The author of Pride & Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion must have had a great deal of inner substance, but you won't find much of it here in this account. Though the reader has a melodious voice and the short chapters are interspersed with the most charming romantic piano music, the effect of the whole is rather lackluster. That's because the biography skips across the episodes of Jane Austen's life the same way a stone skips across the surface of a pond. After a while the listening becomes repetitive. Miss Austen's life comes across as a flurry of soirees, visits to the country, trips to Bath, a carriage ride to London. She moves about in a fog of shallow gentility, and her inner life is hardly explored at all. Her fiction is never even really discussed. There is some factual information pertaining to the publication of her works, but that is it. Then she dies, the music swells and the curtain falls. There's no exploration of her legacy at all. Surely there's better elsewhere.