13 Jul Jon Spence, who has died aged 65, was the author of Becoming Jane Austen, a biographical account of the author’s life that formed the basis. 5 May Available in: Paperback. Jon Spence’s fascinating biography of Jane Austen paints an intimate portrait of the much-loved novelist. Spence’s. All about Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence. LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers.

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We will never know how deeply Jane cared for Lefroy nor how quickly she recovered from any ensuing heartbreak.

He had recently separated from his long-term male partner. The author makes a lot of assumptions about Austen’s feelings about various events and people as well. Clearly written, jargon-free and pleasant to read, it covers familiar ground without any sense of fatigue and makes the most of the material.

Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher.

Spence lived abroad for many years and towards the end of his life he divided his time between London and Sydney, finally passing away at his Sydney home. This was a good read, a fascinating look into Jane Austen’s life. It took me longer than usual to get through this book, but it was well-worth it! The best parts were definitely those that dealt with Austen and her oeuvre. This writer has really done his homework and brings Jane out of the shadows with his clever detective work,analysing her juvenilia, her correspondence and what is NOT there There are a lot of names that are confusing, and I didn’t try to keep them all sorted out.

Overshare Rose Ellen Dix. It has all the requisite biographical details, but it goes one step further and tries to fill in the blanks for us. It feels as though the male author is patting Jane and readers on the back, and saying, “There, there, Jane, I know you have no talent, so stealing plots and characters from male authors is, sadly, just what girl authors have to do. I do think the author stretches some points a bit and has a few shaky pieces of evidence, but loved it non-the-less.


Jon Spence’s fascinating biography of Jane Austen paints an intimate portrait of the much-loved novelist. After the initial laying out of the Austen family tree, the pace of the book improves.

His elegant narrative provides a point of entry into Jane Austen’s world as she herself perceived and experienced it.

Jon Spence

Spence makes a case that her personal experiences and family history inform her writing much more than a string of classic plays or novels read as a part of her formal education. He also included a lot of her letters which added nice depth to the novel. Full of information, to be sure. Becoming Jane Austen is more fanon than canon.

Plus his way of reading Austen’s writing as entirely autobiographically inspired bothers me, especially after he quotes someone who says her inspiration does not come from her surroundings, at least not to the degree that Spence seems to find. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Become a LibraryThing Author. It f Jon Spence may well be an OK historian, but he commits the classic ‘male author writing of a well-known female’ error, turning this book, while admittedly fun to read, into tripe.

There are plenty of “Jane must have felt”s, and “She was probably inspired by”s, which at least let us know it’s the author’s opinion.

Becoming Jane Austen

While I enjoyed the movie, it is in fact quite fake. I think you have to be in a good place to be able to spend time with this biography.

But he also attributes many opinions, feelings, and motivations to her without equivocation, things he couldn’t possibly know. When asked, towards the end of his life he died inaged 93if he had been in love with Jane Austen, Lefroy replied that he had, “but it was a boyish love”.


Darker settings, characters, beco,ing more physical attraction that is blatantly obvious to the reader. This book does talk about Tom Lefroy. Rob Ford, Canadian politician.

Becoming Jane Austen – Wikipedia

It all comes across as wishful thinking. Is the style written as novel, or is it another biography? There are hints of shadows, an awareness of loss etc.

I wonder, does this count as alternative fiction? Books by Jon Spence. Hard to write anything new about Jane Austen these days, but Spence, in his own quiet and unobtrusive way, has done it.

Since this is the inspiration for the movie, be prepared for a strong insistence on a relationship between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy the author frequently finds connections that may or may not be true.

Jon Spence – Telegraph

If he pulled them directly from his research, he would have annotated it, because this was a well-researched book with exhaustive endnotes and a full bibliography. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Mar 03, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: I’ll have to preface this “review” I don’t think my bookly blurbs actually deserve that title, but whatever by saying that reading this biography was interesting for me.

Some readers may resent his theories and feel they discredit Austen’s creativity, but I found that many of his views were insightful and added to the depth of my fvorite stories.