Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.
Jane Austen is now what she never was in life, and what she would have been horrified to become—a literary celebrity.
Austen’s novels achieved a timelessness that makes them perennially appealing. Kipling and Churchill found solace in her writings during times of war and illness. Mark Twain had a love/hate relationship with her work. And then, there’s our celebrity culture: the television hit Pride and Prejudice, the award-winning 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, and all the remakes and prequels and sequels. Modern-day Jane Austen fans just can’t seem to leave her characters alone.
“Janeia” is the author’s term for the mania for all things Austen. This biography captures the varied sides of Austen’s character and places her Christian faith in a more balanced light and with less distortion than has been achieved previously. It is a delightful journey through a life spent making up stories that touched the lives of millions.
“I was riveted by Leithart's excellent biography of Austen, the woman who profoundly influenced me to search for the universal truth in my novels. I was able to see the flesh-and-blood woman I've admired since my teens. Highly recommended for Janeites like me!”
--Colleen Coble, best-sellingauthor of The Lightkeeer's Daughter
Jane Austen From the Christian Encounters seriesJane Austenby Peter LeithartThomas Nelson, Pub. 2009ISBN: 978-1-59555-302-7This is another great book from the Christian Encounters series. Peter Leithart takes us from the very, very young "Jenny" Austen, through the sad embrace of her death in July of 1817.Her literary sense and style are carefully inspected through disection and microscopic scrutiny. We learn that "Jenny" had a sense of humor above all else; this ranged from the price of a pair of carriage horses to the macabre death of others.Her poetic side waxed often, as she wrote of her nephew's birth and again at the death of an old friend, and even regarding her own illness and impending end.Jane Austen had a writing style, and storytelling abilities that preceded the feminist movements that came after her death. She was truly ahead of her time! Young and old, male and female enjoyed her many, though limited, books.I think it is truly Austen's humor that seems to grab Leithart above all else. He writes, "At her best, Jane Austen wrote out of laughter. Her art came from the impish glee of a precocious teenager amused by the follies of the world around her, wanting to get us in on the joke. Her final voice is modulated, deepened, matured by life and its losses; but it is still the voice of the Juvenalia, the joyous voice of Pride and Prejudice, the voice of the narrator of Emma and of the comic passage in the unfinished Sanditon. It is the playful voice whose resonance is enriched by the piety that is always in, with, and under it. It is the voice of the supremely talented, supremely meticulous writer who lived and died as Jenny, whose greatness as a woman and as an artist is the greatness of one who became, and remained, a little child."There is no doubt that Jane Austen as written by Peter Leithart, will become a mandatory read for those who are studying Austen; or for those who love her works purely for the art itself.I highly recommend this read, and give it a five star rating!***DISCLOSURE NOTICE: A free copy of this book was supplied to me for the purpose of review by Thomas Nelson Publishing. No monetary exchange was given. All comments and wording in this review are purely my own. - Cyndi Beane Henryread more
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