Jan 302015
 

At Home with Jane Austen“Ah! There’s Nothing Like Staying Home for Real Comfort.”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

As an ardent admirer of the impeccable research and informative prose found in Kim Wilson’s previous works – Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen – I was beyond excited to see she has yet again published another comprehensive and artfully arranged tome about Jane Austen’s life and time. Instead of focusing on tea or gardens, Kim Wilson takes readers on a virtual tour of the many places Jane Austen lived and visited, and gives insight to what she saw, did, and experienced in all these places. With one hundred and twenty color images and one hundred and forty-four pages filled with a bevy of information readers can truly see the places and sights that encompassed Jane Austen’s world.

At Home with Jane Austen is divided into eleven chapters which cover the places Jane Austen lived, such as Steventon, Bath, Southampton, and Chawton; and places where Jane Austen visited and traveled to for brief periods of time, such as London, boarding school, Godmersham Park, Stoneleigh Abbey, Lyme, Worthing, and Winchester. Besides a well-researched write-up of Jane Austen’s experience and history in each locale, every chapter cites passages from Jane Auten’s works, letters exchanged between the Austen family, and stunning and lush large high-quality images that greatly enhance this edifying work of nonfiction. I loved how the chapters were segmented and arranged to proceed in a timeline that was concurrent with Jane Austen’s life, very well organized! I also greatly appreciated how all the images had captions nearby and being able to use the very extensive and helpful index located in the back of the book.

At Home with Jane Austen At Home with Jane Austen

While I loved learning about where the Austen’s lived and traveled I think my favorite aspect of this book was seeing and understanding more of how they lived. What were their daily duties and routines, what were their social activities, what was their home life like in each place. I also loved seeing the comparison made between places Jane Austen visited and places she created in her works of fiction. It was interesting to suppose her inspiration for places like Mansfield Park, Sotherton Court, Barton Cottage, and Pemberley came from her travels across England.

A thoughtful, engaging, and superbly executed compilation! A must read for any Janeite who wants to share a visit with Jane Austen at home. I sincerely hope we will see more books of this nature from the talented pen of Kim Wilson (my fingers are crossed for something about music – maybe Music with Jane Austen?) Brava, Ms. Wilson! This one is another gem!

Video Preview (with help from Mr. Bingley)

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*Image credits: Abbeville Press

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27 Comments on "At Home with Jane Austen – Kim Wilson"

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Michelle Hall

Hi Meredith

This does sound wonderful. I too would like more of an understanding of how they lived so this sounds wonderful. I would have loved to have met Jane Austen. I am reading Persuasion again as been a v long time since I read this book and I have also just ordered the DVD from Amazon but the 1995 version. Have a nice weekend everyone X

Abigail Bok

This book sounds like a complete delight! Anything that tells about everyday life is a must-read for me. Loved the beautiful pictures, too!

Sophia Rose

I have her books on my wish list, but haven’t gotten to them yet. I love that she puts in those details about the life as well as the location too. Neat video to really show the beauty of the book.

Paige

Sounds great! I especially like that it includes information on how they lived!

jdawnking

The video is awesome, Meredith. Thank you Mr. Bingley!!! I especially liked getting glimpses of the pictures and illustrations at the end when you flipped through. This definitely is a resource that I would like. Time to “buy with one click”.

jdawnking

I didn’t get music with my video. Were you playing? I’ll watch it again.

jdawnking

What is this music, Meredith? Amazingly serene.

Teresa

What a beautiful book! I didn’t know Kim Wilson and now I can see her works are, as you say, GEMS 🙂
Thanks for the video, the images and the music are so inspiring! The book is ideal to read in a garden with a cup of tea!

Carole in Canada

I am going to have to read my ‘Tea with Jane Austen’ book again. This one looks just as delightful so I will have to add it to my wishlist along with ‘In the Garden with Jane Austen’! Thank you Meredith!

Felicia

Great review! This is one I will definitely need to add to my collection. I have many friends that have traveled to the Austen sites in England, I unfortunately have not. (Yet, anyways).

Maria

Loved your review, Meredith! It is great when we have the chance to read something beautifully done about our dear Jane, isn’t it? I will definitely add this one (and the others by this author) to my list! 🙂 Also, thanks for the video! It was lovely to see it! 😉

Cat Commons

Oh, this is a must have book for me. I love Kim Wilson’s Tea with Jane Austen, and In the Garden with Jane Austen. Books that take the reader back to Jane Austen’s real life are some of my favorite. They make Austen’s works so much more enjoyable. One really understands what a genius she was.
Great video, Meredith and Mr Bingley!

lsct07

Do you have similar review including videos of Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen? If so how can I view them?

Sheila L. M.

This author spoke on this book (and signed my copy) at a JASNA and Royal Oak Foundation meeting last year. She had a slide show of the photos from her book. It is a beautiful coffee table book. (I know – I am late to this discussion.) Way behind on e-mails.

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