- 1 What person is True Story based on
- 2 Who is True Story based on in real life
- 3 Why did Nath push Lydia into the water
- 4 Why did Lydia jump into the lake
- 5 Why is Long Way Down banned
What person is True Story based on
Returning to his hometown of Philadelphia, international comedy star The Kid (Hart) is back with a whole new level of celebrity. In his old neck of the words and reunited with his older and less-successful brother Carlton (Snipes), The Kid heads out for a wild night.
The next morning, however, events take a chilling turn when The Kid is woken up by Carlton and finds the woman in the bed with him has died. What comes next is a mixture of death, laughs, tears, murder and betrayal. So, how much of these match real events? Despite the title itself suggesting that the series is based on real events, True Story is a work of fiction, but there are some elements of the story that are accurate to Kevin Hart’s real life.
Who is True Story based on in real life
Is Kevin Hart’s True Story actually based on a true story? – Sadly, True Story doesn’t live up to its name. Hart’s new show is fictionalized, written by creator Eric Newman,
Where did they film Based on a True Story?
Where Was Based on a True Story Filmed? – Based on a True Story was indeed filmed in Los Angeles, California. Featuring several SoCal landmarks like the Griffith Observatory as well as stunning beaches, the show takes viewers through warm, affluent scenery, only to horrify moments later with blood and gore.
- RELATED: Is the “Bundy Club” Real? Serial Killer Motivations Discussed in Based on a True Story Los Angeles is so entwined in Based On A True Story ‘s plot, it became almost its own character.
- Our Los Angeles setting — the city where everybody wants to be famous — became a vivid backdrop to our story of fame, ambition, aspiration and murder,” executive producer and writer Craig Rosenberg told Deadline,
The character of Nathan Bartlett, played by Chris Messina, spends most of his time as a tennis star-turned-coach at a club, which is The Griffin Club in L.A. Although we mainly see the tennis courts, the towering three-story club is also prominently featured during clandestine conversations between Bartlett and his wife, played by Kaley Cuoco, as well as serial killer Matt Pierce, played by Tom Bateman.
But the Griffin Club is much more than what’s shown in the series. It’s the only private club in L.A. with two outdoor recreational pools — one for families and one for adults — and includes cabanas as well as spas, according to its website. Using the club in the series immediately sets the tone for Bartlett’s clients as the rich and famous, juxtaposed with his character’s struggle to make money and stay employed.
The Griffin Club started as the Westside Tennis Club for actors and entertainers back in 1926, according to its website, and was a gathering place for famous actors including Humphrey Bogart, Caesar Romero, and Joan Bennett. If you’re trying to get a sneak peek inside: good luck.
Why did Nath push Lydia into the water
Plot – On May 3, 1977, Lydia Lee, the middle child of the Lee family, is missing. After several days, her body is dredged out of the town lake. Lydia’s parents, James and Marilyn, are horrified by their daughter’s death. As the police investigate, her parents discover that, contrary to their belief that Lydia was popular and doing well in school, she was actually very lonely with almost no friends and that her grades had severely slipped.
The death of Lydia leads James and Marilyn to reflect on their lives. James, the academically gifted child of Chinese immigrants, spent his life yearning to belong. He met Marilyn in 1957 when he was a doctoral candidate at Harvard teaching a class on American culture in which she was a student. After graduation, James failed to secure a faculty position at Harvard, so he accepted an offer from the fictional Middlewood College in Ohio,
Marilyn grew up disgusted by her homemaker mother (who taught home economics at her high school) and longed to become a doctor. When she met James and recognized the racist treatment he had been enduring, Marilyn felt a kinship with him and the two began a relationship.
Discovering she was pregnant, Marilyn arranged for a quick marriage to James and was angry when her mother tried to stop the wedding after seeing that James was of Asian descent. Marilyn intended to resume her studies to become a doctor after her son, Nathan, was born, but after her second pregnancy, with Lydia, she remained a homemaker for eight years.
Upon receiving news of her estranged mother’s death, Marilyn returns to her childhood home in Virginia to deal with her mother’s possessions. While doing so, she realizes that she became a homemaker, as her mother had always desired. Marilyn then abandons her family to pursue her academic studies.
James believes that she has left because he and the children are Asian, and that she no longer wants to deal with the societal pressure of being outsiders. Marilyn’s absence lasts nine weeks, during which time she discovers that she is pregnant with a third child, Hannah. She returns home and realizes that she will never have the will to abandon her children and pursue a career again.
Instead, Marilyn encourages Lydia to become a doctor, aggressively training her in math and science. During Marilyn’s absence, James began favoring Lydia and bullying Nathan, whom James perceives to be as friendless as James was in childhood. Because of this, Nathan becomes jealous of Lydia and one day pushes her into the lake even though she cannot swim.
However, the ease with which she falls causes Nathan to realize that Lydia is drowning under the weight of her parents’ expectations. He rescues her and then the two become close. By the time they are teenagers, Lydia begins buckling under the weight of her mother’s expectations and cannot keep up with the advanced math and science courses her mother encourages her to take.
She also is tired of pretending that she has friends in order to assuage her father. Lydia begins to hang out with Jack, a next door neighbor whom Nathan hates, and who has a reputation for deflowering town girls. Meanwhile, Nathan, who has spent the past few years being ignored by his parents, is accepted into Harvard.
Lydia is scared of being abandoned by Nathan and hides his acceptance letter. When she is caught, a rift develops between the siblings. Lydia goes to Jack, hoping to have sex with him, but Jack confesses that he is in love with Nathan, and that his reputation as a Lothario is a pretense. Returning home, Lydia is determined to reveal her shortcomings to her father and mother.
Tracing her unhappiness to the time her brother pushed her into the lake, Lydia goes there late at night intending to jump into the water and swim back to shore. However, Lydia drowns instead. In the present, Marilyn discovers that after Lydia’s death, James has begun an affair with one of his graduate students, Louisa Chen, who is also of Chinese descent.
Marilyn learns that James believes that she resents their marriage because he and the children are not white. James leaves Marilyn. However, James and Marilyn slowly begin to reconnect when he returns. Nathan, who still believes that Jack is responsible for Lydia’s death, confronts him by the lake, punching him twice before Hannah, who has realized that Jack is in love with Nathan, stops him.
Nathan falls into the lake, where he realizes that he will never understand Lydia’s death and achieves a modicum of closure. He is helped out of the lake by Jack.
Why did Lydia jump into the lake
Stunned at first, Lydia decided to take charge of her life. She did not want to fear losing her mother or Nath anymore. She traced all her angst to the summer her mother disappeared and the day Nath saved her at the lake. She decided to go to the lake and swim, on her own, to prove that she was taking charge.
What did Hannah steal in Everything I Never Told You?
Summary: Chapter nine, Part 2 – James and Louisa take Lydia to get her driver’s permit. In the car, Lydia notices the affectionate way that Louisa touches James and concludes that Louisa is sleeping with her father, which makes her angry. Upset, Lydia fails her driver’s permit test.
Lydia worries she will never be able to get away from her parents. At home, Hannah happily helps Marilyn decorate a birthday cake for Lydia that is also meant to celebrate Lydia getting her driver’s permit. When Lydia gets home, she announces that she failed her test. Hannah knows the reason Lydia failed is that she didn’t study.
Hannah had stolen Lydia’s driver’s handbook a while back, and Lydia never came looking for it. In her room, an angry Lydia yanks off her new locket and hides it under her bed. But during the birthday dinner, Lydia smiles. No one notices the smile is fake except Hannah, who is aware of her sister’s dangerous transformation.
Why do men read Jane Austen?
Back in college, I never thought I’d like Jane Austen. Don’t get me wrong. I loved literary fiction and devoured the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Walter Scott. But for some reason I associated Austen with the three-hour Anne of Green Gables marathons my little sisters used to have with their friends from Ohio.
No man should have to witness that much tea, lace, patty cake and giggling. I am still traumatized. But after I read Brett McKay’s editorial, Why Men Should Read Jane Austen, I thought I should give Pride and Prejudice a chance. It was good. It didn’t take but a few pages to realize that this was not the typical three-act, Meg-Ryan-style chick flick I was expecting.
The sarcasm was hilarious, and the social commentary was profound. It was vividly clear that I was reading something from someone who had a Shakespearean understanding of human nature. And even though the plot line was relationship-based, it wasn’t a ready-made day-dream for frustrated singles.
- Austen actually had salient points from improving your dating life.
- No man can accuse Brett McKay of femininity.
- He earns his living managing a website called The Art of Manliness, and I highly recommend it.
- So I will let McKay speak for himself on what Austen has to offer modern-day men.
- With surprisingly compelling plots and deft dialogue, Austen’s novels are just plain enjoyable and entertaining to read,” he writes.
“What might be most surprising to those who associate Austen with the frilly clothes and seemingly stuffy manners of the Regency period, is that Austen has a truly sharp wit. A few years ago, I wrote an article on why men should read more fiction, and one of the reasons I gave is that it helps develop what cognitive psychologists call our ‘theory of mind.’ Theory of mind is what allows us to assess the mental states (thoughts, feelings, beliefs) of others based on a whole host of input, and to use that assessment to predict and explain what people are thinking.” McKay makes a salient point about our ability to theorize about the way another person’s mind works.
- Since literary fiction is the only genre of writing that provides the reader with internal dialogue, numerous scientific studies have determined that this genre improves people’s theory of mind.
- This is especially true when the author understands human nature and writes realistic characters, such as Austen did.
So reading her work can help navigate the unspoken complexities of interpersonal relationships, especially those relationships involving the opposite sex. For this reason, I believe every man should read Austen. In fact, I believe that reading Austen may be more beneficial for men than women.
Women are biologically hardwired to be more social than men, and that fact means women generally do better on theory-of-mind tasks than men. So women probably do not have to read fiction to develop their theory of mind. Austen is mainly entertainment for them. But for men, Austen’s works can be vital instruction on how to make educated guesses about real people.
McKay likens this to a mental muscle and that Austen’s novels are like “heavily-plated barbells.” He writes: “They’re all about relationships and what everyone thinks about those relationships. For example, in Pride and Prejudice, there are almost 50 different characters, and all of them connect with each other in some subtle way.
Eeping track of this web of relationships and figuring out what all those subtle 19th-century British social gestures really mean, becomes an intense workout in theory of mind. Whenever I finish a Jane Austen novel, I thus feel a bit more socially nimble. If you want to become a better strategizer, leader, husband, father or lover, reading Austen can certainly help.” One of my favorite examples of some poor fool who did not understand theory of mind comes from my own life.
When I was 18-years-old, I attended my first Philadelphia Church of God Singles Winter Weekend. Before Sabbath Services, I met an attractive blonde who asked some questions about where I was from and how my trip to Oklahoma was before mentioning that she needed to find her seat and didn’t know who was going to sit next to her today.
So, I helpfully responded that I didn’t think seating was assigned at these types of events and she could pick any open seat she wanted. After that, I made my way back to the seat where I had placed my bag earlier, pleased with the act of civil service I had provided this poor, confused citizen. Several years went by before I realized she had given me a subtle hint that she wanted me to sit next to her, and was not asking an earnest question about pre-arranged seating.
Most men probably aren’t as clueless about theory of mind as I tend to be. But no matter how clueless or intuitive you are, Jane Austen can probably help you become more perceptive. Even a simple phase like “I just want to be friends,” can take on a myriad of meanings depending on social context.
Taken literally, this phrase can mean: I am just looking to expand my social circle. But in certain contexts, it can mean: Back off and stop being creepy; I don’t like you that way. And in other contexts, it can mean: I like you, and wish you would give me a chance to get to know you better. But to interpret this phrase correctly requires some skill in theory of mind, as McKay would put it.
Many singles have consistently shut people of the opposite sex down because they interpret any sign of friendliness as proof positive that they want to marry them. But others have gone the extra mile in developing friendships and still completely missed the hints that one of their friends was open to the possibility of an even deeper relationship.
And some few have even deliberately ignored those hints in a bid to lead someone on for vain and self-centered reasons. Interpersonal relationships can be rife with misunderstandings, and we can definitely ask God for more “theory of mind.” But we can also enhance this through practice and study. In this particular case, practice involves going out and interacting with other people, but study can include the reading of literary fiction.
Non-fiction works can give you some insight into how people talk and act. But well-written literary fiction, such as Jane Austen, gives insight into how people’s internal dialogue lines up with their actual actions. (The Bible is a non-fiction book containing a fair bit of internal dialogue too.) “There’s a place in a man’s library for nonfiction biographies by writers like Edmund Morris and Stephen E.
- Ambrose, and for virile fiction by the likes of Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry,” McKay says.
- And, there should be a place for some Austen as well.
- In fact, it’ll make you a more well-rounded man.” Of course, if you only have time to read either the Bible or Sense and Sensibility, then spend your time in the Bible.
But if you have any availability or interest for literacy fiction at all, then Jane Austen can be an invaluable addition to your library!
Why is Long Way Down banned
Graphic by Maliah White Book banning is often born of ignorance and fear, an attempt to censor important issues and silence underrepresented voices. Everyone should be reading banned books— here are seven I recommend. As an avid reader, I despise book banning. “The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” was originally published as a weekly comic series in the “Raw” comic magazine. (Cover art courtesy of Art Spiegelman) “The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” by Art Spiegelman Reason for ban: nudity, language and depictions of violence.
- The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” is a biographical, graphic novel about the author and his father, Vladek Spiegelman, who survived the concentration camp in Nazi Germany-occupied Auschwitz, Poland.
- The story follows Vladek’s account of his suffering at the hands of Nazi Germany while providing insight into the relationship between Art and Vladek in the present day.
“Maus” is a particularly interesting Holocaust story as it tells not only Vladek’s tale of survival during the reign of Hitler, but also what his life is like as a free man decades later. This creates an extremely jarring, yet humanistic, view of the Holocaust, emphasizing that survivors were expected to resume life as normal after their escape.
It also shows how the Holocaust affected the survivor’s families and future generations. Generational trauma is a big theme in this book, and being a witness to Vladek and Art’s rocky relationship was almost as frustrating as reading about the horrors Vladek experienced as a Jew during the reign of Nazi Germany.
I simultaneously empathized with Art’s weariness towards his father’s coldness and entitlement, and judged Art for being so harsh and uncaring towards his father. “This One Summer” is a YA graphic novel that sheds light on the issue of internalized misogyny in young girls. (Cover art courtesy of Jillian Tamaki) “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki Reason for ban: LGBTQ characters, drug use, profanity and sexuality.
- This One Summer” was the most challenged book of 2016 according to the American Library Association.
- The graphic novel follows a teenage girl named Rose.
- Rose and her family stay at their vacation home in Awago every summer, and she spends a lot of time with her summer friend Windy, a resident there.
Yet Rose seems to be getting tired of Windy’s childish nature. Meanwhile, Rose grows frustrated with her distant, depressed mother and fosters a growing contempt for Jenny, an older girl who has caught the attention of Rose’s crush. This book is a challenging, yet beautiful, coming-of-age story, depicting a fairly underrepresented topic: internalized misogyny.
As Rose becomes a teenager, she grows eager to impress older teenage boys. She resorts to harshly criticizing and berating other, more mature girls, who she calls “sluts.” Simultaneously, she loses all interest in anything she and Windy used to love in order to impress her much older crush, Duncan. By the end of the novel, Rose begins to correct this way of thinking.
I feel this book holds so much value for young girls especially, as a girl who went through this exact phase and has a sister going through a similar phase. Most importantly, this book promotes having empathy to those we struggle to understand, whose actions or personality we are confused by or outright frown upon. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” deals with a mountain of heavy themes. The book deserves to act as a gateway to important conversations, not to be banned. (Cover art courtesy of Stacy Drummond) “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky Reason for ban: LGBTQ+ characters, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, abuse, abortion, suicidal themes and bullying.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is written as a series of letters by Charlie, a freshman high school student. The letters, simply addressed to “friend,” are a project assigned to him by his therapist. Charlie describes the pain he observes around him, experienced by the people he loves. As Charlie struggles not to become “unwell” again, he meets Sam and Patrick, who call themselves wallflowers, a band of social misfits.
They teach him not to simply live life, but to experience it. I am especially sad that this book is often challenged because it is a book that made me feel seen when I was entering junior high myself. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is so important for readers who may be struggling with trauma and depression as a teenager, to help them feel heard. “Long Way Down” is an extremely transparent tale of gun violence. Author Jason Reynolds has had several of his books banned and challenged, including “Stamped” and “All American Boys. (Cover art courtesy of Getty Images) “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds Reason for ban: gun violence and language.
- Long Way Down” is a book written in verse with the majority of the plot taking place in the span of 60 seconds.
- After his older brother, Shaun, is shot dead in their neighborhood, 15-year-old Will knows he has to follow three rules: don’t cry, don’t snitch and get revenge.
- But as he starts his elevator descent to kill his brother’s murderer, ghosts from his past join him on the way down.
I have never enjoyed a book written in verse until “Long Way Down.” The story is enhanced by the verse format. As Will starts to doubt himself, the words become more jumbled, and when Will is firm, the words are more linear.he words that stand alone on a page feel like a shot to the heart, just as Reynolds intended.
- Long Way Down” is one of the few books I’ve rated five stars.
- Every line has a purpose, every page holds so much weight and emotion.
- It expertly portrays the harrowing consequences of gun violence and cycles of violence.
- It highlights that society neglects the many children, often in impoverished communities, who come into contact with this violence at far too young an age.
Months after reading it, this book will randomly pop into my mind. It’s one I will carry with me for a long time. “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath is the mother book of the popular “sad women” trope. It was banned for daring to explore the mental wellbeing of women in the 1960s. (Cover art courtesy of Harper and Row) “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath Reason for ban: sexuality, discussions of suicide and the “overt rejection of the woman’s role as wife and mother.” In “The Bell Jar,” Esther Greenwood is sent to New York during her college years to work as a magazine editor.
- This classic novel relies less on an enthralling plot and more on the reader’s delve into Esther’s psyche.
- While going through the motions of life and facing heartbreak and trauma as a young woman, Esther begins to feel completely out of touch with her body and her life.
- As her mental well-being spirals, Esther fears that there is no way to escape the bell jar of insanity closing over her.
“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenburgs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” An opening line so strong and intriguing that I didn’t have to open the book to remember it. This line alone emulates the iconic status of the book, as well as sets the tone for what’s to come.
- Plath writes so enticingly, and Esther’s emotions and doubts seem to seep through every word.
- If you keep up with book trends, you’ll know that “sad woman” fiction is extremely popular right now.
- This includes titles like “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” and “Beautiful World Where are You.” “The Bell Jar” is the masterful mother of the genre, depicting women’s struggles with mental health long before it was acceptable to do so.
It is depicted in a way that draws sorrow and emotional turmoil from the reader, leaving me captivated by Esther’s story. “Lolita” is one of the more controversial and truly disturbing banned books.(Cover art courtesy of Jennifer Heuer) “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov Reasons for ban: pedophilia, sexual themes and violence. Perhaps the most controversial book on this list, “Lolita” is told in the form of a jury plea from a man named Humbert Humbert, who is trying to convince his audience that he is not guilty of pedophilia or murder.
Not because he did not commit those acts, but because those acts, in his eyes, were justified. In his tale, Humbert describes marrying a woman, Charlotte Haze, because he was in love with her 12-year-old daughter, Dolores. After her mother’s sudden death, Humbert and Dolores, who also goes by “Lolita,” embark on an increasingly deranged and obsessive cross-country road trip.
Lolita is definitely not for everyone. I remember being hesitant to pick it up, and feeling almost guilty when I did. I love stories in which the main character or narrator is the villain, and “Lolita” fits the bill. I think the biggest misunderstanding about this book is that it glorifies or condones pedophilia, that this book was intended to be a romance. “Pet” is a fantasy novel that takes place in a false utopia. On her Instagram, author Akwaeke Emezi stated, “Pet has actually been banned in Texas and pulled from some libraries, all because Jam is a trans girl protagonist. But we move nonetheless!” (Cover art courtesy of Shyama Golden) “Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi Reasons for ban: LGBTQ themes, sexuality and radical ideas.
“Pet” is a utopian tale centered around a young transgender girl named Jam. After the angels (protestors and social reformers) came and sent the monsters (oppressors) away to rehabilitation, the city of Lucille found peace. There is no more homelessness, imprisonment, bigotry or oppression. When one of her mother’s paintings, named “Pet,” comes to life and warns her that her best friend, Redemption, is in danger, Jam finds that monsters still exist, even when we ignore them.
First off, this story is written beautifully, using a mix of African American Vernacular English and language from this new world to create captivating lines that can feel like a hug or a sucker punch. I have my own copy of this book, and it’s filled to the brim with annotations and underlining.
This book is also especially strong thematically. It teaches readers that we can’t avoid problems, personal or worldly, by simply ignoring them. It examines what truly makes a person good or bad, and whether there can ever be such a thing as a utopia when a “perfect” society eradicates free thought and encourages blissful ignorance.
A secondary reason that this book is challenged or banned is its references to child abuse. We often try to “protect” children and young adults from watching or reading about the existence or nature of abuse, but what about those who are experiencing it for themselves? Books like “Pet” are so important for young people to see themselves and their pain reflected on the page, for them to feel empowered to speak up about their abuse in a world that would rather silence discussions about it.
Did Jane Austen like to read?
This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. James Wallace Harris is a retired computer guy. Jim dreamed of writing science fiction in his social security years, but discovered he loved writing essays more.
Life is short and novels are long. He’s written over a thousand essays for his blog Auxiliary Memory, Jim wrote about science fiction for SF Signal before it folded, and now for Worlds Without End. BookRiot gives him the opportunity to write about all the other kinds of books he loves. Finally, he has all the time in the world to read and write, but he never forgets poor Henry Bemis.
(Who also found time enough at last, until an evil Twilight Zone fate took it all away.) Twitter: @JimHarris28 View All posts by James Wallace Harris We’re celebrating Jane Austen on this, the day of her death, with a bevy of posts about her work and legacy.
See all the posts here, I’ve been studying the evolution of the bookworm. Although it’s hard to imagine, we bookworms haven’t always existed. There were reading addicts before books because scribes and monks loved words in the same way we do, but it took books and literacy to create a society where bookworms thrive.
My interest in rabid readers got started years ago with The Information by James Gleick. This year I’ve been focusing on the nineteenth century when novel reading reached a kind of critical mass. Because 2017 is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, I thought I’d research who Jane loved to read, and who might have loved reading Miss Austen before she died.
- Jane Austen’s decade was the 1810s.
- She published four books while living, two were published the year of her death.
- All six came out during 1811-1817.
- She wasn’t a bestseller in her day, but she got a reasonable amount of praise and made a respectable amount of money.
- Her books were published anonymously.
Sense and Sensibility by a Lady. Pride and Prejudice by the author of Sense and Sensibility, and so on. Books were very expensive in her day. Authors and their fandoms were microscopic compared to the gigantic fame writers achieve today. Reading Women in the English Novel 1800-1900 by Merryn Williams and Dickens’ Fur Coat and Charlotte’s Unanswered Letters by Daniel Pool gave me a slight sense of how author fandoms evolved in the nineteenth century.
Wildly popular novels did exist before 1800 like Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver’s Travels, but just how widely read were they in a society where the majority couldn’t afford books and were illiterate. Ironically, it was a time when girls weren’t educated, many of the novelists were women, and most of the readers might have been female.
Because Jane Austen essentially owns the early nineteenth-century English novel I thought I’d start with her in my quest to understand the beginning of popular writers and their fans. Jane is not the big bang of novel reading, but she was part of the inflationary period of our early reading universe.
In fact, studying what Jane read suggests a much more happening reading era in the 1700s. That surprised me because few books from that century are read for fun today. Book Deals Newsletter Sign up for our Book Deals newsletter and get up to 80% off books you actually want to read. Thank you for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox.
Who Jane Read Jane Austen read widely in the classics of her day, including the famous, Shakespeare and Milton, and the forgotten. Here are some of the popular books she probably read. The year given is the date of publication, not when Jane read those books. An asterisk denotes known favorites. Remember Jane lived from 1775-1817 and published between 1811-1817.
Links are to free online editions.
1752 – Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennon 1753 – The History of Sir Charles Grandison by Samuel Richardson* 1778 – Evelina by Frances Burney 1782 – Cecilia; Memoirs of an Heiress by Frances Burney 1783 – Adelaide and Theodore, or Letters on Education by Madame de Genlis 1785 – The Task: A Poem, in Six Books by William Cowper* 1791 – The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe 1794 – The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe 1796 – Camilla: A Picture of Youth by Frances Burney 1796 – The Monk by Mathew Lewis 1798 – A Practical Education by Maria Edgeworth 1800 – Castle Rackren t by Maria Edgeworth 1801 – Belinda by Maria Edgeworth 1801 – The Children of the Abbey, a Tale by Regina Maria Roche 1806 – Letters from The Mountains by Anne Grant 1808 – Cœlebs in Search of a Wife by Hannah More 1808 – Marmion (poem) by Sir Walter Scott 1809 – Woman; or, Ida of Athens by Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan 1810 – The Lady of the Lake (poem) by Sir Walter Scott 1811 – Self Control by Mary Brunton* 1813 – The Heroine; or, Adventures of a Fair Romance Reader by Eaton Stannard Barrett 1814 – The Corsair by Lord Byron 1814 – Alicia De Lacy, an Historical Romance by Jane West 1814 – Patronage by Maria Edgeworth 1814 – The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties by Frances Burney 1814 – Waverly by Sir Walter Scott 1815 – The Works of the Right Hon. Lord Byron 1816 – The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott 1816 – A Narrative of the Events by Helen Maria Williams
How we know what Jane read is not precise. This information has been gathered over the centuries by a close reading of her novels and surviving letters. Reading her letters can be a slog but is the best way to understand the real Jane. I started reading her letters but quit when I realized I needed a good annotated version, which I can’t find.
- I bought The Complete Works of Jane Austen for the Kindle for $1.99 so I could just computer search for keywords in the letters.
- What’s interesting is none of the books listed above are popularly consumed today.
- All are available online though.
- Sir Walter Scott was the Stephen King/J.K.
- Rowling of his day in terms of fans, but practically no one reads him anymore.
Jane Austen achieved modest success in her lifetime, but she and Charles Dickens are now the most remembered English novelists of the nineteenth century. I have read that Jane’s father bragged of owning 64 square feet of books, which could have been an 8×8 bookcase.
Jane Austen: What books were on her reading list? Jane Austen’s Reading: The Chawton Years Allusions to Books and Authors in Jane Austen’s writings (most complete list)
Who Read Jane Of course, Jane Austen’s most famous reader was the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. We get the labels Regency era and Regency romances because of him. Jane dedicated Emma to the Prince Regent but not without qualms, It’s very hard to gauge who read Jane Austen in her lifetime.
She had some short favorable book reviews and one very important one by Sir Walter Scott, Books were so expensive readers had to subscribe to circulating libraries. Novels were often published in 3-volumes which allowed three lenders to read one novel concurrently. Jane’s family is sometimes considered part of the upper-middle class, but they had money problems.
Jane’s extended family probably owned a lot of books compared to the average person in England, but even they joined several circulating libraries to chase down the titles they wanted to read. Wikipedia has the best summary of Jane’s modest critical success with its entry, ” Reception history of Jane Austen,” ” The Anonymous Jane Austen ” let me know that Sense and Sensibility (1811) had an initial print run of 750 which sold out by 1813.
- That she was paid £110 for Pride and Prejudice,
- That Mansfield Park had a print run of 1,250 and made her £320, the most in her lifetime.
- That Emma had too large of an initial print run losing money for the publisher and making her little.
- If she had lived she hoped to make enough money to support her family.
Since books were often read by lending – either from friends or lending libraries we can assume a few thousand people read Jane in her lifetime. Wikipedia said, “Austen’s novels quickly became fashionable among opinion-makers, namely, those aristocrats who often dictated fashion and taste.” It also reported, “Despite these positive reactions from the elite, Austen’s novels received relatively few reviews during her lifetime: two for Sense and Sensibility, three for Pride and Prejudice, none for Mansfield Park, and seven for Emma,
- Most of the reviews were short and on balance favourable, although superficial and cautious.” Because Jane’s brother was adopted by a well-to-do childless couple she had connections to upper-class book owners to borrow books.
- I’m not sure her fans had the access to the number of books she did.
- Even the yearly fees to circulating libraries cost more than what most English citizens of the day could afford.
My guess from reading the biographies of Jane Austen is only the well-to-do and well-educated read her. Even newspapers from that time were expensive because England taxed them to control protests of the government. Journals were less expensive, but Jane lived before the advent of serial publication which made Charles Dickens such a huge success.
- My impression from all my reading about Jane Austen is her readers were mostly women.
- She had male fans because men published and reviewed her books.
- Probably the literati of the day were mostly male.
- I say she had mostly female readers because I’ve read in the past that women were the majority of fiction readers at that time.
And there were quite a number of women writers before Jane Austen, some have even said the majority of early novelists were women. I can’t document this belief right now because it’s from memories of reading books in the past. If it’s true, my guess is men took over the novel writing business when it became more profitable, and when males in large numbers took up reading for pleasure.
- Jane Austen wrote realistic stories at a time when the sensational action tale was the norm.
- Austen made fun of such books in Northanger Abbey,
- I’m sure if her books had been affordable she could have been a bestselling author.
- Of course, there was a relationship to literacy,
- Over half the population couldn’t read.
Bookworms had to be educated and somewhat affluent. It’s almost impossible to count the biographies about Jane Austen. I used four different approaches searching for details that would give me a feeling of what living in 1817 was like and trying to imagine what how my book-minded personality would have fit in.
- The Tomalin book is the best current standard biography.
- Byrne takes a fascinating approach by writing about events and everyday objects in Austen’s novels and letters which describe the details around Jane Austen’s life.
- Pool takes a similar approach explaining the history, culture, and sociology around Jane.
Ray is a past president of the Jane Austen Society of North America and has written an extremely handy guide that combines all these approaches. All four books have their virtues and I ended up buying them all.
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne Jane Austen for Dummies by Joan Klingel Ray What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool
To get a visual feel for the times I rewatched a film version of each of Jane’s six classic novels. I saw books, home libraries, and even a bookstore. The libraries in the manor houses would have represented vast fortunes in books. The cottage in Sense and Sensibility where the Dashwoods lived looks something like the cottage at Chawton where Jane spent her final years.