September 6, 2011

Friendship in Regency England • I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend book cover
I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?

But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?

It was just last year that I fell into a serious love affair with Jane Austen and her books.  They'd been on my personal bookshelves for the longest time, but I only got around to actually reading them in the summer of 2010 -- and I've been hooked ever since.

Naturally, with an interest in Jane Austen, it follows that I enjoy historical romances and anything that pertains to that particular era in European history.  Testament to this is my fascination with the rituals and customs of that day and age, as well as my weakness for romance novels set in that period.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend.  I thought the author did a brilliant job portraying Jane Austen as a young woman (although, of course, I understand that this is purely based on research and the author's own imagination), simply because it's almost exactly like how I would've imagined her to be. I also think that it was quite smart of the author to tell the story (especially the love story) in a way that mimicked Austen's own way of storytelling.

It also amused me how there were illustrations and "excerpts" inserted into I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, and how it was written in the style of a journal.  I was thoroughly entertained on the whole and I definitely thought it made the whole story much more personal. I'd definitely recommend I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, and it's one that I wouldn't mind reading all over again.


  1. I've seen this book in bookshops and almost bought it a few times. Your review has made me realise that I NEED this book! Thanks x

  2. Funny story about this one, every time my best friend and I would go to the bookstore, we always saw this one on the shelf. We would say how we would write a book about being each others best friend. So of course I had to buy it for her last Christmas (more of a joke and less of a "We want to read this so bad" type of gift). So as of right now neither of us have read it but I am so glad to hear my money was well spent. It sounds like a cute book!

    1. It is a wonderful book! I loved that it included references to Jane, but I loved even more how it was about friendship :)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)