Tag Archives: Jane Austen

Book 5: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Book 5: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

A wonderful look into the world’s most beloved author’s life, this novel was compelling and such a delight to read. James captures the voice of Austen and gives us a stunning and provocative look into Austen’s life in this story of what was in the greatest romance author’s own heart.

Many rumours abound about a mysterious gentleman said to be the love of Jane’s life – finally, the truth may have been found…
What if, hidden in an old attic chest, Jane Austen’s memoirs were discovered after hundreds of years? What if those pages revealed the untold story of a life- changing love affair? That’s the premise behind this spellbinding novel, which delves into the secrets of Jane Austen’s life, giving us untold insights into her mind and heart. Jane Austen has given up her writing when, on a fateful trip to Lyme, she meets the well-read and charming Mr. Ashford, a man who is her equal in intellect and temperament. Inspired by the people and places around her encouraged by his faith in her, Jane begins revising Sense and Sensibility, a book she began years earlier, hoping to be published at last. Deft and witty, written in a style that echoes Austen’s own, this unforgettable novel offers a delightfully possible scenario for the inspiration behind this beloved author’s romantic tales. It’s a remarkable book, irresistible to anyone who loves Jane Austen –and to any-one who loves a great story. (From back cover)

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

Book 11: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Book 11: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

A love story like no-other, Persuasion by Jane Austen was published in 1818, and was her final novel to have been written. The story centres on the love and drama of Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth. It may have been the last story that Austen ever written, but it is a favourite love story that makes it a classic to read and enjoy this Christmas holidays.
More than eight years before the novel opens, Anne Elliot, then a lovely, thoughtful, warm-hearted 19-year old, accepted a proposal of marriage from the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth. He was clever, confident, and ambitious, but poor and with no particular family connections to recommend him. Sir Walter, Anne’s snobbish father and her equally self-involved older sister Elizabeth were dissatisfied with her choice, maintaining that he was no match for an Elliot of Kellynch Hall, the family estate. Her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne’s late mother, persuaded her to break the engagement, for she, too, felt it was an imprudent match that was beneath Anne. Now 27 and still unmarried, Anne re-encounters her former love when his sister and brother-in-law, the Crofts, take out a lease on Kellynch. Wentworth is now a captain and wealthy from maritime victories in the Napoleonic wars. However, he has not forgiven Anne for rejecting him. While publicly declaring that he is ready to marry any suitable young woman who catches his fancy, he privately resolves that he is ready to become attached to any appealing young woman with the exception of Anne Elliot.
It is a story that any romantic and classic reader would enjoy, as you read following the life of the sweet Anne, as she realises the utter mistake she made, and now have to watch the man she has loyal loved after all these years, be with another. Heartbreaking and overwhelming, Austen writing at her best, in her final novel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

23 Books to Christmas

Book 23: Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

P.D. James brings together crime and Jane Austen’s loveable characters Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. Now happily married for six years with two healthy sons, Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete. But the peace is interrupted when old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. With the sudden hysterical arrival of Lydia Wickham, screaming that her husband has been murdered.
P.D. James brings a wonderful recreation of the world of Pride and Prejudice, elegantly fuses her lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen with her talent for writing detective fiction. The story is weaved with a compelling story, murder and mayhem and secrets deep within the halls of Pemberley. The mystery of what happened in the woodlands and who killed Danny continues to grasp the family of the house into a realisation that not everything is as perfect as they believed to be. With Wickham being sentenced to having done the crime, and a marriage proposal accepted but not for love, Elizabeth and Darcy are forced to question everything they know and maybe question the marriage of their own, as secrets and deceptions surface.
This book is a complete pitch perfect of the world that any Austen fans would love to read, with the drop of murder hidden in the pages. A psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, vivid evocation of place and a credible and superbly structured plot, in a powerful and distinguished work of fiction.
This book is a perfect Christmas time read, especially if you are a fan of Austen romances and gripping detective fictions. It is P.D. James writing at her best.

2 Comments

Filed under Blog

The Forgotten Novels

How many times do readers hear of a famous author and read the novel that gave the author a name, and yet never read other novels by the same author? Is it because the others are not as good? Or are they overlooked because they have not been given much consideration in the literary world.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” This is the opening sentence in Jane Austen’s prestige novel Pride and Prejudice. Many who have not read the novel, surely know the name of Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, because of the television or movie adaption. Austen published four novels during her life and two posthumously. Of these six novels, Pride and Prejudice, the second novel to be published, is her most well-known novel. But, what about her other novels, are they hidden behind the prestige of Pride and Prejudice? Northanger Abbey (1818) is one of Austen’s overshadowed novels.  The novel is a parody of Gothic fiction, as Austen turns the conventions of eighteenth-century literature on its head, with her literary allusions and plain heroine. But, despite this the story is cleverly written and comical, displaying an ordinary picture of a young girl, with a wild imagination and falling in love.

Another novel that has been pushed aside, to the forgotten to read books, is Charlotte Bronte’s Villette (1853). This novel is Bronte’s fourth, and is a favourite of mine with Bronte’s prestige Jane Eyre, (1847) her most commonly known novel.  Villette follows Lucy Snowe, who after an unspecified family disaster, travels from England to the fictional French-speaking city of Villette to teach at a girl’s school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance. Villette, is exceptionally written and provides a deep character portrayal of Lucy Snowe. It is difficult to say why Villette is overlooked by fans of Jane Eyre, perhaps because we had no idea what Mr Rochester had in his attic, that still astounds the readers today. But, Villette doesn’t disappoint, with its psychological state of Lucy Snowe, and the ambiguity of the ending as, Bronte stated as a “little puzzle.”

Overall, Austen and Bronte, are more commonly known for their one novel that made their name in the literary world. Even though they have other novels, which are just as well written, developed and classics, they are overlooked, by the prestige that is given to their more famous of novels. But, as readers, we shouldn’t forget the other novels that have been written by some of the greatest writers of English literature.

JMR

2 Comments

Filed under Blog