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It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is the bread and butter of the average bibliophile! If you find myself turning to Jane Austen as I am—for its delicate social dynamics, its romance, and its time period—than you'll also love these books inspired by and akin to her best works.
This book is a must-read for Jane Austen fans! It's not just an informative book; Kelly is a scholar of literature and classics at Oxford, and she's making a compelling and scholarly argument regarding the nature of Austen's writing. Through Austen's letters, close readings of her novels, and historical context, Kelly argues that the political aspects of Austen's works are essential to their themes. This book shows that Austen's work is about more than romance and balls. Rather, Austen is a political author commenting and working within the issues of her time.
You'll get so much more out of this classic by reading the annotated edition! The historical information and context helps nuance the character's dialogue, their responses, their social and economic positions, and the different social dynamics.
I think of this book as adjacent to Jane Austen, as it heavily revolves around romantic relationships and the realities of provincial life—and with a heroine named Bathsheba, you know it's going to be good! It presents the same kind of complexity and depth with the same kind of engaged, but light writing style. Just as Pride and Prejudice became one of my all time favorites in high school, I read this book after I graduated and have kept it with me ever since.
A lovely nonfiction book that will add depth and nuance to your initial readings of Austen's works. The questions posed in this book help illuminate the nature and qualities of Austen's novels, and the author incorporates biographical info from Austen's letters and life to better understand her works.
If you're looking for a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice, this is a great place to start! This YA book centers around Zuri, who lives in Bushwick, NY with her family and gets a new neighbor in the wealthier Darius Darcy. This book questions privilege and the power of money in accessible ways.
If you think of Pride and Prejudice as Downtown Abbey, that book showed you the upstairs half while this book will show you the downstairs half. The servants of Longbourn are fully fledged in this book, giving you the other side of regency life that you miss in Austen's novels.
Yes, this book is lengthy, and yes, you initially have to keep a lot of characters straight—but I promise it's worth the effort! If you love books that explore the intricacies of daily life and deal heavily with place and environment, this is the ideal book for you.
As letters play a large role in Austen's works, I thought of this beautiful collection of envelope poems by Emily Dickinson. Dickinson came a lifetime after Austen, but they share a strong sense for the importance of quotidian life and the power of words.