“In addition to building a comprehensive, nuanced portrait of Fanny [Austen] and placing her life in historical context, Kindred makes a compelling case for how Fanny’s varied experiences furnished Austen with insights into the lives of naval women, crucial material for Persuasion in particular… Kindred has uncovered rich and wide-ranging visual material too: contemporary images of people, places, ships, that vividly enhance her account.” 

Juliette Wells, Eighteenth-Century Fiction

 “This is a meticulously researched, learned and well-written book. It provides a fascinating insight into the all-too-short-life of Jane Austen’s sea-faring sister-in-law. … For those with a primary interest in Austen and her inspirations, the chapter which explores the possible links between Fanny and the novels is undoubtably the most satisfying of the book and demonstrates Kindred’s depth of expertise as a scholar of both literature and history.  

Alison Daniell, Journal for Maritime Research

“With an abundance of illustrations, appendixes, extensive notes, and bibliography, this is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a 19th-century naval wife.”

Library Journal

“Those of us who are fascinated by every aspect of Jane Austen’s experience, and how it feeds into her imagination and understanding of the world, must feel grateful to Sheila Kindred for writing Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister.”

Maggie Lane, author of Getting Older with Jane Austen and On the Sofa with Jane Austen

“[This book] is a compelling portrait of a woman’s life in a particularly taxing time of British history on the crux of empire. It is the reader’s good fortune that Fanny Austen has such a thoughtful and well-presented biography of herself in her own right. Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister is a delightful journey on which to sail.”

Laura Dabundo, The Wordsworth Circle

In Sheila Johnson Kindred’s carefully researched Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister comes a version of “Jane Austen and the Navy,” through the life and extensive transcriptions of the letters of Fanny Palmer Austen. ...  Kindred’s readings of Austen’s final novel [Persuasion] are certainly enhanced by examples from Fanny’s lived experiences on board her husband’s ship.” 

Gillian Dow, Times Literary Supplement

“A firm grasp of a woman's life writing is the foundation for Sheila Johnson Kindred's biography of Jane Austen's Transatlantic Sister. Like all good biographical studies, it touches upon many topics and offers various delights. I particularly enjoyed following young Fanny's evolution as a wife and mother, learning more about the lives of her distinguished extended families, and viewing the black-and-white illustrations that accompany the text.”

Margaret Conrad, Atlantic Books Today

In Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister Sheila Johnson Kindred has created an absorbing biography of an adaptable and resourceful woman. Kindred grounds the biography in the social and naval history of the period…. The book adds a compelling chapter to the biographical material about the Austen family.

 Laurie Kaplan, JASNA News, Winter 2018

“The way in which Jane Austen's observations on Charles and Fanny's relationship and family affairs are explored and extended makes compelling reading.”

Hazel Jones, News Letter, The Jane Austen Society of the United Kingdom

“Sheila Johnson Kindred’s biography of Fanny Palmer Austen, the wife of Jane Austen’s youngest brother, Charles, is a vivid portrait of a young, capable British naval wife and mother, in the early nineteenth century. Because of Sheila Johnson Kindred’s detailed portrait of Fanny and her world, both lovers of history and literature can enjoy this biography.”

Alison Shea, Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Journal

“The reader feels Kindred’s deep affection for Fanny and those connected to her, which animates the larger stories that roll along underneath: naval life and the world of the Austens. … Kindred’s book is a nice addition to scholarship on the lives of naval wives and will, one hopes, prompt further studies of the place and role of these women. It also adds another strand into the tapestry of influences upon Jane Austen. “

Lindsay O’Neill, Journal of British Studies

“Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister is a fascinating and accessible account of the life and letters of a brave woman which will broaden understanding of the challenges facing naval wives ... in the early nineteenth century. It is a welcome addition to our knowledge of Jane Austen’s family circle and her depictions of the naval community in her late fiction.” 

Emma Liggins, Victoriographies

“Sheila Johnson Kindred's intimate and sensitive biography traces the relationship through Fanny's ‘wonderfully evocative’ letters - here transcribed in full for the first time. Alas, [Fanny] did not survive the birth of her [fourth] child. This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book is her fitting epitaph.”

Jane Austen’s Regency World

“Thanks to Kindred’s meticulous research, Jane Austen’s fans can enjoy exploring how one remarkable and no-longer-forgotten woman influenced the work of her famous sister-in-law.”

Dean Jobb

“From Fanny’s letters one can feel, like Cassandra Austen, to have made the acquaintance of ‘a pleasing little woman … gentle and amiable in her manners.’ The book succeeds in this and in conveying the author’s appreciation of a devoted wife, whose circumstances were dependent upon her husband’s naval career.

Robyn Williams, Sensibilities (Journal of the Jane Austen Society of Australia)