Thirteen year olds and up will like this excellent biography of Jane Austen. The author has described vividly the childhood of a happy, intelligent child in a large family of active, sane people. There is a refreshing picture of an author who liked to roughhouse with her brothers, who danced well, had lots of beaux, was witty, charming and pretty and on excellent terms with her family, her friends, her neighbors, her digestion! One gets the feel of the niceties of life in an upper middle class family in a secluded but lively community in southwest England in the last quarters of the 18th and the first part of the 19th century. Many of the models for Jane's characters are foreshadowed in this gay story of the creator of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and so on. Her biographer shows a nice feeling for the work of this delightful writer, and has given her life and writings a pleasant unity. Good reading, and excellent background material.