I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a while and it didn't disappoint. Caroline Jane Knight, Jane Austen's fifth great niece, writes compellingly and frankly about her childhood as the last of the Knight family to grow up at Chawton House, once the home of Edward Austen Knight, Jane Austen's brother. The book then goes on to tell of Caroline's experiences after she and her family are forced to leave Chawton.
It's a fascinating account of a life lived amongst so much history, with the Knight family having been associated with Chawton for many centuries. Caroline's childhood was spent surrounded by the relics of her ancestors, and Aunt Jane, as she calls Jane Austen, was very much part of the family, a loved and treasured figure who the whole family was proud of.
I thought that Caroline was brave and courageous to go into such detail about her own life experiences, which clearly haven't been easy for her. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that she writes candidly about the things that happened to her and how she coped with them in the aftermath of her family's loss of Chawton House. It was clearly a time of great upheaval for Caroline and her family and obviously will stay with them always.
Caroline is a skilled and accomplished writer. Clearly the talent runs in the family! And it's wonderful that she is using her connection to so many people's favourite author to help those around the world who can't read and write. Her Jane Austen Literacy Foundation is and will help a great deal of people to learn what to many in the west are two basic skills.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Jane Austen and even to those who are indifferent towards her and her writing. Caroline Jane Knight provides a unique and valuable insight into the family life of the descendants of Jane's own brother, and this book is a heritage in its own right.
- Paperback: 258 pages
- Publisher: The Greyfriar Group; 1 edition (1 June 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 064808051X
- ISBN-13: 978-0648080510
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.5 x 23.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 399 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)