Posted by: rearadmiral | November 29, 2011

Jane Austen by Carol Shields

“Jane Austen” by Carol Shields
I became aware of this short bio(182pgs, part of the Penquin Lives series,2001) via the Canada Reads 2012 event. Sadly, the book didn’t make it out of the top 40. Shields(American born) was a Prof. of English at the U. of Manitoba and was Chancellor of the U. of Winnipeg. I found some of the conclusions about Jane Austen’s life “interesting”. More interesting was Shields’ comments about the books. Warning Lady Susan Fans, she didn’t care for it. The book won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2002. Very sadly, Shields passed from breast cancer in 2003. She had concluded that Jane Austen had passed from the same horrible thing. From the conclusion of book: “Her legacy is not a piece of reportage from the society of a particular past, but a wise and compelling exploration of human nature”. She continued, “Her men and women speak their needs and define the barriers that separate them from peace and satisfaction. They are as alive today in their longings as they were, two hundred years ago, when she first gave them breath”.

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