Elizabeth Jenkins, the author and biographer has died aged 104. Her full obituary in The Daily Telegraph can be accessed here.
A founder member of the Jane Austen Society she also helped secure the purchase of Chawton Cottage, now the Jane Austen House Museum , in order to preserve it for ever. For that she ,and the other founder members of the JAS and the Jane Austen Memorial Trust will always have our thanks.
However, she will always be remembered by me as the writer of the best life of Jane Austen.
Hers was the first biography of Jane Austen that I read ( note my tatty fly cover, above,a result of much reading over the years!) I had received a copy of it as a Christmas gift from my old English Mistress in 1970: it was in fact her own copy of the 1959 edition which she had received as a gift from the author herself (as you can see, she signed it on the title page, below).
I have always cherished this book, not only for its worth, but as a reminder of the woman who introduced me to Jane Austen- we read Pride and Prejudice in class- all those years ago and encouraged me to carry on in the habit of reading All Six Every Year as she did. She died five years ago and I still miss our conversations.