19 May 2020

Guest Review: The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley

The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley cover
* Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing *

I'm a huge fan of Lucy Worsley. She's an historian, TV presenter and Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and I've watched almost all of her documentaries. Her latest book The Austen Girls explores the life of Jane Austen from the perspective of her nieces and I knew I'd need some help reviewing it.

Luckily for me, Sophie Harris came to the rescue. Here are Sophie's thoughts on the book.

Guest Review by Sophie Harris

Once again I was lucky enough to receive a copy of a book to review for Carpe Librum. This time it was the historical fiction The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley.

This book taught me about the 1800s and how women were treated differently than men. I didn’t realise how restricted women were and couldn’t go anywhere without being escorted and they didn’t have jobs. I realised this book said a lot about how Jane Austen had to keep her identity secret in books not even her book hungry niece knew what books she wrote!
Sophie Harris holding The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
Sophie Harris holding her copy of
The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
Published by Bloomsbury

I like the descriptions of things such as how they wore puffy dresses and bonnets and had dances and engagements! And how people had to take a carriage and young ladies being escorted to go out. I found the language was a little challenging (Lucy Worsley uses words like anonymity) but that is also because I haven’t read a historical fiction book before.

This is not my usual choice of book, and I found it challenging to finish. But I did enjoy it and I would recommend it for tweens or young adults (or even normal adults). Lots of historical details and descriptions to make me realise how lucky women are in today’s society. I give it 3.5 stars.

Sophie Harris Age 10

Sophie's Rating:
★ ★

Thank you so much for your review Sophie! For me, reading a book like this without having read one by Jane Austen was a little bit cheeky but totally doable. As Sophie points out above, this novel is aimed at a younger reading audience and may even serve as an entry point to entice younger readers to move on to read Pride and Prejudice or Emma in the future. 

Reading The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley mostly reminded me that I really need to get to at least one of her classics before the decade is through. I'm with Sophie on the rating though. This was a 3 star reading experience for me.

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:
★ ★

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great review Sophie! Oh Trace, you have to read Pride and Prejudice, i really like it its one of my favorites!

    1. Is it really one of your favourites? And you're right, I really should give it a go.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sophie.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Shelleyrae, I'm sure Sophie appreciates them.

  3. What a gorgeous review!
    Now, what is this I hear about you NEVER HAVING READ AUSTEN?!!!

    1. Thanks Theresa!

      And um yeah.. I'm hanging my head in shame. Do I feel a buddy read coming on? I can't be the only booklover who hasn't read any Austen, surely... I definitely need to remedy that.


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