Going back to English Class WIth A Jane Austen Education

BlogHer Review
Want to feel like you are back in a high level English Class, this book is for you. Penguin and BlogHer are allowing several bloggers a chance to review William Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education. I remember reading some of her books while in college, but this was thrilling as this book had not yet been published.

I was venturing out on a girls weekend and thought this would be a great opportunity to read because having 3 young children does not lend itself too much free time. A light book I thought that describes things we all go through growing up into adulthood, ie. gaining independence, falling in love, finding friends.

Basically the author William Derseiwicz writes a memoir of his days writing his own dissertation for graduate school. His subject as you can imagine is Jane Austen. The book is broken up into different Jane Austen books that he read and what real life lesson he learned from each one.

I have never written a dissertation but from the description from the author you have a lot of solitude and are completely immersed in your subject. I am not sure this book could have been written by anyone not doing a dissertation. The author breaks down his own life and relates it to one author's books and learns a life lesson through each of the book. I know that he also was studying Jane Austen herself to learn what she had been going through during the development of her books, but in truth it was often challenging to get through this book.

William’s life sounded interesting and maybe to provoke more interest he needed to relate it to someone else’s experience, both fictional and real. This book was hard to get through even though it was somewhat chronological to his own life. It has also been such a long time since I had read Jane Austen’s books that I think some of it was lost with the memory of what was happening in the books he was comparing. The author definitely describes each book as he discusses it but I really was not prepared for a book report!

The question remains as to whether or not I would recommend this book to a friend? I think if my friend was a true English/book fanatic I would.

Penquin books sent us a Penguin Deluxe Classics edition of Jane Austen's Complete Novels that I look forward to getting to soon and maybe then I will better relate with this book as the characters will be fresh in my mind. I will definitely read the original story, then read the chapter in A Jane Austen Education. Because I was not at home to reference the stories, nor could I expect myself to get through all 6 books discussed I may do so in the future!


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