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love, Patrice Hannon has gone …
  • Jane Austen’s Sewing Box Jane Austen’s Sewing Box: Craft Projects & Stories from Jane Austen’s Novels
    by Jennifer Forest
    This is a lovely, sumptuous book. When it first arrived, I did a quick skim – it is filled with photographs, decorated papers, fashion plates, quotes from Austen, and a good number of handiwork projects – hmmm, I thought, maybe one of …
  • Two Guys Read Jane Austen Reviewed By Arti of Ripple Effects
  • Claire Tomalin and Carol Shields on Jane Austen’s Life Reviewed By Arti of Ripple Effects
  • The Girl From Botany Bay The Girl from Botany Bay
    by Carolly Erickson
    Mary Broad had a brief moment of celebrity, and this is probably one of the only reasons we know so much about the life and times of not just Broad, but others like her. Women who lived a hand to mouth existence, who trod …
  • The Art of Regency War British Military Spectacle : From the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimea
    By Scott Hughs Myerly
    It was only after I had read some way into this book that I realised that it must have been some kind of thesis. When did people start writing them so well?
    It isn’t encumbered with that annoying pseudo-intellectulese that …
  • 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen We must confess that we expected something rather different from 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen. We expected something more like a list of overlooked scenes from the novel, or explanations of references to commonplace items or ideas from Jane Austen’s time, long since forgotten. We are glad to have our preconceptions …
  • The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World
    Seldom have I so anticipated the publication of a book and The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World certainly does not disappoint. Part tongue in cheek “How To” guide for the young Regency gentleman or woman, part historical reference, this small volume is an invaluable resource for those only …
  • The Worlds of Georgette Heyer Georgette Heyer's Regency World ReviewGeorgette Heyer’s Regency World
    by Jennifer Kloester
    As the patroness of two online discussion lists, Janeites, for Jane Austen Fans, and the Georgette Heyer discussion list, I am just the audience who Kloester’s is aiming at with this book, and I have to say she absolutely hit the mark! This is an extraodinary book and one which …
  • Two Views of Napoleon Napoleon’s Russian Campaign
    by Count Phillipe-Paul de Segur
    This is a raw account of Napoleon’s Russian 1812 Russian Campaign from not just an eye witness, but a French officer and aide to Napoleon. Phillipe-Paul de Segur was rarely more than a few feet from Napoleon’s side throughout this campaign and doesn’t swerve from making …
  • Capt Gronow and Sir Harry Smith Write their Memoirs Captain Gronow:
    His Reminiscences of Regency and Victorian Life, 1810-60
    By Christopher Hibbit
     
    This is a very difficult book to review as I liked it a lot, but I still have a number of reservations about it – mostly about its editing.
    First, let me tell you about Captain Gronow – he was one of life’s observers, …
  • Kings and Princes: Lives of the Georgian Royalty George III: A Personal History
    by Christopher Hibbert
    I did enjoy this book, Hibbert has a way of including small details of life within the larger context of of his subject which gives wonderful insight into both his subjects and the time he is writing of. For instance the quotes from Fanny …
  • Passion and Principle & The Regency Underworld Passion and Principle:
    The Loves and Lives of Regency Women
    by Jane Aiken Hodge
    There were three issues at stake when I tried to figure out just how I would rate this book excellent book by Hodge. The first is its accuracy, the second its subject matter, and the third is its readability. In the end I gave …
  • Jane Austen’s Letters and The Cambridge Companion The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
    By Edward Copeland & Juliet McMaster
    I have to admit from the outset here, that I am a confirmed Janeite, I have an Austen discussion list, and I have read Austen’s novels over and over again. So that may well colour what you feel about this review.
    This book probably has a …
  • What the Butler Saw & High Society in the Regency What the Butler Saw: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem
    by E. S. Turner
    A book which goes on a special shelf in my library
    P.G. Wodehouse
    This is a lively foray into a world where a gentleman with £2,000 a year was betraying his class if he did not employ six females and …
  • Scholarly looks at Trafalgar and Waterloo Trafalgar : The Biography of a Battle
    by Roy Adkins
    Truly a biography of this battle – a pivotal event in European history.
    This seems to be the same book as the American Published one entitled “Trafalgar, a battle which changed the world” – which seems a much overblown title. I liked the “Biography of the …
  • To The Great House, Accordingly, They Went… Althorp: The Story of an English House
    Charles Spencer
    I have to admit I probably would have only been vaguely interested in The Story of Althorp had it not been for the Diana, Princess of Wales Factor. I still harbour some curiosity about her childhood and background. Funnily though Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother …
  • Film Scripts for the Austen Movies When the final credits roll on an Austen film, whether you’ve loved it or not, it’s often fun to find out more. What were relationships like on and off the set? Where did they film these great houses? Who designed the costumes? Was the final product true to the script? Were there any extra scenes …
  • Effusions of Fancy Consisting of Annotated Sketches from the Life of Jane Austen in a Style Entirely New Effusions of Fancy
    Consisting of Annotated Sketches from the Life of Jane Austen in a Style Entirely New
    by Jane Odiwe

    I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow, …

  • A History of the Englishman’s Food and An Interview with Wellington’s Cook. Your Most Obedient Servant: Cook to the Duke of Wellington
    by James Thornton
    What an odd little book! A few years ago this written interview between Lord Frederick Fitzclarence and a cook called James Thornton was uncovered on a dusty shelf. Thornton was was not just any cook, he was Wellington’s cook for …
  • Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: Controversial Regency Authors The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft
    by Claire Tomalin
    Mary Wollstonecraft was an excessively unsympathetic character – she was a user (in modern parlance anyway), she manipulated, she was deliberately obstructive and astonishingly naive and yet Tomalin’s biography of this most irritating of women kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end. …
  • Defending Hertfordshire Against the French: Life in Wellington’s Army and Napoleon’s Prisons The Armies of Wellington
    by Philip J. Haythornthwaite
    For most people this is definitely a reference book to be pulled out as necessary. Haythornthwaite has always shown himself to a be a master of British Army history and here he is in his element.
    The book is in 12 chapters that break down the …
  • Georgiana : Duchess of Devonshire Georgiana : Duchess of Devonshire
    by Amanda Foreman
    What better material can you start with than the most well-known menage a trois in English history – involving one of the wealthiest men of his age, and Duke at that, his wife the most popular and influential woman of her age, Georgiana, the …
  • Soldiers of Fortune: First Hand Accounts of Regency Battles A Dorset Soldier: The Autobiography of Sgt. Williams Lawrence 1790-1869
    by Eileen Hathaway (Editor), William Lawrence
    An excellent book for collectors of Peninsular War accounts, and especially those interest in light Regiments for this book follows the life of Sergeant William Lawrence – or should I say the military life. It was first …
  • Fashions of the Regency Period Jane Austen Fashion
    by Penelope Byrde
    This delightful book is the work of Bath’s Costume Museum Curator, Penelope Byrd. It takes an in-depth look at fashions of the period, care of clothes, and needlework, taking references from Jane Austen’s novels and her letters, and is supported throughout with beautiful illustrations. A must for anyone interested in period …
  • The Jane Austen Cookbooks Jane Austen and Food
    by Maggie Lane
    What was the significance of the pyramid of fruit which confronted Elizabeth Bennet at Pemberley? Or of the cold beef eaten by Willoughby on his journey of repentance to see Marianne? Why is it so appropriate that the scene of Emma’s disgrace should be a picnic, and …
  • Women’s Lives in Georgian England The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England
    Written by Amanda Vickery
    What was the life of an eighteenth-century British genteel woman like? This lively book, based on letters, diaries, and account books of over one hundred middle class women, transforms our understanding of the position of women in Georgian England. These …
  • Art Imitating Life Did Jane Austen’s personal life impact her novels?
    By Arti of Ripple Effects
  • The Faces of Jane A comparison of two Jane Austen biographies
  • Women’s Lives in Georgian England What was the life of an eighteenth-century British genteel woman like? This lively book, based on letters, diaries, and account books of over one hundred middle class women
  • A Time for War Wellington: A personal HistoryThe Duke of Wellington, plus The Secret Service: British Agents in France 1792-1815
  • The Janeites JaneitesA new look at some of Austen’s staunchest supporters.
  • The Mirror of Graces By A Lady of Distinction, 1811
  • The Prices of Officer’s Commissions Officer's Commissions were costlyThe following is a table of the prices paid by Officers of the Army for their respective Ranks.
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