Paula Byrne’s new book The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things was reviewed by Peter Conrad in The Observer and I cannot wait to read it. Not just because I am an unabashed Austen fan, but because I truly believe this book may be an honest look at a woman who has been archetyped for nearly 200 years. The literary world’s favorite ugly spinster is finally credited with having a complete world view not constrained by her own social circumstances. She may have been escaping her own societal limits with her books, but now we can believe she wasn’t doing it naievely or out of necessity.
I won’t review this book after I read it, because I am sure that I will be too biased not to like it overly much. After all, every time I read Pride and Prejudice I fall in love with Darcy, and by now his ideals must be archaic.
If you are also interested in this book, and you have a more objective opinion, I hope you’ll tell me what you think of it.