Peter Washington

Austen’s Onion

Becoming Jane Austen: A Life

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Hambledon & London 294pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

Jane Austen's 'Outlandish Cousin': The Life and Letters of Eliza de Feuillide

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The British Library 192pp £18.95 order from our bookshop

ONE OF THE stranger cultural symmetries of the last half century juxtaposes the rise of literary biography with increasing critical hostility to the very idea of authorship. Even as readers demand more and more information about the private lives of their favourite writers, scholars are demolishing the foundations on which biography is built by cutting the links between, in Eliot’s phrase, the man who suffers and the artist who creates.

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