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I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest fan of Jane Austen's novels. Sure, I may have only read two, but even that's enough to tell me that they all centre around marriage, or money, or the interlinking of marriage and money (the recurring theme is not hard to identify, to put it bluntly). However, I do find her life to be one that is most fascinating to study, so I was rather looking forward to watching BBC's The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen. The big question, however, asks: did it deliver?
In short, yes. It took a different approach to what I was expecting though. The show's presenter - historian and writer Amanda Vickery - takes us along with her to an Austen convention, where we see rare items being auctioned off for extraordinary prices. We're given an insight into how Austen's work compared alongside others of the time, as well as the journey the classics took before reaching the high state of popularity they've peaked at now.
Not quite to a biographical extent, we do learn a little about what the author's life would have been like during the years of her publication, and also why she wished to remain anonymous with her work. The latter part, I found to be most fascinating, and exceedingly thought provoking.
Pieced together well, each section of the hour long programme flowed without interruption. Input from other historians, as well as Austen fans, helped fit together all elements of the exploration into Austen's life, to give us a wider view of the sensation she's become. The scale of popularity is impeccable. The festive period has produced us, this year, with many delightful TV shows connected with the great author, and this is one I'd most certainly recommend.