Apr 092018

An Inspiring Jane Austen Biography for Children!

Illustrated by: Jen Corace

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

After reading and greatly admiring Lisa Pliscou’s attractive and enchanting biography of Jane Austen’s childhood in Young Jane Austen, I was delighted to learn that she has published a picture book biography for elementary grade students titled, Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel. In this charming and comprehensive book, Ms. Pliscou highlights many of the significant events in Jane Austen’s life: such as her education, writing and publishing efforts, and the men in her life.

Weaved into the story are historical context and expectations for a young woman who lived during Jane Austen’s time. In a subtle yet direct manner Ms. Pliscou shows many examples of how Jane Austen was brave and a bit of a rebel! I greatly appreciated seeing a portrayal of Jane Austen that accentuates her bravery. For she was indeed courageous, independent, and forward-thinking. Through this tale young readers, who are used to our modern rights and freedoms, will be able to grasp how during Jane Austen’s life it was unique and almost unthinkable for a woman to have a profession, write novels, or remain single. While there might be an aspect or two of Jane Austen’s life that young readers may not understand, hopefully this will prompt them to ask questions and engage them in conversations about Jane Austen’s life and times. Continue reading »

Apr 172015

Young Jane AustenA Scholarly Representation of Jane Austen’s Childhood

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

Diehard Janeites don’t need to be told that there is a dearth of biographical information available about Jane Austen’s life. We know that Cassandra Austen burned most of Jane Austen’s correspondence, we know that there is a long period of silence where precious little is recorded or written by her, and we know that her childhood home, her beloved Steventon Rectory, stands no more. These are truths we must acknowledge, but oftentimes find very hard to accept! Over the years many authors and scholars have taken pen to paper to research the history, suppose the truth, and uncover what it is not known about Jane Austen. While many focus on Jane Austen’s romantic life, publishing career, and adult years, author Lisa Pliscou opts to shine her light on the most shadowy part of Jane Austen’s history – her childhood. Continue reading »

Mar 112015

Author Interview2

I am very excited to welcome Lisa Pliscou, author of a soon-to-be published biography of Jane Austen titled, Young Jane Austen, to Austenesque Reviews today.  Lisa is here to chat about her writing, Jane Austen, and her new release. Lisa, since you may be a relatively new author to some of my readers, how about we start off with you telling us a little bit about yourself?  When and where did you first encounter Jane Austen?

Thanks for having me, Meredith!Lisa Pliscou

I’m a longtime writer and editor, working in the realms of both children’s books and books for adults. Not that I have a favorite either way, but there’s no doubt that I’m thoroughly steeped in the literary experience of childhood — I write children’s books, I edit children’s books, and I continue to read children’s books for the pure pleasure of it. Still love  Pippi Longstocking, The Perilous Gard, 101 Dalmatians, for example; still adore pretty much anything by Louisa May Alcott, Susan Coolidge, Betsy Byars, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Maira Kalman . . .

As for Jane Austen, I didn’t particularly care for her books while in high school or college, and in my first novel,  Higher Education (published while I was in my twenties), I blush to admit that my protagonist makes a rude remark about her.

My appreciation — and deeper understanding — came slowly. I began rereading Austen’s novels in my thirties, and it was then that I got hooked. Her wit, irony, and elegant writing just knocked my socks off. And a few years ago I happened upon Claire Tomalin’s biography — so beautifully written, and so sensitive in its approach, that it sparked a binge-read of Austen biographies which ultimately became the research for  Young Jane Austen, my eighth book, which is written for adults. Continue reading »