I recently received The Jane Austen Pocket Bible by Holly Ivins and have had occasion to use it a number of times. It is a small, compact, hard cover book filled with useful information about Jane’s life, novels, characters, movie adaptations, and the like.
Sprinkled throughout the chapters are facts and quotations, such as:
“Some of Jeane’s earliest encouragement for her writing came from her neighbour Anne Lefroy, or Madame Lefroy as she was known. Anne was a lively and intelligent woman who was a great reader of Milton, Pope and Shakespeare, and was even known to write poetry herself…”
In Her Own Words:
“Our family are great Novel-readers and not ashamed of being so.” (Letter to Cassandra, 1798)
The book is divided into the following sections:
- Introduction (including a timeline of her life and how she wrote)
- History and context, including a timeline of major historical events during this era.
- Places Austen lived
- Influences and literary context
- Austen’s novels
- Characters in Austen’s novels
- Love, romance, and marriage in Austen’s novels
- Film and TV adaptations of Austen’s novels
Next time I visit England, I will bring this compact treasure trove with me. More than a guide, this handy reference will inform me and help me to recall important facts as I visit the places where she lived and worked. Outside of travel, this guide allows me to quickly look up facts as I write my posts.
I’ve taken the attractive paper cover off, for the book tucks in quite nicely in my briefcase or handbag, and its hard red cover is sturdy enough to withstand the wear and tear of travel.
I recommend this book to teachers, students, and Janeites whose interest in Jane Austen is never ending.
Margaret Sullivan’s Jane Austen Handbook is delightful. Read my review here.
Joan Klingel Ray wrote Jane Austen for Dummies. Too large to take along on journeys, it nevertheless is a handy reference in any Jane Austen library. Read my review here.
I want to especially thank @sussexbestwalks, who I follow on Twitter, for arranging to send this book to me. What a lovely read and find. Order the book at this link.