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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical
Jane Austen, the Secret Radical | Helena Kelly
'What this radical re-reading ... does so brilliantly is to exhort us all to chuck out the chintz, and the teacups, and all the traditional romantic notions about Austen's work that have been fed to us for so long ... However well you think you know the novels, you'll be raring to read them again once you've read this.' Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller Almost everything we think we know about Jane Austen is wrong. Her novels dont confine themselves to grand houses and they were not written just for readers enjoyment. She writes about serious subjects and her books are deeply subversive. We just dont read her properly - we havent been reading her properly for 200 years. Jane Austen, The Secret Radical puts that right. In her first, brilliantly original book, Austen expert Helena Kelly introduces the reader to a passionate woman living in an age of revolution; to a writer who used what was regarded as the lightest of literary genres, the novel, to grapple with the weightiest of subjects feminism, slavery, abuse, the treatment of the poor, the power of the Church, even evolution at a time, and in a place, when to write about such things directly was seen as akin to treason. Uncovering a radical, spirited and political engaged Austen, Jane Austen, The Secret Radical will encourage you to read Jane, all over again.
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
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Proud to be a Obstinate Headstrong Girl?
Tell me Tales of your Rebel ways.
I'm a Childfree by Choice Vegetarian who goes to Yoga on Sunday mornings. I read Banned Books while drinking Laphroaig Whisky Neat. ✊
#mymotherwouldnotapprove
#obstinateheadstronggirl
#austeninaugust2019

HOTPock3tt I am also child free by choice and loving life! ♥️😃 3mo
sprainedbrain I love that shirt!! 😍 3mo
See All 13 Comments
Bookzombie Child free by choice 🙋🏼‍♀️ 3mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 I‘m childfree but I can‘t swear that it‘s by choice, even though I‘m loving the outcome. Lol Being an aunt was enough for me. 3mo
Zelma Another very happy childfree person. 👋 we have a large fur family and love it. 3mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Zelma Fur babies are the best babies! 3mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 Hahahaha!!! YES!!! Rosalind Russell was SO good in that film!! I‘d like to read the book one day!! 3mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @JanuarieTimewalker13 It's been awhile but I remember it as really good. 3mo
Eyelit 💙💙💙 3mo
48 likes13 comments
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Andrea313
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Joining in for #AustenInAugust2019! Thanks for leading, @Crinoline_Laphroaig. Here's a Jane-related title on my #TBR; has anyone read this?
📷: The Literate Quilter

Crinoline_Laphroaig I've not read. Excited to hear your thoughts. 3mo
sprainedbrain This sounds interesting! Stacking. 3mo
Daisey I‘ve read part of this book, the chapters about the Austen books I‘ve already read. I thought it was really interesting, although I‘m not sure I agree with all of the author‘s thoughts. I specifically appreciated Sense & Sensibility on a second read with the discussion in this book as well. 3mo
Andrea313 @Daisey Thanks for your thoughts! I'm definitely looking forward to reading this. 3mo
14 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Leelee08
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Book mail is the very best mail.❤️📚❤️

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sammisho
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Mehso-so

I always knew that Austen's novels are full of satire, social/political commentary and sarcasam, it's one of the things I love about Jane Austen. This book, examines each of Jane's completed novels and almost line by line points out all the hidden and double meanings. I found those book interesting and appreciated looking at the novels in a wider perspective based on the social and political climate of the time ⬇⬇⬇⬇

sammisho but I also thought some of the theories presented were far fetched. So little is known about Austen, so the author really had to use some guesswork on wha Jane may or may not of intended to do with her work. The author is convinced that these novels were not meant to be "fodder for my regency romantic fantasies". While I agree with that to a point. I also believe Jane wanted to provide entertainment and an escape from reality.⬇⬇ 13mo
sammisho I also found the delivery somewhat dry and clinical, which detracts from the beauty and "special-ness" that I love in Jane Austen novels. Prehaps, I am just a hopeless romantic, and don't want to see deeper meanings in my most beloved stories, but I think there's author missed the mark. 13mo
Daisey I haven‘t finished this yet, reading just a chapter at a time once in a while, but I do agree some of the theories seem far-fetched. I‘m still finding the way it‘s making me think about the books fascinating. Glad to see what you thought! 13mo
sammisho @Daisey I did think it was super interesting and I will be thinking about some of her ideas next I do a reread. But I rolled my eyes a lot too! 13mo
mabell Great review! I'm one who would prefer to keep the "magic" ? 13mo
31 likes5 comments
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sammisho
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Another Sunday afternoon of #audiobaking. Lemon muffins, butterscotch blondies, and really flat chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.

This book is interesting, but not sure I completely agree with all the author's theories. Has anyone else read it? Thoughts?

vivastory Looks delicious! 13mo
Soubhiville Mmmmmmmmm! 13mo
Daisey I did some baking today too. This dreary weather makes it a good day for baking! 13mo
46 likes3 comments
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TheAnitaAlvarez
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Pickpick

When I was in high school, a friend asked my why I liked Jane Austen, as she was only a writers “of manners”. And I‘m sure Jane Austen may seem like that superficially, but she‘s so much more than that. Helena Kelly does a brilliant work of presenting how Jane Austen approached hard social topics in her novels and their subversive nature as a female writer in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Highly recommend to any Austen fan.

Daisey I‘m reading this a chapter at a time as I have a chance to revisit each of the novels and loving it. It‘s very much making me think more carefully about her work as I read. 1y
TheAnitaAlvarez @Daisey it has always bothered me when people dismiss Austen as merely writing romance novels, she tackled class, women‘s rights, slavery, and war. And she did all from the domestic space in which women were confined back then. It‘s amazing. 1y
92 likes7 stack adds2 comments
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jillrhudy
Mehso-so

This book had some interesting history and literary criticism but boiled down to: Austen thought marriage was dangerous due to childbirth, landowners hurt and neglected the poor, the nobility were snobs, the church was full of hypocrites, slavery was lousy, and Lizzie & Darcy‘s relationship defies social norms. None of these ideas is “radical”, nor is it a “secret” that Austen‘s novels reveal them. #AusteninAugust #AnglophilesofLitsy

Crinoline_Laphroaig Thank you for the review! It's been on my maybe I should read list for awhile. 1y
jillrhudy @Crinoline_Laphroaig you‘re welcome! 1y
17 likes2 comments
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ShellYeah
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Just started this audiobook yesterday and so far it‘s interesting enough to keep going but feels a little repetitive.

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Daisey
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I couldn‘t resist; I had to immediately read the first few pages of this book and I‘m intrigued. I doubt I‘ll read straight through, instead I plan to focus on a chapter or two relevant to her books I‘ve read more recently at first.

#JaneAustenSwap

58 likes3 stack adds
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Daisey
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Thank you @Captivatedbybooks for this wonderful package for #JaneAustenSwap! I love that I now have copies of all these Jane Austen books and these are lovely editions. The tagged book sounds absolutely fascinating. If it were a cold day, that mug would be immediately put in to use and the bookmarks are beautiful. 💕 📚

sprainedbrain Lovely gifts! ❤️ 1y
Captivatedbybooks Glad you liked it 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Wonderful gifts 💝👏 1y
mabell Such pretty editions! 😍 1y
Daisey @Captivatedbybooks It‘s fantastic and I already read a few pages of The Secret Radical. 1y
58 likes5 comments
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LeahBergen
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@Melissa_J !! I love it all so much!!

The Bennet sisters t-shirt, the P&P quote tote bag, the Emma page flags! 😍 That Penguin P&P mug with the Cream Earl Grey tea! 😍 And the books, the wonderful books! 😍 You truly knew just what to get me. Thank you so much, my friend. 😘

And thank you to our amazing hosts, @sprainedbrain and @mabell . You two did a wonderful job! 😘

#JaneAustenSwap

Sophoclessweetheart Omg! The best one yet! 🖤🖤 1y
BookaholicNatty These are some ahhhhhhmszing Austen goodies!!!!📚😍😍😍 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Amazing gifts you have there!!😍 1y
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CouronneDhiver Beautiful 1y
Mitch Great T! 🥇 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess Love that T! 1y
TrishB Loving looking at all these gifts 💕 1y
BookishMe Incredible goodies! ;D 1y
Cinfhen Soooooo cute!!!!!! 1y
sprainedbrain Oh my goodness! So much gorgeous stuff. That shirt!! 😍😍😍 1y
mabell I love it all!! ❤️❤️ The tote! The mug! The books! 😍😍 So lovely!! 1y
eanderson 💕💕💕💕 1y
Melissa_J Yay! I‘m so glad you like everything. I had so much fun shopping for you 😊 1y
Kalalalatja Wonderful gifts! 1y
staci.reads Love the t-shirt! 1y
Elisa How awesome that tee?? 😍😍😍 Also that “The Secret Radical” book — I had never heard of it until today but now I simply but get myself a copy!! 😄 1y
LauraBeth Wow! ALL are such amazing gifts! 😍 1y
emilyhaldi Awesome gift!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Reviewsbylola Love the shirt!! 1y
rubyslippersreads 😍😍😍 1y
LeahBergen @Melissa_J I love it all! I had to get on a flight yesterday morning so I‘ve had hardly any time with my new gifts. I‘ll be reunited with them next week. 😆 1y
LeahBergen @Melissa_J The tote just came back from a walk to Shoppers Drug Mart (I spent enough to get the Lancome bonus gift 😆). 1y
Melissa_J I‘m sure everyone you came across was admiring it 😊 Mine goes to work with me. 1y
124 likes24 comments
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Emilymdxn
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Today‘s #bookmail part 1 livening up my desk at work! Been wanting to read the Jane Austen one for aaaaages

Sophoclessweetheart Ahhh! This Jane Austen book is high on my wish list x 2y
Emilymdxn I‘ve been walking past it in the bookshop window for weeks and knew I had to have it! 2y
25 likes2 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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This is what I was trying to post when #LitsyApocalypsePartDeux occurred! 😵😵😵

With the #JaneAustenswap coming up, I‘d love to hear what is at the top of everyone‘s wish list. These are my current most wished for Austenite books. 😊

Hope everyone is sane again now that Litsy is back up and running. 😂

TheLibrarian I did a happy dance when it came back up. 2y
TaylorMay All of these are now on my TBR! Except Eligible because I already endured that one 😫 2y
mabell What a great idea to post which ones are at the top of your wishlist! 2y
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sprainedbrain This is a great idea! Also, I‘m 😂 at the enduring comment @TaylorMay 2y
TaylorMay @sprainedbrain lol sorry I wasn't the biggest fan of that one. 2y
4thhouseontheleft @sprainedbrain @TaylorMay Yikes! I have actually never read any of Sittenfeld‘s books, but it *sounds* good! That is how I felt about Death Comes to Pemberley. 2y
4thhouseontheleft @TheLibrarian me too! @mabell I‘m even more interested in seeing what is at the top of other Litten‘s lists! ❣️❣️❣️ 2y
TaylorMay @4thhouseontheleft you may love it! It just wasn't for me. ❤ Promise though if you do read it follow it up with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube. That is a much better modern retelling in a totally fun and quirky vlog style 2y
rustoryhuf I actually would love a copy of Austenland the movie. I‘ve read so much about it here on #Litsy and no one is streaming it. 2y
Sophoclessweetheart These all look amazing! I think I‘ll pop one of these up too! 😍 2y
99 likes1 stack add10 comments
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Heideschrampf
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How i love a late breakfast, raiding my mom's fridge... yaaaawn.... 😮😴🍳☕️🥓#booksandbreakfast

Cinfhen Such a pretty pic 😍 2y
Sills Oh yum😍 2y
Christine11 Looks delicious! 2y
ephemeralwaltz 😍😍😍 2y
70 likes4 comments
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Heideschrampf
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HAPPY PANCAKE DAY, EVERYONE! ❤️🥞🥂
#booksandbreakfast

Buechersuechtling Yupp. Pancakes rule. My dinner tonight. 😋 #PancakeDay 🥞 2y
72 likes1 comment
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hel-the-gell
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Mini #library #bookhaul for today. I was clearly feeling a theme!

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roneea
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Rome is book heaven! This is a row of stalls near the main station that sells books all night long, heavenllyyyyyyyyyyy
#bookishholiday

I'm reading the Secret Radial and loving this refreshing take in Austen. Its very in line with the way I studied Austen at uni as a Romantic.

BrainyHeroine I love Rome, they have so many great bookshops and stationary stores 2y
roneea @BrainyHeroine so awesome! In Australia bookshops are slowly becoming extinct so it was so fun to accidentally stumble into bookshops in almost every street! 2y
8 likes2 comments
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Somasis
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Pickpick

A wonderful companion for any Jane Austen fan, Kelly focuses on each of Austen's books, offering historic context, social clues, and a well written interpretation of each. This had me itching to revisit Jane's world.

10 likes1 stack add
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Heideschrampf
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#booksatbreakfast with spinach'n cheese omlette and leftover swedish cinnamon rolls

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Heideschrampf
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Still trying to limit my focus on my upcoming term paper an BA exam on good ol Jenny, but keep getting distracted by this and that and their mother's favorite read... 📚🔜 #emojinov #booksatbreakfast #booksandbreakfast

31 likes1 stack add
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Heideschrampf
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#booksandbreakfast plundering my mum's fridge and enjoying the autumn sun ☀️ 🍂

emilyhaldi Yum!! 😋 2y
43 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Heideschrampf
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JoeStalksBeck Beautiful pic! 2y
41 likes1 comment
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Christy2318
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Pickpick

“Forget the Jane Austen you think you know. Forget the biographies; forget the pretty adaptations. Ignore the banknote. Read Jane‘s novels. They‘re there to speak for her; love stories, yes, though not always happy ones, but also the productions of an extraordinary mind,in an extraordinary age. Read them again.” I‘m not sure I agree with all of her analysis but this was an interesting read. Recommended for the serious Janeite.

MarriedtoMrT Cute face!😻 2y
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CoffeeCatsBooks
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Pickpick

Thoughtful read. I didn't agree with all the author's points & other points I thought she took too far, but it was an interesting way to reexamine Austen's works. I thought her comments on Mansfield Park were particularly insightful & I'm tempted to re-read it, despite very much disliking the character Fanny. I'll probably re-read all of her novels soon. I wish I had know someone who was reading this while I was, as I really wanted to discuss it.

ValerieAndBooks I have this, I won it in a giveaway — I‘ll try to get to it soon and we could discuss 😊. It‘s been a long time since I‘ve read Austen though, so I probably wouldn‘t be an authority on whether I agree on the author‘s opinions. 2y
CoffeeCatsBooks @ValerieAndBooks That would be great!! 📖 2y
See All 7 Comments
Leftcoastzen reading it right now , but only 23 pages in . 2y
CoffeeCatsBooks @Leftcoastzen Well, one of the points I thought she went too far with happens in her first section on Northanger Abbey. 2y
Leftcoastzen @CoffeeCatsBooks I just read that first section , it‘s more than a bit out there, but still enough interest to keep reading. 2y
CoffeeCatsBooks @Leftcoastzen If I remember correctly, I disagreed with her about P&P and didn‘t agree with her portrayal of Colonel Brandon, but I‘d like to re-read S&S in case I‘m relying too much on the movie version. 2y
53 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Bird
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So excited ! 😍 #JaneAusten

brennahawleycraig I have this at home to read too!! 2y
Bird I‘m only about 30% in but I love it so far! 2y
17 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Heideschrampf
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Preparing for next semester's seminar on dear jenny! #austentacious

Sarah83 Please tell me, how you like it. It wasn't sure, if I should buy it or not. 2y
Heideschrampf @Sarah83 i will! I'm not too far in yet, but it seems an interessting mix between literary essay and fictionalised biography 2y
34 likes2 comments
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CrowCAH
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Found these two lovelies on the new shelf next to each other! #SHPL

the_alternate_ending_library I need that copy of Jane Eyre 😍 2y
79 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Book mail! I won this in one of those publisher's sweepstakes I'm always filling out 😊. Looks very interesting. Thanks to Penguin Random House for this!

LauraJ Sounds like a really cool book. 2y
Melissa_J This sounds great! Stacked. 2y
LauraBeth This sounds really good 😀 2y
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LeahBergen Lucky you! 2y
batsy Fantastic! I'm really interested in this and look forward to your thoughts. 2y
Suet624 Ooohhh. Nice! 2y
90 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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catiewithac
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Pickpick

I don't often indulge my English Lit degree tendencies, but this book was a pure delight for me. Not so much biography as close textual and historical analysis of Jane Austen's novels. Of course I've read everything by Jane (more than once!).

12 likes1 stack add
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Jen2
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Pickpick

Great audio book!!! I learned so much!

102 likes6 stack adds
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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 5! This is a great time for Jane Austen fans with so much material coming out on the 200th anniversary of her passing. Released in May. Helena Kay, a leading authority on Austen, reassesses Austen's life to make clear that the icon has been misread over the last centuries. The real Jane Austen was subversive, treasonous even, and how her works were revolutionary thinking for her time. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

gossamerchild Books about Jane Austen, yes! 😍😍 2y
melissanorr I very much enjoyed this book! 2y
73 likes14 stack adds2 comments
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rubyslippersreads
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Some vintage Jane and some new, to commemorate #janeausten200.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful ❤️ 2y
TheLondonBookworm 😍😍😍😍 2y
[DELETED] 3803335244 I love Jane! 2y
88 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Birdsong28
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Book haul!! The Jane Austen book is a #blameitonlitsy book 📖📚

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jenniferw88
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111 likes1 comment
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rubyslippersreads
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Look at the fabulous Jane-Austen themed treasures I received from @sarielizbeth 😍 I can't wait to read, color by ❤️Mr. Darcy❤️ candlelight (yes, that's the name of the 🕯), and wear my adorable pins! Thanks so much for a very thoughtful gift! 😀 #summersantagoespostal

sarielizbeth You are welcome! So glad you like it! 2y
AJBowers Sooo cute!!! 2y
Hollie Very nice! 😀 2y
See All 6 Comments
CrowCAH I don't think you adore Jane Austen at all! 😂😉 2y
rubyslippersreads @CrowCAH Oh no, not one bit! 😂😂😂 2y
LeahBergen Oooo!! 2y
112 likes1 stack add6 comments
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lycomayflower
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I knew that the maternal death rate was comparatively not great in the US, but jeez Louise

7 likes1 stack add
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melissanorr
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Pickpick

I very much enjoyed reading this. While I wasn't with her arguments 100%, there were several things that I learned about the time and world of Austen that definitely informed her work in ways I simply didn't know before.

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Librarybelle
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#libraryhaul today...all brand new copies (I love being the first one to receive a book)!

Librarylady Getting to be the first person to check out a book is the best. 2y
batsy I've been so curious about the Helena Kelly book! 2y
Librarybelle @Librarylady It truly is...everything feels so new, and the covers are so shiny. 2y
40 likes4 comments
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Leelee08
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❤️❤️❤️

Zelma Agreed! 💕 2y
84 likes1 stack add1 comment
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YouBookMe
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Hmm...not sure I agree with the premise of this book, but the cover design is on point! Could be a very interesting read.

luvamystery65 I did tell you about our local indie doing a Summer of Austen for her 100th anniversary of her death? Kind of dreary about the death anniversary but they have so many events and their window art and bookmarks are amazing! I need to start posting and giving them the shout out! Need to see if this book is on the Austen shelf. 2y
YouBookMe @luvamystery65 Yes, and I'm so jealous! The Summer of Austen sounds amazing! 2y
4 likes2 comments
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Leelee08
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My newest library book!❤️

LauraBrook Oooh, this sounds good! #stacked 2y
Leelee08 @LauraBrook I know! Can't wait to start it! 2y
69 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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balletbookworm
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Mehso-so

The arguments made about Jane Austen's political leanings are worth thinking about, whether you agree or not. However, the affectation of placing a fanciful, fictionalized scene from Austen's life at the beginning of each chapter, including the Intro, is completely unnecessary and hypocritical after taking Austen biographers to task for creating unsupported-by-evidence portraits of "our Dear Jane." The editor should had nixed those pages.

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balletbookworm
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I am enjoying the textual arguments in this book - that Jane Austen had radical, non conservative politics, etc.
HOWEVER...
The author opens each chapter with a lengthy (particularly in the Introduction) imagining about some scene from Austen's life, right down to "Jane thought". Not only is it completely inappropriate, the author had just got done pillorying all the fanciful bios of "our Dear Sweet Aunt Jane." Someone's editor is slacking.?

LeahBergen I find this so irritating in nonfiction and biography. 😐 3y
saresmoore Blurg. That's frustrating. 3y
balletbookworm @LeahBergen @saresmoore it basically makes me want to spit nails at the beginning of each chapter. Such a lazy device when it's not needed (could have forgiven it if it had just been used only at the beginning of the Introduction, but each chapter? Heck no) 3y
29 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rubyslippersreads
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Some of my #2017MostAnticipatedBooks--I'm sure there will be more as the year progresses. 😀 #seasonsreadings2016

LeahBergen 😍😍😍 3y
90 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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whatthelog
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my Christmas eve present! I always get a book, an ornament, and a pair of pajamas. excited to read this one!

19 likes2 stack adds
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Moray_Reads
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This is why I like to do my Christmas shopping for friends and family BEFORE December. Then I can splurge on myself in the Christmas sales (relatively) guilt-free.

cathysaid ❤️ The Valley of Amazement 3y
Moray_Reads @cathysaid It's a long one. Should keep me going for a while! 3y
vivastory I received a 25% off coupon from Barnes and Noble today. I know I should use it to finish shopping for family. Who am I kidding though, I'm sure I'll use it for myself. 3y
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Moray_Reads @vivastory You know you want to. A coupon is a reward, you earned it! (I've bought 17 books for myself this week 😰) 3y
vivastory @Moray_Reads Alright, you've convinced me! 😀 Were they e-books or a mixture? 3y
Moray_Reads @vivastory mostly in the Kindle sale but 5 were from my favourite second-hand bookshop. Spent an hour in there after work yesterday. Bliss. 😍 3y
vivastory @Moray_Reads Very nice. Sounds perfect. 3y
40 likes1 stack add7 comments