Megan Harlan
May 09, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Jane Austen: Obstinate Heart

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Valerie Grosvenor Myer
genre
Biography

We gave it a B

Satisfying the thirst for all things Jane Austen, Valerie Grosvenor Myer’s bio, Jane Austen: Obstinate Heart, proves quick and quenching. Was the young ”Jenny,” as her neighbor put it, ”the prettiest…most affected husband-hunting butterfly” around, or was she — as her family claimed — as quiet as a church mouse? Probably something in between, Myer concludes: Despite numerous marriage proposals, Austen refused all for want of love and died a spinster in 1817 at 41. Although Myer does clue us in to the true-life gossip that surfaced in Austen’s work, she’s stingy when it comes to details about Austen’s writing, barely mentioning the fact that she first drafted Pride and Prejudice at 21. Readers are disengaged from Austen’s only passion: the books she called her ”babies.” B

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