Book Review: Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

Jane Austen by Dr. Peter Leithart

‘Janeia’ is sweeping our culture. From true-to-text major motion pictures of her novels, to an overly creative movie about Becoming Jane, to the rewriting of her works in modern genres (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, anybody?), Jane Austen is today what she never wanted to become—famous. So writes author Peter Leithart in this Christian Encounters biography of the novelist.

Buried amidst the flesh-and-blood characters of her writing, we find that Jane Austen was, in fact, the most real character of all. Unlike so many would-be writers of our day, she did not write in search of status or fame; she wrote out of her love for writing and her incredible perceptions not only of the very real characters in her own life, but also of the society and the world around her. Could anyone depict human nature better than Austen?

But let’s not be so haughty. Jane wasn’t. It is true that she was a great thinker, but she was not a stuffy intellectual. She was young and spirited. And perhaps greatest of all, we find that Jane—while holding unswervingly to her Christian faith—was not too self-righteous to laugh at others and (more importantly) herself.

Could there be a better hero for young men and women today?

I highly recommend this Christian Encounters biography of Jane Austen. Dr. Leithart masterfully reveals the quirks, character, and faith of the woman who gave us some of literature’s greatest heroes and villains.

For more information about this book, please visit the Thomas Nelson product page for Jane Austen, by Dr. Peter Leithart.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program.

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