Recent Read no.4 / Proof Read: The Austen Girls

Hello everyone! Last week saw the publication of Historian Lucy Worsley’s young adult fiction book The Austen Girls – and is the fourth and final of my recent reads updates.

The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley

The Austen Girls offers an original perspective on the adult life of the famous writer, Jane Austen (author of Pride & Prejudice, 1813) through the eyes of her young nieces, Fanny and Anna. We join the girls in their ‘coming out’ season as they attend their first balls and learn to navigate the ruthless regency marriage market. Guided by their spirited Aunt Jane and her controversial views, she encourages them to think for themselves and become the heroines of their own stories. But their mysterious Aunt has secrets of her own…

On the surface, the story seems almost trivial – full of dances and romance. But looking deeper, Worsley introduces a new generation to the very real fears and restrictions placed on women in the regency period. In doing so, Worsley follows in the footsteps of Jane herself, hiding meaning in her fiction, and highlighting to budding 21st Century feminists what a remarkable women Jane Austen was to produce such a legacy at such a point in history.

The story is peppered throughout with a compelling fictional plot involving an exciting dose of regency intrigue! Though even here Worsley highlights the injustice of the law at the time and the influence of money and status over justice. As in Jane’s own writing, Worsley never passes up a chance to use her fiction to expose the real world.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my proof copy 🙂

Meg Readz xx

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