Nonfiction Short Take: Not Just Jane – Shelley DeWees

Jane Austen fans will enjoy this look at Austen’s time by way of seven “lost” women authors who were her contemporaries. The book explores the social and cultural evolution that enabled them to consider writing while also constraining their possibilities. The research is detailed; the voice is spirited and fun.

“Reveal[s] the interesting lives and strong characters of these oft-forgotten writers….This book succeeds at making readers aware of the gaps in our knowledge of British literature…planting the seed that there are many treasures out there waiting for a second chance.
   — Kirkus Reviews

“Their stories are complex, involving dissolute husbands, illness, opium, and the French Revolution…[DeWees] does important work in challenging the notion of canon, pointing out that the advent of digital libraries has made many of these lesser-known works easily accessible..”
   — Publishers Weekly

“Fun…. Lovers of Austen’s books and film adaptations of her work will find much to enjoy in this informative overview of authors.”
   — Library Journal

“Interweaving the fascinating stories…and the social, cultural, and economic realities of their times, an insightful group portrait of these groundbreaking women emerges. Lively…. An important contribution to the scholarship of women’s literature.”

Not Just Jane: Rediscovering Seven Amazing Women Writers Who Transformed British Literature (9780062394620) by Shelley DeWees. $15.99 trade paper original. 10/25/16 on sale.

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