10 books like Jane Austen

By Park Honan,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Jane Austen. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Jane Austen's Letters

By Deirdre Le Faye,

Book cover of Jane Austen's Letters

Jane Austen is known mainly from her novels, but her surviving letters provide a wonderful insight into her life and character. Most of them were written to her sister, Cassandra, whenever they were separated. This edition, by Deirdre Le Faye, is the most complete and accurate collection of the known letters, and it also includes invaluable notes on what she wrote and the people who were mentioned.

Jane Austen's Letters

By Deirdre Le Faye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane Austen's Letters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jane Austen's letters afford a unique insight into the daily life of the novelist: intimate and gossipy, observant and informative, they bring alive her family and friends, her surroundings and contemporary events with a freshness unparalleled in biography. Above all we recognize the unmistakable voice of the author of Pride and Prejudice, witty and amusing as she describes the social life of town and country, thoughtful and constructive when writing about
the business of literary composition.

R. W. Chapman's ground-breaking edition of the collected Letters first appeared in 1932, and a second edition followed twenty years later. A third edition,…


Matters of Fact in Jane Austen

By Janine Barchas,

Book cover of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity

Nowadays, Jane Austen’s novels look superficially like historical romances, but she actually wrote contemporary novels for a contemporary audience, and they are much more complicated and subtle than they first appear. This book explains many of the mentions of people, places, and events in her novels that were obvious to her readers, but which are far from obvious now.

Matters of Fact in Jane Austen

By Janine Barchas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Matters of Fact in Jane Austen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity, Janine Barchas makes the bold assertion that Jane Austen's novels allude to actual high-profile politicians and contemporary celebrities as well as to famous historical figures and landed estates. Barchas is the first scholar to conduct extensive research into the names and locations in Austen's fiction by taking full advantage of the explosion of archival materials now available online. According to Barchas, Austen plays confidently with the tension between truth and invention that characterizes the realist novel. Of course, the argument that Austen deployed famous names presupposes an active celebrity…


Jane Austen

By Deirdre Le Faye,

Book cover of Jane Austen: A Family Record

Although we have some of Jane Austen’s letters and other writing, besides her novels, many more letters have been lost, and relatively little is known about her life. In 1913, nearly a century after her death, William and Richard Austen-Leigh (descendants of her brother James) published what was then known in a book called Life and Letters of Jane Austen. Much more material has been accumulated since, and in 1989 the work was extensively enlarged and revised by Deirdre Le Faye. It is essential reading for those who want to find out about Jane Austen’s life.

Jane Austen

By Deirdre Le Faye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane Austen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is the outcome of years of research in Austen archives, and stems from the original family biography by W. and R. A. Austen-Leigh, Jane Austen: her Life and Letters. Jane Austen, A Family Record was first published in 1989, and this edition incorporates information that has come to light since then, and provides new illustrations and updated family trees. Le Faye gives a detailed account of Austen's life and literary career. She has collected together documented facts as well as the traditions concerning the novelist, and places her within the context of a widespread, affectionate and talented family…


Martha Lloyd's Household Book

By Julienne Gehrer,

Book cover of Martha Lloyd's Household Book: The Original Manuscript from Jane Austen's Kitchen

Martha Lloyd was a close friend of Jane Austen and a relative by marriage. She lived with the Austen family at Chawton in Hampshire when Jane was there with her mother and sister, and much later Martha married Jane’s widowed brother, Francis. Her household book shows us the recipes and homemade medical remedies that they used at that time. This book has a facsimile of the original manuscript, along with various notes, as well as a section on Martha Lloyd that is the best available summary of her life.

Martha Lloyd's Household Book

By Julienne Gehrer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Martha Lloyd's Household Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first facsimile publication of 'Martha Lloyd's Household Book', the manuscript cookbook of Jane Austen's closest friend. Martha's notebook is reproduced in a colour facsimile section with complete transcription and detailed annotation. Introductory chapters discuss its place among other household books of the eighteenth century.

Martha Lloyd befriended a young Jane Austen and later lived with Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother at the cottage in Chawton, Hampshire, where Jane wrote or revised her novels. Martha later married into the Austen family. Her collection features recipes and remedies handwritten during a period of over thirty years and…


Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

By Shannon Winslow, Micah D. Hansen (illustrator),

Book cover of Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

In Shannon Winslow’s Regency retelling of Pride and Prejudice, we finally get to experience the story from Darcy’s perspective. The story closely follows the original novel, but with some added scenes that fill in the gaps during the time when Darcy is apart from Elizabeth. Ms. Winslow cleverly added an original character as a rival love interest for Darcy. I enjoyed seeing a totally different side to Austen’s most famous novel and witnessing Darcy’s character growth as he struggles to overcome his own pride and prejudice and find true love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

By Shannon Winslow, Micah D. Hansen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What was Mr. Darcy’s life like before he met Elizabeth Bennet? – before he stepped onto the Pride and Prejudice stage at the Meryton assembly? More importantly, where is he and what is he doing all the time he’s absent from the page thereafter? And what is his relationship to a woman named Amelia?

With "Fitzwilliam Darcy, in His Own Words," the iconic literary hero finally tells his own story, from the traumas of his early life to the consummation of his love for Elizabeth and everything in between.

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original…


Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen

By Deborah Hopkinson, Qin Leng (illustrator),

Book cover of Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl

A luminous portrait of Jane Austen chocked full of spirited text and shimmery illustrations that capture the times. The story highlights the beginnings of Austen’s great career as a novelist from her youngest days all the way to famous writer. It’s a great addition to any classroom or library. Like Jane Taylor before her, Austen’s success paved the way for women authors to come.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen

By Deborah Hopkinson, Qin Leng (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of our greatest writers.

But before that, she was just an ordinary girl.

In fact, young Jane was a bit quiet and shy; if you had met her back then, you might not have noticed her at all. But she would have noticed you. Jane watched and listened to all the things people around her did and said and locked those observations away for safekeeping.

Jane also loved to read. She devoured everything in her father's massive library, and before long she began creating her own stories. In her…


The Phantom of Pemberley

By Regina Jeffers,

Book cover of The Phantom of Pemberley

This book also falls into the mystery subgenre of Jane Austen variations. The story takes place as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, with Elizabeth and Darcy at the center of it. I found this story to be completely chilling, with a surprise twist at the end that I did not see coming. Ms. Jeffers delivered a page-turner that I couldn’t put down!

The Phantom of Pemberley

By Regina Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Phantom of Pemberley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HAPPILY MARRIED for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anything interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phantom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.

Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is attempting to murder them. But Pemberley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could…


The Madwoman in the Attic

By Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar,

Book cover of The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination

Gilbert and Gubar take the reader on an exhilarating ride through women’s literature from Jane Austen to Emily Dickinson. Women writers freed female characters from their stereotypes in novels written by men—angels and monsters, dull virgins, and evil temptresses—to become friends, or people I would choose for friends if only they were real. The book’s title alludes to the first Mrs. Rochester in Jane Eyre, a haunting specter of the thwarted woman author raging at her bars.

The Madwoman in the Attic

By Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Madwoman in the Attic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A feminist classic."-Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review

"A pivotal book, one of those after which we will never think the same again."-Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Washington Post Book World

A pathbreaking book of literary criticism is now reissued with a new introduction by Lisa Appignanesi that speaks to how The Madwoman in the Attic set the groundwork for subsequent generations of scholars writing about women writers, and why the book still feels fresh some four decades later.


Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

By Stephanie Barron,

Book cover of Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor is the first of Stephanie Barron’s 14 Jane Austen mysteries, based on Austen’s “discovered” diaries about her adventures as a sleuth.  The series’ witty tone is true to Austen’s, and portrayals of Austen’s family are based in fact. In this opening volume, Jane is visiting a friend “of more fashion than means” newly married a middle aged earl—who dies, poisoned, after a celebratory party. His will divides his estate between his countess and an heir known to be too fond of her, making the pair obvious suspects. As Jane works to prove her friend innocent, the descriptions of aristocratic Regency life, dress, manners, and law are superb. 

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

By Stephanie Barron,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For everyone who loves Jane Austen...a marvelously entertaining new series that turns the incomparable author into an extraordinary sleuth!

On a visit to the estate of her friend, the young and beautiful Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, Jane bears witness to a tragedy. Isobel's husband—a gentleman of mature years—is felled by a mysterious and agonizing ailment. The Earl's death seems a cruel blow of fate for the newly married Isobel. Yet the bereaved widow soon finds that it's only the beginning of her misfortune...as she receives a sinister missive accusing her and the Earl's nephew of adultery—and murder. Desperately afraid…


Hope For Mr. Darcy

By Jeanna Ellsworth,

Book cover of Hope For Mr. Darcy

I would have to say, hands down, that this is the best Jane Austen variation I have read so far. The story begins with Elizabeth Bennet having a near-death experience. The description of Heaven during this experience was so striking and poignant, it brought tears to my eyes and made me think that this was exactly how Heaven ought to be. Throughout the story, Ms. Ellsworth’s message of hope and purpose was inspirational. For me, personally, it was a wonderful reminder of the hope that I have in God and the plans that He has for my life. The story is incredibly romantic, and a very unique approach to the Darcy and Elizabeth drama which I have not seen in any other novel. I also liked that she gave alternate outcomes for Lydia and Charlotte than the fate that Austen originally gave them. A must-read for fans of Regency-era variations…

Hope For Mr. Darcy

By Jeanna Ellsworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope For Mr. Darcy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Still shaken from his horrible proposal, Elizabeth Bennet falls ill at the Rosings Parsonage upon reading Fitzwilliam Darcy’s letter. In her increasingly delirious state, unfathomable influences inspire her to write an impulsive response. The letter gives Mr. Darcy hope in a way that nothing else could.

As her illness progresses, Darcy is there at her side, crossing boundaries he has never crossed, declaring things he has never declared. A unique experience bridges them over their earlier misunderstandings, and they start to work out their differences. That is, until Elizabeth begins to recover.

Suddenly, Elizabeth is left alone to wonder what…


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