Shades Of Words

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen


When I picked this book from my local library I missed “A Novel” part of the title. I thought these were some actual journal diaries or letters of Jane Austen. So I was a tad disappointed when I came home and actually started reading the novel.

I do agree it is always interesting to speculate on the disposition of a famous character and do read a story woven around her. Jane Austen has inspired so many Regency romances that its only natural to expect that she may have had one similar romance in her life. And this forms the premise of “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”. Jane Austen decides late in life to chronicle some of the key moments in her life, her one true love and her journey in becoming a published author so that at some day in the distant future someone might discover this facet of her life. Some part of the books are based on true incidents and some are entirely fictionalized. I was totally gripped in the love story between Jane And Mr. Ashford. How wonderful if it had been true! I liked reading about the various places where Jane stayed and being a part of her daily life.

However, overall, I was honestly quite disappointed. And I dont know why. The book is well written. James’s Ausetn is what you would hope she would be – very much like Lizzie Bennet. But I think that is the main problem.You don’t want her to be Lizzie Bennet, right? As a reader you want Jane to have a personality entirely of her own and not that of her created characters. In the narrative,James borrows heavily from the Jane’s novels in both dialogs and situations. And yes we know life inspires art and its quite possible that Jane created stories out of what she saw around her but it starts getting annoying at some point .It also gets distracting  beacuse instead of focusing on the book you are more interested in trying to connect what you are reading to where you have read it before. It also reflects lack of originality on the author’s part. I was often wondering, if she was running out of ideas to what could have happened in Jane’s life,as she has to pick up instances from her books to create Jane’s world.

Well I did not like it. But it doesn’t mean at all that it was a bad book. I would reccommend it to anyone who must compulsively read everything written by and on Jane Austen 🙂


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

2 thoughts on “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

  1. The book cover certainly looks captivating and old worldish 🙂 Anyways…from the memoirs of Jane Austen that was written by her nephew you realize that she is not totally like the heriones of her novels. She is astute and is like this narrator who knows the society she dwells in and you know..more of observational mode. You should watch the movie – Becoming Jane. That seemed a little more convincing.

    Btw loved the new header…goes well with your theme. Its from the cathedral pics isn’t it? 🙂

  2. Zoya – yes it is from the cathederal pics.
    I do want to read the book by her nephew – that would be the most honest biography of her anyway

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