Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old. (Emma, Chapter 5)

There are many excellent books about Jane Austen. These are just a few of my favorites.

A Fine Brush on Ivory, Richard Jenkyns

(Oxford University Press, 2004) What is it about Jane Austen’s writing that brings such pleasure? This is an excellent study of Jane Austen’s talent. It will deepen your appreciation for her ability and her innovative techniques. Every time I read this book, I enjoy it more.

Searching for Jane Austen, Emily Auerbach

(University of Wisconsin Press, 2004)  I highly recommend this book. It is excellent! According to Margaret Drabble, “A witty, approachable introduction to Jane Austen for today’s readers, using modern analytical techniques to reveal new aspects of a great writer.”

A Memoir of Jane Austen, J.E. Austen-Leigh

(1870, reprinted by The Folio Society, 1989) “Though in the course of fifty years I have forgotten much, I have not forgotten that Jane Austen was the delight of all her nephews and nieces. We did not think of her as being clever, still less as being famous: but we valued her as one always kind, sympathizing, and amusing.”

A Portrait of Jane Austen, David Cecil

(Constable & Co. Ltd., 1978) “Of course, Jane Austen’s masterpieces do reveal a profound insight into man’s moral nature and, as such, are, in the best sense of the word, extremely serious. But they are nonetheless comic for that. Man is such an odd animal, such a mixed untidy bundle of follies and inconsistencies and incongruities, that it is impossible for a discerning observer to look at him for long without smiling. Certainly Jane Austen could not; with the result that to the end of her life and in her most penetrating studies of men and women she hardly writes a paragraph unlit by the glint of a smile. In these, her first efforts, she is smiling all the time or, rather, she is uproariously laughing.”

Jane Austen A Biography, Elizabeth Jenkins

(Victor Golancz Ltd., 1948) “She was tall and slender; her face was rounded, with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes. Caroline said that her Aunt Jane’s was the first face she remembered thinking of as pretty. She was not so handsome as Cassandra, but her face had a peculiar charm of its own to the eye of most beholders.”

Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deirdre LeFaye

(Oxford University Press, 1995) “I had a very pleasant evening, however, though you will probably find out that there was no particular reason for it; but I do not think it worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is some real opportunity for it.”

Jane Austen’s novels

Emma (1816)
Mansfield Park (1814)
Northanger Abbey (1818)
Persuasion (1818)
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Sense and Sensibility (1811)

Jane Stickle

Dear Jane: The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt, Brenda Papadakis. (Quilt House Publishing, 1996)


Carrie Hall Blocks, Bettina Havig. (AQS, 1999)
Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, Barbara Brackman. (AQS, 1993)
That Perfect Stitch, Roxanne McElroy. (The Quilt Digest Press, 1997)