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‘Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked,’ Jane Austen wrote to her niece Fanny Knight a few months before she died. Yet most traditional accounts of Austen’s life have insisted on portraying her as just such a picture of perfection. In his 1997 biography David Nokes re-examined Austen, and presented a far richer and livelier picture of the woman who once wrote in another of her letters, ‘If I am a wild beast, I cannot help it …’.
‘A fine book, probably the best tribute to the genius of Jane.’ Glasgow Herald
‘[This book] cries out to be read, not alone by fans of Jane Austen but by anyone who enjoys a great, witty, gossipy read.’ Irish Times
‘What fun Nokes’s book is.’ Fay Weldon, Independent
‘David Nokes is assertive, energetic, opinionated, satirical, supremely confident, dramatising and gleefully splenetic.’ Hermione Lee
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