Since most true Jane Austen fans will devour any book having to do with Austen or her characters, a biography has little need of reviews except for the purpose of putting its title in the public sphere. For the rest of Austenís readers, or perhaps non-readers, a biography like Christian Encounters Series Jane Austen provides the perfect reason for the Christian fan to learn more about Austenís life. After all, itís not every day you hear about a public figureís Christian faith.
While author Peter Leithart doesnít bluntly present Austenís faith, he does provide plenty of information on the authorís life -- information unlikely to be found in any other history source. Leithartís gentle presentation of Austenís faith and the faith of those who surrounded her blends easily with the biographical nature of his book. Some readers may find the book doesnít deliver on its promise of providing a ďChristian encounter,Ē while other readers are likely to enjoy Leithartís subtle chapters on the Christian background of the Austen family. Of course, when an author leaves behind so little information about her life, the reader should expect a biography to include little information.
However, readers are likely to agree on certain elements lacking in Jane Austen. Itís difficult to find a reason to keep reading when the pace of the book moves slowly, for example. Also hindering readers is the lack of an organized and non-confusing use of names.
Christian Encounters Series: Jane Austenís failure to provide more specific religious information and less specific familial details keeps it from standing out. Leithart does provide some interesting details on the moral inspirations behind her books, proving the evidence of Ephesians 6:16 in her work: ďIn addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Ē Fans of Jane Austen will still find Leithartís Jane Austen an interesting and worth-while read, but all others will better spend their time elsewhere. Ė Harmony Wheeler, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Some may know Jane Austen simply as the English novelist whose books are required reading in high school and college. Perhaps it wasnít until the BBCís extremely successful TV miniseries of Pride and Prejudice or Emma Thompsonís film Sense and Sensibility that many became entranced. Now younger readers are flocking to Austen with a unique twist in the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance, by Seth Grahame-Smith. In this Christian Encounters biography, fans of Jane Austen will discover the Christian faith that was in the weft and weave of her character and how it influenced her writing and her life.