Jane Austen’s First Love Virtual Book Launch Party & Blog Tour with Author Syrie James, & Giveaways

JAFL blog tour banner x 500

I am very pleased to welcome author Syrie James to Austenprose today to officially open her virtual book launch party and blog tour of Jane Austen’s First Love, published by Berkley Trade. This new Austenesque novel is a fascinating combination of fact and fiction, exploring the first romance of fifteen year-old Jane Austen with the handsome and sophisticated Edward Taylor. 

Syrie has generously offered a guest blog sharing her inspiration to write her new book—and to add to the festivities—we will be offering an amazing selection of giveaways including: trade paperback copies of Jane Austen’s First Love, a muslin tote bag stuffed with Jane Austen goodies, and a specially commissioned painting inspired by the novel. Just leave a comment following this blog post to enter. The contest details are listed below. Good luck to all. 

Please join us in welcoming Syrie James.

The inspiration for my novel Jane Austen’s First Love originated several years ago when I was re-reading Jane Austen’s letters. I was struck by three sweet and tender references Jane made to a young man she met as a teenager while visiting her brother Edward Austen in Kent.

Bifrons Park Kent Patrixbourne

Painting of Bifrons Park, near Patrixbourne, Kent, circa 1695

“We went by Bifrons, & I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure, the abode of Him, on whom I once fondly doated,” Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra in September 1796. The “him” she refers to is Edward Taylor, heir to Bifrons, a grand ancestral estate. Jane was twenty when she wrote that letter, and was looking back on a relationship that took place some years before. In two other letters, Jane joked affectionately about Edward Taylor’s inheritance, and, wistfully contemplating his possible marriage, hoped that another generation would be adorned by his “beautiful dark eyes.”

Who was this Edward Taylor, I wondered, upon whom a young Jane had “fondly doated ”? (“Doat” is a variant—now rare—spelling of “dote.”) The definition of “to dote” is “to express and demonstrate great love and fondness for somebody” or “to love to an excessive or foolish degree.” Great love and fondness! Excessive, foolish love! We know so little about Jane Austen’s romantic life, yet here was a solid clue, in her own words, about a young man with whom she was clearly besotted! I was stunned that no one had ever written about it before.

I quickly discovered why Jane’s relationship with Edward Taylor had thus far remained in the shadows: it seemed there was very little information available about him. He is mentioned only briefly in Austen biographies as Jane’s first crush, the earliest of her possible suitors. Determined to learn more about him, I spent many months combing through obscure files on the internet, searching for clues. Thankfully Edward Taylor was a member of the landed gentry. As such, I was able to gather valuable nuggets from a variety of sources regarding his ancestors, his ancestral estate, his parents, his siblings (he had four brothers and three sisters), and himself. I noted that he was a Member of Parliament; I learned the essential dates of his life: birth, marriage, death; I uncovered tantalizing facts about his education and time served in the army, which was puzzling—why had the eldest son and heir served in the army? It was a great start, but hardly enough—I wanted to know about Edward Taylor’s youth, who he was when Jane Austen met him.

Bifron Park, in Kent circa 1900

Georgian remodel of Bifrons Park, in Kent circa 1900  

One day, I struck gold. I discovered a priceless resource, The Taylor Papers, (1913), the candid memoirs and letters of Edward’s brother Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Taylor, compiled decades later by a descendant. These memoirs contain a detailed description of the Taylor children’s unusual and well-traveled childhood abroad and their many accomplishments. All were fluent in five languages, and each played a musical instrument so proficiently that the family gave concerts all over Europe. The Taylors were close friends with princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, famous artists, and high-ranking religious, military, and government leaders in Europe. The more I read, the more awestruck I became. Edward Taylor was a remarkable young man who had led a fascinating life. No wonder Jane Austen fell in love with him! That he was a real person, and that I had in my possession so many little-known facts about him, was thrilling.

Edward Taylor

Meanwhile, I was intrigued by another Austen fact. In 1791, when Jane’s brother Edward Austen became engaged to Elizabeth Bridges of Goodnestone Park, two of Elizabeth’s sisters also became engaged. I thought it highly unusual that three sisters in the same family should marry almost simultaneously—and it couldn’t be a coincidence that Jane, at the same time, wrote her comedic short story The Three Sisters. I realized that Jane Austen was most likely introduced to Edward Taylor through his connection as both a cousin and neighbor of the Bridges family (Bifrons was only five miles from Goodnestone). It seemed likely to me that Jane visited Kent in the summer of 1791, where she not only met the young ladies who inspired that story, but also met and fell in love with Edward Taylor. And thus my novel was born. I hope that readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Author Syrie James (2012 )AUTHOR BIO Syrie James, hailed by Los Angeles Magazine as “the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings,” is the bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed novels including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen (“A literary feast for Anglophiles”—Publisher’s weekly), The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (named one of the best first novels of the year by Library Journal), and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë (Audie Award, Romance 2011; Great Group Read, Women’s National Book Association). Syrie’s books have been translated into eighteen languages. She is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America and a life member of JASNA. Follow Syrie on twitter, visit her on facebook, and learn more about her and her books at syriejames.com.

Many thanks Syrie, and best wishes with Jane Austen’s First Love. Be sure to return on Monday, August 4th for our review.

A GRAND GIVEAWAY 

In celebration of the release of Jane Austen’s First Love, we are offering four chances to win amazing prizes. Please leave a comment by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, August 06, 2014 stating what intrigues you about this new novel. Winners will be drawn at random from the comments and announced on Thursday, August 07, 2014. Shipment to US addresses. Good luck to all!

Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James (2014 )

Prize 1 & 2: ONE TRADE PAPERBACK COPY OF JANE AUSTEN’S FIRST LOVE 

Tote bag for JAFL Book Launch

Prize 3: I HEART JANE AUSTEN TOTE BAG 

This fashionable muslin tote bag (size 15″W x 15-1/2″H) is lightweight, environmentally friendly, and the perfect way to express your love for Jane Austen while carrying all your whatnots!

The I HEART JANE AUSTEN TOTE BAG contains the following goodies:

  • One trade paperback edition of Jane Austen’s First Love
  • One trade paperback edition of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
  • 2 bookplates signed by Syrie James
  • Jane Austen keychain
  • Austenesque notecard from JASNA–Northern California region
  • Postcard featuring Jane Austen’s jewelry (from Jane Austen’s House Museum)
  • Postcard featuring Jane Austen’s desk (from Jane Austen’s House Museum)
  • Pride and Prejudice peacock edition commemoratory bookmark

At Goodnestone Park painting framed by Annmarie Thomas

“At Goodnestone Park” by Annmarie Thomas, framed

At Goodnestone Park painting by Annmarie Thomas

Prize 4: ORIGINAL ART PAINTING “AT GOODNESTONE PARK” BY ANNMARIE THOMAS 

One 8” x 10” original acrylic painting on panel, framed and ready to hang by Annmarie Thomas, inspired by the novel, Jane Austen’s First Love, featuring Edward Taylor, Jane Austen and Charlotte Payler.

ARTIST BIO Annmarie Thomas lives, reads, and paints in southern California where she is an active member of JASNA. She is currently designing the JASNA AGM 2017 logo. With a degree in design from UCLA, Annmarie worked as a graphic designer. Now, with three nearly grown sons, she’s returned to fine art painting with one subject being Jane Austen related images. To see Annmarie’s paintings that are not Jane-inspired, click here. Click here to see her Jane Austen art or go to JaneAustenFineArt.com.

Thank you for joining in the celebration of the upcoming release of Jane Austen’s First Love. Please visit more stops along the blog tour, July 28th – August 21, 2014, where you will find additional guest blogs by Syrie James, book reviews and giveaway chances.

JANE AUSTEN’S FIRST LOVE BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Read an exclusive excerpt from Jane Austen’s First Love

Jane Austen’s First Love: A Novel, by Syrie James
Berkley Trade (August 5th, 2014), 400 pages
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-0425271353
Digital eBook ASIN: B00G3L7VES

Cover image courtesy of Berkley Trade © 2014; text Syrie James © 2014; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose.com

157 thoughts on “Jane Austen’s First Love Virtual Book Launch Party & Blog Tour with Author Syrie James, & Giveaways

  1. I am so looking forward to reading this story, Syrie. I loved The Missing Manuscript and The Lost Memoirs SO much!

    This background was just fascinating to read! What a wonderful adventure you went on to ‘discover’ your story! I wish you massive success with the new release!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Forgot to say, I just started reading The Letters again – haven’t read them in years and certainly not all of them, so it’s a real pleasure, and I look forward to coming across the snippets you mentioned above!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Cassandra. And thanks for re-blogging! It truly was a wonderful adventure to research and discover this story. I hope that one day you and I will finally get to meet in person!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. How cool is that! Finding that information was a stroke of fortune and putting it in novel form a stroke of genius. Best of wishes for a successful launch, Syrie and thank you for sharing Laurel Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Everything about Jane intrigues me. Have read all of Ms. James prior novels. And never opposed to thinking about Jane’s first love.

    I know I am in good hands with Syrie. I love her care for all things historical in her novels of imagining.

    Best of all James likes to write about subjects I adore. Where you go I will read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing those kind words about my novels. After all the hard work, all I can do is hope that readers will enjoy what I’ve written! And this book is particularly dear to my heart. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the mixing of fact and fiction–and especially since the author went to such lengths to track down the facts! This sounds like a fascinating read, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am so excited to read this book! I am dying to learn more about young Jane Austen and who caught her eye. I don’t know much about her life from a romantic perspective, so I am excited to learn more. Thank you for the great giveaway…definitely looking forward to reading this novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The whole idea of the book intrigues me. I didn’t know that Jane fell in love with someone from the area of her brothers estate. Just from reading this post I can tell it’s obvious Syrie has done her homework and I can’t wait to find out more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was so exciting to find “The Taylor Papers,” and to learn all about Edward Taylor’s family and early life. It was thrilling to be able to write this novel based on the young man he really was.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. First love and Jane Austen? Oh, yes. Please count me in! Sounds fabulous, and I really enjoyed “meeting” Edward — if only briefly — through this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Been waiting for this book since September. Just reading your comments made me think of our tour last year. I will be reading this book soon.. Hope it is a big success.

    Brenda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brenda, it was so wonderful traveling through Jane Austen’s England with you, and visiting Goodnestone Park together, where this novel is set. I hope that having walked through the gardens of Goodnestone Park adds to your reading experience. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, too bad, she never find right person true love her, and want to marry her, why man never take the courage to tell the women how they feel.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Best of wishes for a successful launch, Love books with facts and fiction and the work of finding all things historical. TFS.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This book sounds so fascinating and I can hardly wait to read it. I can only imagine your excitement as you found those wonderful unknown nuggets of information, especially ‘The Taylor Papers’! The research must have been much work but inspiring at the same time.

    Great post, Syrie and Laurel Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This book sounds so good. I am looking forward to reading it. I love to read anything about Jane Austen and this book sounds like it wll be worth the time and I am excited to have a new book to add to my reading list.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Edward Taylor’s army service was in the Fencibles, not the regular army. The Fencibles were raised for defence at home in England, not military operations overseas. Therefore he got to wear a nice uniform, and as an eldest son not exposed to any serious danger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Adam! Edward Taylor did indeed serve in The Fencibles, whose role was usually confined to garrison and patrol duties. However, in his first post, after only a year at Oxford, he left school and served for three years as Captain in The New Romney (or Duke of York’s own) Fencible Light Dragoons in Ireland. So technically, it was overseas.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations! What could be sweeter than Jane Austen’s first love! So looking forward to reading this as I love your writing. Your book ‘The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte’ is one of my favourites so I know this one will be too!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I am intrigued with the comment that three sisters married at the same time and that Jane Austen wrote ‘Three Sisters.’

    W. Lesso

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I have loved reading your other books and your research of and bringing to life little known history of Jane and this most amazing Taylor family in novel form makes it a must have! Looking forward to reading it, and wish you every success and happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. oh my goodness! I enjoy fact mixed with fiction, and having enjoyed Miss Jane Austen, and her writings, to find out she had doted upon someone, well, that is so exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a wonderful basis for a novel! It sounds as if you really did your homework. Especially interesting to find echoes of JA’s real life in one of her Juvenilia, which are so often exercises in literary mockery of other works. And Edward Taylor–such a person for her to doat on, well traveled, musical, lively. Shows the nicety of her taste! I can’t wait to read your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’m looking forward to this book so much! I’m intrigued most by the Taylor family. Austen wrote so well and with such nuance about families, and the description of them here sounds interesting (family concerts all across Europe!), so it should be interesting reading to see how she encounters and analyzes them in James’s book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Taylor children were all remarkably accomplished, and lived abroad for most of their youth. It was exciting to read about them–it made it so clear to me why Jane fell in love with Edward Taylor. He must have been very different from any other young man of her acquaintance!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy. It’s wonderful! Congratulations on this sure to be best seller! Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Wow. This sounds great! I am completely behind on my classics. I just now started reading Jane Austen’s works. I would love to actually know how your spin is based on research. Congrats!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I would enjoy this memorable book very much since it is fascinating and memorable. Many thanks. Your books have brought me much enjoyment.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Congratulations and best wishes on this release which is captivating and unforgettable. Your writing, and travels are to be admired and make your books authentic and cherished.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Congratulations on your new release, Sirie, and many thanks for sharing all those wonderful details with us! For years I’ve been fascinated with Jane Austen’s Sidmouth romance, but I haven’t been so lucky as to find out anything about him!
    I absolutely loved The Missing Manuscript and The Lost Memoirs, and the amount of soul, passion and research that goes into your books is awe-inspiring! So sorry you had to leave Bath so soon last year, I would have loved to meet you!
    Congrats again, and all the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! I’m so grateful to Laurel Ann for hosting me on Austenprose, and allowing me to share the news about my novel. I’m also indebted to Annmarie Thomas for creating that gorgeous original art painting of Goodnestone Park, featuring Jane Austen, Edward Taylor, and his cousin Charlotte Payler, and offering it as a prize to a lucky reader! I wish I could win it myself! Meanwhile, I feel as though I’ve received the biggest prize of all: a lovely review in this month’s issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine, from which I drew this excerpt:

    “Syrie James has woven a quite delightful romance–not only a touching record of a young girl’s first experience of love, but also a funny, eventful and entertaining comedy of Regency manners…As ever, James’s ear for dialogue is unfaltering, and her sympathy for her heroine whole-hearted. It all adds up to an unashamedly romantic package, presented with affection and respect.”–Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Anything about Jane’s love life is fascinating! I’m intrigued that one who writes so well about love never married, nor seemed to have a true love of her own

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I look forward to hearing more about this Edward Taylor. He must have been an amazing person to have captured Jane’s heart! What a great idea for a story!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Congratulations on the new book, Syrie! What a wonder find, discovering this little nugget about our favorite author. I’m sure the story you built around it is wonderful, and I look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. WOW! What an amazing giveaway! I am really looking forward to reading this new book from Syrie James because I loved her other Jane Austen books. They really kept you engaged in the story and made you want to keep reading. I am curious to see how she develops the story for the one and only love interest that we know about.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I’ve read both of Syrie’s previous novels and have loved both. I haven’t heard of Edward Taylor before, so I’m looking forward to finding out more about him and the role he could have played in Jane’s life.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Hi Thanks for the super contest. What intrigues me most about this book is the fact behind the fiction, the real life first love of one of our all time most beloved authors.
    Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I am so going to enjoy an additional eye’s view of the personal life of a favorite author!
    Thank you for the giveaway!!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Syrie, when I read about your novel, I remembered this tragic passage from her nephew’s (J.E. Austen Leigh) memoir:
    “There is, however, one passage of romance in her history with which I am imperfectly acquainted, and to which I am unable to assign name, or date, or place, thought I have it on sufficient authority. Many years after her death, some circumstance induced her sister Cassandra to break through her habitual reticence and to speak of it. She said that, while staying at some seaside place, they became acquainted with a gentleman, whose charm of person, mind, and manners was such that Cassandra thought him worthy to possess and likely to win her sister’s love. When they parted, he expressed his intention of soon seeing them again; and Cassandra felt no doubt as to his motives . But they never again met. Within a short time they heard of his sudden death. I believe that, if Jane ever loved, it was this unnamed gentleman; but the acquaintance had been short, and I am unable to say whether her feelings were of such a nature as to affect her happiness.”

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Syrie, when I read about your novel, I remembered this tragic passage from her nephew’s (J.E. Austen Leigh) memoir:
    
“There is, however, one passage of romance in her history with which I am imperfectly acquainted, and to which I am unable to assign name, or date, or place, thought I have it on sufficient authority. Many years after her death, some circumstance induced her sister Cassandra to break through her habitual reticence and to speak of it. She said that, while staying at some seaside place, they became acquainted with a gentleman, whose charm of person, mind, and manners was such that Cassandra thought him worthy to possess and likely to win her sister’s love. When they parted, he expressed his intention of soon seeing them again; and Cassandra felt no doubt as to his motives . But they never again met. Within a short time they heard of his sudden death. I believe that, if Jane ever loved, it was this unnamed gentleman; but the acquaintance had been short, and I am unable to say whether her feelings were of such a nature as to affect her happiness.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I’ve read it and loved it – so different from other JAFF books with its blend of history and the author’s imagination. Was waiting for the launch to be able to post my review on Amazon.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I can’t wait to read this – thanks so much for sharing and I hope I win. I am intrigued by the actual facts behind the novel and will be happy to see how you bring them all to life in the novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I already wanted to read this book but now knowing all the research that has gone into it, it excites me even more. I can only imagine the joy you felt when you came accross those memoirs. The give away looks amazing too. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Syrie James’ books are so wonderful and readable. I loved her other books about Jane Austen and can’t wait to get my hands on this new one! She really evokes the time and life of the author wonderfully.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. What intrigues me about this new novel… all your research! How amazing that you were able to find Mr Taylor and learn about his family. Jane must have felt perfectly at home with them – all accomplished, all fluent in five languages, all talented on a musical instrument, all well-traveled. I wonder why Edward and Jane dd not go further…..

    Thank you for the tantalizing preview!

    Liked by 2 people

  40. I have started reading Austen variation books over the last year and a half and I am loving every one of them. I love finding a new author. I have not read your other books yet but they are now going on my wish list. The excerpt got my excitement going and I can’t wait to read the rest of it. Good luck to you and may you have many more wonderful books in yours and our future.
    Julie Rakowski

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Julie! If you visit my website (www.syriejames.com) to learn about my other books, please leave a message in my guest book!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. I have been reading Austen variation stories for the last year and a half and I am loving them, I am friends on Facebook with many of the authors and love finding new ones. I have not read your books yet but now that I have been introduced I will be adding them to my wish list. Thank you for sharing that wonderful excerpt, it left me excited to read more. Best wishes on your new book and may we all be blessed with many more of your stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. I will say it is the young Edward’s life I find intriguing… even more than Jane perhaps?? A new fellow in town! I am super stoked however to discover this author and so many great still unread (by me) novels! I love new literary discoveries and cannot wait to start on them! Going to share on Twitter!! @mishel24

    Liked by 2 people

  43. It is fascinating to hear an author’s inspiration for her novel. How awesome that Syrie James “discovered” this early love interest of Jane’s — and is the first to write a fictional account of it: an author/fan’s dream come true. I enjoyed all of Ms. James’ books, and I can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Monica! I wouldn’t say I “discovered” Edward Taylor–it’s plain to see in Jane Austen’s letters that she was enamored of him, and he is briefly mentioned in many Austen biographies–but only in a sentence or two as “one of her earliest possible suitors.” Often, biographers get his age wrong, for some reason stating that he was younger than Jane, when in fact he was a year and a half older. I’m thrilled, though, that I found a source that revealed so much about Edward Taylor and his early life, and brought him out of the shadows–it was like discovering hidden treasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Can’t wait to read this book! I’m already feeling that pang of sadness that comes after you read the last page of a great book that you wished would never end! Thanks Syrie!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Thank you everyone for your generous comments! Thank you so much, Laurel Ann, for hosting me with this beautiful launch party! I hope to run into all of you on the other stops on my blog tour (see links above), where you’ll find reviews, more giveaways, and unique guest posts with additional information about me and the novel. And I would be thrilled if you’d LIKE my facebook page (if you haven’t already) at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSyrieJames
    Good luck to everyone with the giveaways!

    Liked by 2 people

  46. What a thrill. More Jane AND nuggets of truth. While I’m excited to read not only First Love and Ms James’ other books (always a high it discover a “new” Austen author), I’m particularly intrigued by Ms James’ research that uncovered historical basis. Imagine what else might be out there. Sincere appreciation, Ms James, for these anticipated pleasures.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. I love the Jane Austen books. My summer goal is to read all of them! I have also read the Lost Memoir of Jane Austen which talked about Jane Austen’s special friend. Can’t wait to read your book. Thanks for giving me the chance to win!

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I love reading anything about Jane Austen. Your book sounds so intriguing defiantly putting on my TBR list thanks so much for the giveaway!

    Liked by 2 people

  49. I have been waiting anxiously for this book to come out. I love the idea of this story! Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!!:)

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Just the fact that there was someone else in Jane’s life…wow!!! This will be quite an interesting read and I am looking forward to it! Much success with this launch.

    Blessings,

    Tina

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Jane Austen inspired novels make me so happy! I can’t wait to read this and see where Syrie James takes this love story for Jane.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. How thrilling!! You have sparked my curiosity, especially since I was just read a Jane Austen biography .Congratulations on your new book! I cannot wait to read it…:)

    Liked by 2 people

  53. What a wonderful reserach trail you’ve followed to find this story! It sounds delightful. I would love to read both books. Thanks for this opportunity to enter the giveaway.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. I have read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, and The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I have no doubt this new book will be just as good as the others. I have not read all of Jane Austen’s letters, so this first romance is news to me. I can’t wait to read the book and wish Syrie James great success. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Grace! I’m so glad you enjoyed those novels. I highly recommend reading “Jane Austen’s Letters,” which–although not a novel or biography– give a fascinating glimpse into her personal life and thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  55. I am new to reading Jane Austen books and would love to be entered to win! I love the cover of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. Syrie James you have a wonderful style of writing. Thank you for sharing and a chance to win! lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Liked by 2 people

  56. I found the book description to be interesting. I love Jane Austen’s novels but have never read her letters. I never knew this Edward Taylor character existed before now. I’ll definitely be looking more into the subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. This is so fascinating! Did Mr Taylor know that Jane admired him? I didn’t know about him prior to this.

    Wishing you much success with this new book and I look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Monica! I believe that Mr. Taylor not only “knew” that Jane admired him, but that he returned her affections just as strongly. That’s the story of “Jane Austen’s First Love,” and I hope you love Edward Taylor as much as Jane (and I) do!

      Liked by 1 person

  58. It’s quite ammazing to think about how you will leave an impact on the world once you’re gone. I bet Edward Taylor didn’t imagine his legacy to live on because an acquaintance, Jane Austen, had mentioned him in a few letters. Who would have, at the time, realized what Jane Austen would become. Thankfully, to Jane’s kind words, and Syrie’s gift with a pen, Edward Taylor lives on.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. I am so anticipating this book release!! I have read every one of Syrie’s book and am a huge fan of all her works! This is bound to be another favorite of mine! The entire concept intrigues me.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I was only introduced to Jane Austen’s works, by my husband, 3 years ago and fell in love with her works and the JAFF out there. Until I read Syrie’s works, I never thought about her love or personal life. I always thought of her as a tragic figure, due to her untimely, early death. You have brought Jane to life and I appreciate that. I am eagerly anticipating the release of this book. I also thank you for the generosity of your giveaways.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Syrie, it just occurred to me – do you think Jane might have patterned one of her heroes after Mr. Taylor? Darcy, Wentworth, or Knightley for example? Did you find one hero that stood out to you that might be a close fit?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like to think that Jane’s first romance with Edward Taylor gave her an understanding of what it means to fall in love and to be loved in return… and it’s that wondrous emotional experience which influenced her writing about romance, rather than her patterning a particular character after him. Some of his best qualities may have been in Jane’s mind when she created her heroes (his intelligence, charm, and sensitivity, perhaps?) but in some ways he also is a bit of a rogue, a risk taker with a mind of his own. I hope you’ll find the Edward Taylor in my novel to be his own unique, complex, and remarkable person, and adore him as much as Jane (and I) do!

      Liked by 2 people

  62. I absolutely ADORE anything and everything Jane Austen related. This book seems perfectly entrancing and exhilarating. The amount of extensive research that went into writing it is a testament to how much the author wishes to do right by Austen.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. I have always love stories with Jane Austen as a main character, especially when it takes place during a period of her life that we don’t know much about.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. My heart just melted when I saw Goodnestone on the cover – what a wonderful memory of our first day traveling through Jane Austen’s England last September.

    Anxiously waiting for my copy of Jane Austen’s First Love to arrive!

    Syrie, I wish you great success with your new novel.

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    • Kathleen! It was so much fun traveling through Jane’s England with you. I’ll never forget our day at Goodnestone Park. I saw and learned so much, that helped me to envision and describe it in the novel. It is indeed thrilling to see the beautiful manor home prominently featured on the cover–and to know that Jane visited there many times makes it all the more special. To read more about “My Visit to Goodnestone Park,” please visit Laura’s Reviews which is featuring my guest post on the subject: http://lauragerold.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-visit-to-goodnestone-park-by-syrie.html

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  65. Pingback: Jane Austen’s First Love: A Novel, by Syrie James – A Review | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  66. That prize pack though! *Swoons*
    I love that the works of Jane Austen are being reimagined and expanded, never forgotten. It’s lovely.

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  67. Wa-hoo! Another Syrie James novel about my favorite author! what could be better! I’m curious to see if this story stays contiguous with James’ The Lost Memoirs of JA. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  68. Sorry for being late for the party but I wish to congratulate you again on the release of your new Austenesque book, Syrie. I like the idea that Edward Taylor could be Jane’s first crush and would love to know more about him. The swags are lovely too especially the painting but unfortunately I don’t live in US so I can’t enter. :(

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  69. I’m intrigued to know the ways in which the book creates a nineteenth-century setting in which the characters can move. That’s what I’d be most interested to read about! :)

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  70. I want to know more about Austen. I think we all wished that she had her happily ever after that her characters had and I think this book will give us insight even if it’s fictional. We can at least get some fulfillment.

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  71. I am intrigued by the very real possibility that our dear Jane Austen did have a first love – loved a man – in real life (beyond those of whom we speculate). How could she have not? She wrote with her heart ~ clearly, someone who had both loved ~ and somehow, lost? This will be a must-read for me. Thanks! Jean

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  72. Still waiting for my local bookstore to put Syrie’s new book on the shelf! I keep pestering them… Looking forward to another great read from Syrie! Very intriguing.

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  73. Totally excited about this new release. This tale will take me on a journey to how I imagine Jane developed you love of life and love and the perfect gentleman! Thanks for the break in this hectic world we live in!! Mary

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  74. I really enjoyed Syrie’s other novels, can’t wait for this one. I find the concept of Jane’s lost love so intriguing, and how that experience shaped her stories.

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  75. Congrats on the new book! Like many others, I’m mainly intrigued that this book combines true and fictional events. I love that you were able to find inspiration from actual events in Jane Austen’s life.

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  76. All things Jane pique my interest. So little is known of her teenage years, that to imagine (with historical research to back up these thrilling ideas) how Jane thought and doated (love the spelling) of someone, nay, anyone is fabulous! Thanks for entertaining us again, Syrie.

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  77. I am so excited to read this new book and love that Jane has some love in her life. I know you will handle this story as wonderfully as your others.

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  78. I’m as excited over this new book by you as everyone else. I find it fascinating to think on the similarities I have with Jane, being intrigued by some men, but know one to actually capture the heart strings so much and the men acting on it. It’s interesting how she has Mr Bennet say, “So, Lizzy, your sister is crossed in love I find…. When is your turn to come?” Makes you wonder what actually happened between you Na this Mr Taylor even more. We will never fully know but can conjecture and see things through Rose colored glasses.

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  79. Pingback: Winners Announced for Jane Austen’s First Love Book Launch Giveaways | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  80. Pingback: Guest Post ~ Syrie James on Jane Austen’s First Love, Goodnestone Park, and the Bridges Family | Jane Austen in Vermont

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