Saturday, May 15, 2010
34. Jane's Fame
BY: Claire Harman
Rated 4.5 Stars
I am a Jane Austin Junkie. Someone needs to develop a 12 step program for people like me.
But seriously, this was a very interesting book that looks at how and why Jane Austin and her books have become giants in the publishing world for almost two hundred years. She is second only to Shakespeare in achieving that.
Mention Jane Austen and you’ll likely incite a slew of fervent opinions from anyone within earshot. Regarded as a brilliant social satirist by scholars, Austen also enjoys the sort of popular affection usually reserved for girl-next-door movie stars, leading to the paradox of an academically revered author who has served as the inspiration for chick lit (The Jane Austen Book Club) and modern blockbusters (Becoming Jane). Almost two hundred years after her death, Austen remains a hot topic, and the current flare in the cultural zeitgeist echoes the continuous revival of her works, from the time of original publication through the twentieth century. In Jane’s Fame, Claire Harman gives us the complete biography—of both the author and her lasting cultural influence—making this essential reading for anyone interested in Austen’s life, works, and remarkably potent fame.