‘James was home, and announced that he and his brothers and their friends were going to put on a play! It was a thrilling story called ‘Matilda’, and James even wrote a new beginning and ending for it.
How exciting to watch the rehearsals, lively with laugher and squabbles. And what fun to finally sit in the dining parlor and see the actors, splendid in their costumes, saying their lines so well – and to be spellbound by the tale of murder and swordfights, trickery and true love, as it unfolded before your eyes!’
|A sample of one of the illustrations|
For myself, though, I wanted some more facts and a bit more detail on some of the events mentioned, and the second part of the book provides this, repeating the text of the first part and following this up with details, where known, and the source of those details. Sometimes things are also put into societal context. I found the repetition of the first text very helpful, as it saved me flipping back through the book to see exactly what was written. Here is an example of one of the expansions, in relation to the part I’ve quoted above, about James Austen writing a play:
‘In winter 1782, when Jane turned seven, the first known play at the Austens’ was staged. Enthusiasm for home theatricals had been sweeping the nation for some time. Over the next few years, other, equally ambitious theatricals were staged at the Austens’ home, although it’s not known if Jane ever took a speaking part.’Though the book is primarily focused on Austen’s youth, there is also a section outlining the later events of her life, and a timeline of the major events of her life. There are not many facts known about this period in Austen’s life, but I thought they were put into context well. I would also like to mention how attractive the book is. Aside from the drawings, which are lovely, the pages also have decoration. There are some books that are equally good in paper copy and in e-book but I would really recommend getting the hard copy book, as I can’t imagine that you could get the same effect on a screen as you do in the book. I think it’d also make a lovely gift, just because it’s so pretty. I found this a very readable and engaging book and I very much enjoyed it. I’d rate this book at 4½ stars.
*I was provided with a copy of this book by the author for my honest review
Last week Lisa Pliscou visited with a guest post and an international giveaway of a copy of Young Jane Austen. I’m going to extend the deadline on the giveaway until Tuesday, 21 April in case my review has whetted your appetite to obtain a copy! To enter, please just leave a comment on the giveaway post, and for a bonus entry, leave a comment on this post too. Please leave a way for me to contact you should you win. Please note this giveaway has now closed.