The List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen, by Joan Strasbaugh – A Review

The List Lovers Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh 2013Ever wonder what books Jane Austen read, who her relations were, where she lived and traveled, or what were her pet peeves? Well, what true Janeite doesn’t? Do you want to learn more about your favorite author than you ever expected to discover all packed up and neatly arranged in one tidy volume? Then read on…

The List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen is a delightful little factbook on the famous author and her world that was a welcome diversion from the drama and angst of the current Austenesque fiction book that I am entrenched in. Packed full of information compiled in list format, even this die-hard Janeite learned more than a few new tidbits about Austen’s novels, characters, family, Regency culture and her life.

This beautifully designed reference book would be the perfect primer and or fact-checker for a Jane Austen quiz. Broken down into categories like:

  • Forward: (including ten reasons for reading this book!)
  • Her Life: (including what she looked like, books she read, who she met on her travels and much more)
  • Her Correspondence: (great selected quotes)
  • Timeline for Jane Austen: (featuring events from every year of her life)
  • Her Writing: (from her juvenilia to her novels to her last poem)
  • Bonus List: Jane’s Royal Ancestors: (who knew?)
  • Bibliography: (exclusive and the best)

What a powerful wallop this tidy little volume delivers. All this information now together in one place? It is a researcher, fact-checker, game-player, and all-around Janeite’s dream! Strasbaugh has done a thorough job researching, compiling and arranging information in a friendly and intuitive way. My only quibble and they are minor ones, is in the book design and format. I wish that they had placed the name of the chapter at the top of the left-hand page so that the reader could search and locate categories within the book more easily. Sadly, it also lacks a general index. Please, even though this is a book of lists, all nonfiction books need an index. And NO eBook format? Really? How am I to cite all the balls and dances she attended when questioned on the run?

I am delighted to highly recommend this perky gem of a Jane Austen resource book to readers who seek facts and entertainment.

4 out of 5 Stars

The List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen, by Joan Strasbaugh
Sourcebooks (2013)
Trade paperback (212) pages
ISBN: 9781402282034

Cover image courtesy Sourcebooks © 2013; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2013, Austenprose

3 thoughts on “The List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen, by Joan Strasbaugh – A Review

Add yours

  1. This is absolutely the kind of book that I love. I’m currently reading Vicar of Wakefield, and there are some echoes of it that I can see in P&P (especially with regards to the Vicar’s wife trying to maneuver men into proposing to her daughters). I would love a list of what we know Austen read and what scholars think she might have read.

    Not having a general index is pretty egregious, but no e-book version doesn’t phase me :)

    Love the cover, though.


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