Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Read: 15 February – 16 February, 2018.
Jane Austen has been a favourite author of mine for years now. I remember it being a warm summer’s day and I randomly decided to pick up Pride & Prejudice. It was the first classic I voluntarily read, and I was worried I wouldn’t understand or appreciate it. I mean, after all, it is a highly esteemed read. In hindsight, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. I flew through it, reading it in only three days. I was completely besotted by it. It sparked my passion for nineteenth century literature and, for that reason, both Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice will always hold a special place in my heart.
Despite Jane being a favourite author of mine, I have neglected to read any non-fiction on her. I watched Lucy Worsley’s Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors, but that’s about it. I sought to rectify this by reading James Edward Austen-Leigh’s A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections. I want to avoid all biographies until I’ve finished reading the entirety of Jane’s novels. I’ve found biographies tend to spoil the novels in full, which I wish to avoid. I thought this memoir, predominantly written by her nephew James with two short pieces by Henry Austen and Caroline Austen, would be the best place to start.