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Download Jane Austen Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Jane Austen Audiobook, by Carol Shields
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,026 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carol Shields Narrator: Donada Peters, Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2001 ISBN: 9781415911013
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With the same sensitivity and artfulness that are the trademarks of her award-winning novels, Shields here explores the life of a writer whose own novels have delighted readers for the past 200 years. In Jane Austen, Shields follows this superb novelist from her early family life in Steventon to her later years in Bath, her broken engagement, and her intense relationship with her sister Cassandra. She reveals both the very private woman and the acclaimed author behind the enduring classics Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. With its fascinating insights into the writing process from a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist, Carol Shields's magnificent biography of Jane Austen is also a compelling meditation on how great fiction is created.

"This tightly written biography brings Austen to life in a way rarely seen. Here she is the living, breathing woman not the prim literary classic. Outstanding job."—Booklist Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Sammis | 2/20/2014

    " Carol Shields has deftly woven together literary analysis with biography in her reconstruction of the life and times of Jane Austen. Unfortunately I am not familiar enough with her books to fully appreciate this book. A true fan of Austen's works will enjoy this book a great deal I'm sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/13/2014

    " Books-on-cd version, read by Donada Peters in an ever-so-proper upperclass Brit accent. Poor Jane! So much potential! With the double strikes against her of living in one of the more oppressive places and times possible for women AND dying in her early 40's, she managed to turn out a respectable body of work. However, to this reader, the story of Miss Jane may still be more interesting than those of her novels... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 2/4/2014

    " Shields left me with great affection for Jane the person - how she managed to write through less than ideal circumstances. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judine | 1/31/2014

    " I enjoyed the blend Shields uses between the facts we know about Jane Austen and how these events may have had an impact on Austen's novels. I especially appreciate the details about her family life, which indicates some of her inspiration without laying out it all as a direct autobiographical reference. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arianna | 1/30/2014

    " Jane Austen: A Life is a biography of Jane Austen's life. It is the story of how an unmarried woman who was not friends with many people became the author of six novels, and came to have her name known by people all over the world, as a brilliant author. Jane Austen, who was the youngest of seven, was always the writer of the family. She loved to write letters to her friends and family, and she wrote poetry too. She would often write a poem for someone to congratulate them for something, or if the person had passed away, to remember them. For example, Jane wrote a poem to congratulate her brother, Francis, on his newborn son. She also wrote poems in honor of her friends or family members, when one of them passed away. Jane Austen published all her novels anonymously, so she didn't get recognized as the author of her novels until after her death. Only a few people knew she was the author, such as close family and friends. Her family was very impressed and proud of her novels. When they found out, they were thrilled, and encouraged her to keep writing. “O then. Gentle lady! Continue to write, And the sense of your reader t'amuse & delight”(Shields 147). I enjoyed reading this biography. It explained the details of Jane Austen's life in a very interesting way. The book talked about how Jane Austen never married or had children, even though she wanted to. It also talked about how even though Jane was very religious, since her father was a pastor, she never mentioned religion in her novels. Although at times the reading was a little slow, the biography was very interesting overall, and I learned more than I already knew about Jane Austen and her life. Overall, this book was very interesting. If you are interested in Jane Austen and want to know more about her life, I suggest reading this book. I am giving this book a 3 out of 5. At times the book went by at a very slow pace, such as when it was hung up on small details of Jane Austen's life. Although, I did enjoy reading this book. It gave me a lot of knowledge about Jane Austen, more than I knew before I read it. I did enjoy learning about Jane Austen's life. If you are interested in Jane Austen's life, I suggest you read this biography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 1/26/2014

    " I don't know why readers of Jane Austen are so absolutely fanatical about her novels, but this biography of Austen was much more interesting than I expected it to be. After reading this I have noticed than many of the many I know of who read and write a lot of fiction are very devoted to her, and I'd be interested in hearing more about why they enjoy her books so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianne | 1/20/2014

    " This was a very enjoyable and easy to read look at Jane Austen's life and writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 1/5/2014

    " Bought at the overwhelmingly huge NYC city bookstore, The Strand this past summer. I decided to read it after finishing The Stone Diaries by the same author. A short book - it is a quick, enjoyable read for any Jane Austen fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsten | 9/3/2013

    " This was a great book for putting Austen's work into perspective and context - not so much about the nitty-gritty details of her life. I understand those are scarce anyway... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 6/17/2013

    " This was a great short read on the life of Jane Austen. Well written and something to use as a reference when reading her novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 5/14/2013

    " Easy to read, it intertwines an analysis of the novels and of what is known about Jane Austen's life. It certainly makes you want to re-read the novels. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sun | 1/7/2013

    " Boring biography "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 12/28/2012

    " This biography of Jane Austen added so much depth to my understanding of her writings. Nicely sprinkled with choice quotes from Austen's works - really enjoyed this read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kenpen | 3/9/2012

    " This was a quick read about Jane Austen. I didn't know much about her, but love her novels. I now feel motivated to reread them! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 3/5/2012

    " it was a good book. i learned a lot of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindi | 2/8/2012

    " I very seldom read non-fiction, but I really did enjoy this author's biography of my favorite author. Lots of insights, on a writerly plane. I've been meaning to read Carol Shields for several months now; think I'll bump her up in my pile! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Isabel | 11/1/2011

    " The worst biography I've read about anybody. With the little information Shields spins a lot of crap. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jocelyn | 3/27/2011

    " A delicious visit to Austen's world - Shields' love for Austen's world shines through and she draws delicious parallels to Austen novels that make my insides GIGGLE. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kara | 2/2/2011

    " My first Austen biography. I enjoyed it and passed it on to my sister-in-law. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 12/25/2010

    " Shields left me with great affection for Jane the person - how she managed to write through less than ideal circumstances. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laynie | 12/13/2010

    " It was o.k. I wanted to know more about her romance with Mr. LaFroy and this book didn't touch that at all. Oh well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 6/13/2010

    " Any biography of Jane Austen has to be somewhat speculative but Shields fills the blanks in a way that makes sense, with believable insight into human nature. A must for any Janeite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 3/30/2010

    " Not bad. A lite biography which is much about Jane's writing life -- and about writing in general -- as it is a bio of Austen herself.

    Read the whole thing in one evening.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany | 12/19/2009

    " Best biography I have read about her!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simone | 8/24/2009

    " A very pleasant read. Carol Shields was respectful, thoughtful, and thorough in her exploration of Jane Austen's life.
    I feel that having read this book, I must go back and read Jane Austen's novels again! They'll seem completely different now. "

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About the Author
Author Carol Shields

Carol Shields was born in Chicago and lived in Canada for most of her life. She is the author of three short-story collections and eight novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Stone Diaries and Larry’s Party, winner of the Orange Prize.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.