Jane Austen Carol Shields, 2001

A spare biography. Shields treats Austen with respect and admiration, shows Austen’s growth as a novelist, and comments on the writing process and Jane’s societal context. A regret: distance between Carol and Jane. An irony: Shields noted Sandition “does not read like the work of a dying woman” when she, too, died of breast cancer in 2003.                        7.5/10

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