Reading about Jane Austen’s Life

she herself should not be forgotten . . . whilst her writings still live

Collected here are essays about Jane Austen’s life from JASNA’s journals, Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line, and from JASNA News and this site.  A brief biography of Jane Austen is also available.

Family Connections

“Reading at Godmersham: Edward’s Library and Marianne’s Books” by Gillian Dow. Persuasions 37 (2015): 152-162.

George Austen’s Absence from Family Life: The Shifting Biographical Response by Patricia M. Ard. Persuasions On-Line 34.1 (2013).

Edward Knight’s Inheritance: The Chawton, Godmersham, and Winchester Estates by Christine Grover. Persuasions On-Line 34.1 (2013).

“Brothers of the More Famous Jane: The Literary Aspirations, Achievements, and Influence of James and Henry Austen” by Maggie Lane. Persuasions 31 (2009): 13-32.

“Brotherly and Sisterly Dedications in Jane Austen’s Juvenilia” by Peter Sabor. Persuasions 31 (2009): 33-46.

“The Influence of Naval Captain Charles Austen’s North American Experiences on Persuasion and Mansfield Park by Sheila Johnson Kindred. Persuasions 31 (2009): 115-29.

“Charles Austen: Prize Chaser and Prize Taker on the North American Station 1805-1808” by Sheila Johnson Kindred. Persuasions 26 (2004): 188-94.

“Jane Austen’s Sailor Brothers: Francis and Charles in Life and Art” by Brian Southam. Persuasions 25 (2003): 33-45.

“Jane Austen’s Banker Brother: Henry Thomas Austen of Austen & Co., 1801-1816” by Clive Caplan. Persuasions 20 (1998): 69-90

“Henry Austen’s ‘Memoir of Miss Austen’” by David Gilson. Persuasions 19 (1997): 12-19.

“Jane Austen’s Soldier Brother: The Military Career of Captain Henry Thomas Austen” by Clive Caplan. Persuasions 18 (1996): 122-43.

“Letter Writing, Cassandra, and the Conventions of Romantic Love” by Susan Morgan. Persuasions 14 (1992): 104-12.

“My Aunt, Jane Austen” by Joan Austen-Leigh. Persuasions 11 (1989): 28-36.

“Austen Brothers and Sisters” by Park Honan. Persuasions 10 (1988): 59-64.

“Henry Austen and the Cubbington Meeting” by Robert Bearman. Persuasions 10 (1988): 22-26.

“Henry Austen: Jane Austen’s ‘Perpetual Sunshine’” by J. David Grey. Persuasions Occasional Papers 1 (1984): 9-12.

“Francis Austen’s Logbooks.” Persuasions 4 (1982): 21-22.

“Our Little Brother” by J. David Grey. Persuasions 3 (1981): 9-11.


JASNA Members Discuss Austen on The Jane Austen Book Club DVD (Discussion of Harris Bigg-Wither), JASNA Website (2008).

Miss Austen Regrets: Brook Edward Bridges, by Elizabeth Philosophos Cooper. JASNA Website (2008).

Miss Austen Regrets: Charles Thomas Haden, by Elizabeth Philosophos Cooper. JASNA Website (2008).

Becoming Jane: Sorting Fact from Fiction, by Marsha Huff. JASNA Website (2007).

“The One-Sided Romance of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy” by Joan Klingel Ray. Persuasions On-Line 28.1 (2007).

“Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy: Stories” by Linda Robinson Walker. Persuasions On-Line 27.1 (2006).

“The Unknown Lover” by Constance Pilgrim. Persuasions 9 (1987): 37-44.

Before Chawton

“A Treasured Possession: Jane Austen and the Chandos Letter” by Karen Thomson. Persuasions On-Line 35.1 (2014).

“Jane Austen and the Subscription List to Camilla (1796)” by Jocelyn Harris. Persuasions On-Line 35.1 (2014).

“Jane Austen beside the Seaside: Devonshire and Wales 1801–1803” by Brian C. Southam. Persuasions 33 (2011): 125-47.

“Why Was Jane Austen Sent away to School at Seven? An Empirical Look at a Vexing Question” by Linda Robinson Walker. Persuasions On-Line 26.1 (2005).

Chawton Years

Pride, Prejudice, and the Threat to Edward Knight’s Inheritance by Christine Grover. Persuasions On-Line 35.1 (2014).

“Jane Austen and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge” by Jocelyn Harris. Persuasions 34 (2012): 134-39.

“Jane Austen’s Death: The Long Reach of Typhus?” by Linda Robinson Walker. Persuasions On-Line 31.1 (2010).

“Jane Austen’s Reading: The Chawton Years” by Gillian Dow and Katie Halsey. Persuasions On-Line 30.2 (2010).

“Elegance and Simplicity: Jane Austen and Wedgwood” by Linda Slothouber. Persuasions 31 (2009): 163-72.

“The History of Jane Austen’s Writing Desk” by Freydis Jane Welland. Persuasions 30 (2008): 125-28.

“‘To be above Vulgar Economy’: Thrifty Measures in Jane Austen’s Letters” by Susan Allen Ford. Persuasions 30 (2008): 216-21.

“The Chawton Years (1809-1817)—‘Only’ Novels” by Irene B. McDonald. Persuasions On-Line 22.1 (2001).

Reviews of Biographies

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne, reviewed by Devoney Looser in JASNA News, Vol 30 No 1, Spring, 2014: 19.

May, Lou & Cass: Jane Austen’s Nieces in Ireland. by Sophia Hillan, reviewed by Susan Allen Ford in JASNA News, Vol 29 No 1, Spring, 2013: 19.

“‘Three or Four Families’: Suggestions for New Directions in Biographical Research” by Deirdre Le Faye. Persuasions On-Line 30.2 (2010).

A Chronology of Jane Austen and Her Family, by Deirdre Le Faye, reviewed by Peter Graham in JASNA News, Vol 23 No 1, Spring, 2007: 19.

Jane Austen: A Family Record, 2nd edition, by Deirdre Le Faye, reviewed by Jon Spence in JASNA News, Vol 21 No 2, Summer, 2005: 17.

Jane Austen, by Carol Shields, reviewed by Linda Relias in JASNA News, Vol 17 No 2, Summer, 2001: 28.

Sense and “Non-Sense” in Eight Jane Austen Biographies, by Keiko Parker. Persuasions 12 (1990): 24-34.