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Jane Austen: Daddy’s Girl (Hardback)

The Life and Influence of The Revd George Austen

P&S History > British History > Georgian History P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > Social History

By Zöe Wheddon
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 25 mono
ISBN: 9781399071123
Published: 28th February 2024

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Jane Austen Daddy’s Girl: The Life and Influence of the Revd George Austen is a poignant and pertinent examination of a relationship which became the cornerstone of Jane’s life, the bedrock of family and faith as she knew them.

Our epic journey through the life and times of the Reverend George Austen will lead us from his early childhood and humble beginnings as an orphan, through his schooldays and on to Oxford University, and beyond. We will follow his career in the Church of England and as master of his own boarding school, as well as peek into his marriage and home life.

Dovetailed in with this revealing biography is a thorough interpretation of fatherhood as a theme, as outlined in Jane’s novels, with scrutiny of the fathers of all her most beloved fictional families. Chapter by chapter we will understand more about Jane’s own view on fatherhood and how the Reverend Austen, as her father, coloured and created that view.

As we draw George and Jane’s relationship closer to us, we understand anew the many layers of clever meaning that Jane Austen interlaced within her stories. Through an examination of this unique father-daughter bond, Jane Austen fans everywhere can pull up a footstool in George’s library and become further united in spirit with their beloved

From Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Bennet to Emma’s Mr. Woodhouse, fathers in Jane Austen’s fiction exercise an enormous influence on their daughters, yet the role of the novelist’s own father, the Rev. George Austen, is often understated in accounts of her life. That’s why Jane Austen: Daddy’s Girl is such a brilliant book, weaving archival evidence into an illuminating, enjoyable read. Zöe Wheddon’s father-daughter biography is a welcome wonder of both research and storytelling.

Professor Devoney Looser, Jane Austen scholar

In Jane Austen: Daddy's Girl, biographer Zoe Wheddon shares a wealth of little-known archival information and informed (and even wonderfully playful) conjecture to vividly bring to life the man most responsible for cultivating the genius of Jane Austen, her father. George Austen was a renaissance man--a top student, teacher, clergyman, and farmer--who understood the power of literature, and opened his library to Jane as a child, gave her the now-famous portable writing desk, and cold-contacted publishers to proudly tout her talent. Jane Austen was born at a time when women's education was never guaranteed, which makes her father's efforts in that regard all the more special and critical to her success. With palpable affection, illuminating detail, and a highly entertaining writing style, Wheddon creates for the reader the consummate portrayal of a man who encouraged all his children in their ambitions, regardless of ability: the result was a strong and loving large family who were able to recognize and encourage the genius in their midst, and the result for us was Jane's legacy of the greatest novels the world has ever known.

Natalie Jenner Internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, Bloomsbury Girls & the forthcoming Every Time We Say Goodbye (2024)

About Zöe Wheddon

A native of Jane Austen's beloved county of Hampshire, I have been married to Matt, (a stationery salesman, who keeps me supplied with post-it notes and gorgeous notebooks) for 30 years. We live in a North Hampshire village, on the outskirts of the town that we both grew up in, with our three grown up children and our cat Princess Leia. 
 
A perfectly imperfect local historian and aspiring writer, as the writer of my blog I write articles and book reviews on matters relating to friendship, self-compassion and personal development at mrswheddon.wordpress.com. 
 
When I am not researching or writing I can be found in the classroom teaching Spanish and French or singing ABBA songs loudly in my kitchen.

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