Only A Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen
By Jane Aiken Hodge
In her lifetime, Jane Austen did her best to conform to the conventions of her day, and after her death the family touched up the picture.
But the real Jane Austen, who started as author at twelve years old, was something very different.
It was a fortunate thing for her family that the highly polished surface of the six novels, their sheer artistry concealing tension, makes it easy to miss the depth and bitterness of what they are often saying.
Jane Aiken Hodge has gone deeply into the novelist’s own writings, family and contemporary records to produce a new picture of this enigmatic figure who did so much to revive the English novel at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
This is a book for those who have always loved Jane Austen, and for those who would like to know more about her.