Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 1

To mark the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, writer Paula Byrne explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain's most beloved novelist.

Written by Paula Byrne.

Reader - Emma Fielding

In this new biography, best-selling author Paula Byrne explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Jane Austen, Britain's most beloved novelist: her father's religious faith, her other brothers' naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author.

The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of 'dear Aunt Jane' would allow.

Today a wooden writing box given to Jane as a gift from her father on her nineteenth birthday reveals that even as a teenager Jane Austen took her writing seriously. She wrote short stories full of outlandish jokes and lampoons of the popular fiction of the time to entertain her family.

28th January is the bicentenary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice.

Abridged by Elizabeth Reeder.

Produced by Allegra McIlroy.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 15 Jan 2013 00:30

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Book of the Week

The Writing Box

The Writing Box

Broadcasts

Audio Books

Audio Books

Exceptional books and readings.

Short stories to keep

Short stories to keep

The fiction podcast featuring the best stories from the UK's finest writers

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Interviews, previews and reviews

Books website

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles and radio & TV highlights.