This is the best biography of Austen that I've read, to date. All the facts are presented clearly, with the usual amount of speculation and guesswork, given that we know so very little. This was fascinating, depressing and inspiring all at once. I found that the majority of the speculation was based in reality and, most importantly, it was based on research of the period in question. The way things were done during the Georgian and Regency periods contrast rather sharply with the following Victorian era, particularly in the area of 'refinement'. Austen comes alive in this book, as does most of the family. More time is spent discussing the information that we do have, than lamenting the lost letters, etc.
I thoroughly recommend this to anyone interested in Austen or her work.
This forms part of the non-fiction non-memoir challenge, which does actually allow biographies
(just not memoirs or autobiographies).