Jane Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for Summer 2013

Summer is here — and it time to head to the beach or take that well-earned holiday and read great books!

Summer reads are always fun—and little light hearted and playful—and the Austenesque & Regency faire in the queue is so exciting that the Jane Austen Book Sleuth is thrilled to share what we will be reading and reviewing here on Austenprose in the coming months. Included are release dates and descriptions of the titles by the publisher to help you plan out your summer reading. Pre-order and enjoy! 

Austen-inspired Nonfiction 

Walking Jane Austen's London, by Louise Allen 2013Walking Jane Austen’s London, by Louise Allen (June 25) 

The London of Jane Austen’s world and imagination comes to life in this themed guidebook of nine walking tours from well-known landmarks to hidden treasures –each evoking the time and culture of Regency England which so influenced Austen’s wise perspective and astute insight in novels such as Pride and Prejudice. Extensively illustrated with full-color photographs and maps these walks will delight tourists and armchair travelers as they discover eighteenth-century chop houses, elegant squares, sinister prisons, bustling city streets and exclusive gentlemen’s clubs among innumerable other Austenesque delights.  

– During Jane Austen’s time, 1775 – 1817, London was a flourishing city with fine streets, fashionable squares and a thriving port which brought in good from around the globe. Much of this London still remains, the great buildings, elegant streets, parks, but much has changed. This tour allows the reader to take it all in, noting what Jane may have experienced while citing modern improvements such as street lighting and privies! 

ISBN: 978-0747812951
© 2013 Shire   Continue reading

The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman – A “Sense and Sensibility for the digital age.”

Last week a customer presented me with a torn clipping from a newspaper and passionately told me she HAD to read this book! It was a review for The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman. Ok! I hadn’t read a word about this one yet, but she sure caught my attention. As a bookseller at Barnes & Noble I love to see readers as excited and determined to read a new book as I am to share my likewise enthusiasm over titles I am downright giddy over. As one book geek to another, it does not get much better.

I handed her a copy from the new fiction release bay. WOW! What a beautiful cover we both exclaimed at the same time. “Jinx.” I said jokingly to her. Smiling in thanks she was off as quickly as she had appeared, the whole encounter taking less than three minutes. It is book selling moments like these that make up for customers who do not know the name of the book, the author, or the subject. Only, that they saw it on a front display table three weeks ago and it has a blue cover. Oy! (Yes I am psychic. It comes with the job.)

As I read the cover flap, I said “WOW” out loud again. Allegra Goodman has been “heralded as ‘a modern day Jane Austen’ by USA Today.”  Daunting praise indeed. Within inside hollering distance was my assistant manager Andie, fellow Janeite and Fanny Burney enthusiast. Andie is discriminate reader who likes to challenge my passion for Jane Austen sequels and had an unhealthy reaction to her first Georgette Heyer novel. (I am slowing winning her over gentle readers after convincing her to read The Grand Sophy. She loved it. Phew. There’s hope.) As I read the cover blurb to her, she said “WOW” too. (Lots of “wow’s” going on here!) She must read it. One convert down.

Next in my mission of hawking the next Jane Austen’s book, I attack Cynthia, fellow bookseller extraordinaire whose excellent taste in reading is only subordinate to my own. I sell her on the two sisters theme; the older “serenely rational” and financially successful dot-com millionairess and the younger, impassioned and impulsive sibling who works as a antiquarian bookseller in Berzerkly. This hits close to home. Bingo. Two converts down.

Today, I find my next victim in my quest to convince all my fellow booksellers to read this book with me. While looking over the new hardcover bestsellers, Amber the amiable but ‘never read a Jane Austen novel in my life’  children’s lead innocently asks me “What should I read next?” Ha! “Where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.” P&P. She reads the first chapter and identifies with the sister set-up too. Three down.

At this juncture, if you are in any doubt of my recommendation of this book, please read what the professional reviewers are saying about it.

“The Cookbook Collector” is a romantic comedy, regardless of its serious dot-com, ticker-tape subplot. That enchanting aspect comes from the adventures of Emily’s sister, Jess, the whimsical philosophy student, who eventually reasserts herself as our heroine. Yorick’s, the used-book store where she works, is owned by a single man in possession of a good fortune, so you should have a pretty clear idea of the universal truth we’re pursuing here. George is a retired Microsoft millionaire, a good-looking, 36-year-old curmudgeon who has given up on relationships. He’s “too selfish to marry anyone” anyhow, and he’s constantly complaining about Jess and her granola ideals.

Their prickly banter is a giveaway, but long after we’ve started rooting for them, Jess is still protesting, “We don’t agree on anything.” Can love bloom between a judgmental, uptight bachelor and a dreamy tree-hugger who won’t eat honey from “indentured bees”? Can these opposites finally overcome their pride and prejudice?

Admittedly, too much is going on in this novel. Although a liberal rabbi assures Jess that “there are no coincidences,” that gets harder and harder to believe as they pile up in these pages. And a final revelation of a long-lost family would make Gilbert and Sullivan blush.

Ron Charles, The Washington Post

(Ok. He had me at “a single man in possession of a good fortune,” but throw in a mention of Gilbert and Sullivan and I’m a goner.)

You’ve probably heard this story before: Responsible older sister and flighty, passionate younger sister search for love and fulfillment.

In fact, National Book Award finalist Allegra Goodman has called her new novel, The Cookbook Collector, a “ ‘Sense and Sensibility’ for the digital age.”

Now, one could argue that comparing your own work to Jane Austen’s is like waving a red petticoat in front of a Janeite. But frankly, those estimable souls are probably still too green around the gills from “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” to object strongly.

“The Cookbook Collector” remains a smart, witty treat – ideal for those who like a little intellectual oomph in their summer romances.

Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor

(Waving a red petticoat at a Janeite. *snort*)

If that flighty sister vs. level-headed sister premise sounds familiar, it should. Goodman herself has called her latest novel “A Sense and Sensibility for the Digital Age.” I confess, if anyone other than Allegra Goodman had made that claim, I very likely would have tossed my review copy away. I am very weary of the literary fad of contemporary authors shoplifting plots and characters from the 19th-century fiction warehouse. Poor Jane Austen, in particular, has been plucked clean. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out your local bookstore where you’ll find the latest violations, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Is there no shame?

(We hear you on the sea monster thing sister, but go easy on the plucked clean jabs.)

Goodman’s nimble language, usually displayed in her characters’ sharp readings of one another, is one of the great pleasures of her writing. The other is her ability to integrate serious metaphysical questions into her entertaining comedies of manners. The way in which The Cookbook Collector ultimately veers off from a mere riff on Sense and Sensibility raises crucial doubts about the value of a well-ordered life, as well as the existence of a benevolent God. In Austen’s original, Elinor, the practical one, was rewarded for having two feet on the ground. That was the late Enlightenment talking through Austen. But here, in Goodman, Modernity pulls the rug out from under Emily’s feet.

Maureen Corrigan, NPR

(We have always secretly wanted Marianne’s passions to prevail, so this could be a nice twist.)

You can read an excerpt of The Cookbook Collector on NPR and also listen to the six minute radio broadcast on Fresh Air.

We shall keep you updated on the body count. You might be next!

Cheers, Laurel Ann

Update! More converts. :-D

Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

Claire of The Captive Reader

Meg of Write Meg

Becky of One Literature Nut

Jane Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for July

The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer (2009)The Jane Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that many Austen inspired books are heading our way in July, so keep your eyes open for these new titles.  

Fiction (prequels, sequels, retellings, variations, or Regency inspired) 

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer 

July is The Grand Sophy month at Jane Austen Today in celebration of this very special Georgette Heyer Regency era novel. Its publisher Sourcebooks has made a serious commitment to reissue many of her beloved novels and we could not be happier. Like Jane Austen, Heyer’s style is often emulated but rarely matched. There is no subsitute for the original. The Grand Sophy is one of her most popular stories. Heroine Sophy Stanton-Lacy has the self assurance of Austen’s character Emma Woodhouse and the spirit of Eliza Bennet – a dynamic combo – leading to trouble and hilarity. (Publisher’s description) Sophy sets everything right for her desperate family in one of Georgette Heyer’s most popular Regency romances. When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt’s family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she’s done, Sophy has commandeered Charles’s horses, his household, and finally, his heart. Sourcebooks, ISBN: 978-1402218941 

Colonel Brandon's Diary, by Amanda Grange (2009)Colonel Brandon’s Diary, by Amanda Grange 

In her fifth novel in the Austen Hero’s Series, Amanda Grange has actually succeeded in improving upon Austen’s character Colonel Brandon; — at least for me! He is not one of my favorite characters in Sense and Sensibility, though he certainly has his fangirls. I appreciated learning more about his back story – his days in India and his failed romance with his first love Eliza Williams. As always, Grange is one of the most gifted writers in the Austen subgenre, giving us a touching inside story that is hard to put down. (Publisher’s description) At the age of eighteen, James Brandon’s world is shattered when the girl he loves, Eliza, is forced to marry his brother. In despair, he joins the army and leaves England for the East Indies for the next several years. Upon his return, he finds Eliza in a debtor’s prison. He rescues her from her terrible situation, but she is dying of consumption and he can do nothing but watch and wait. Heartbroken at her death, he takes some consolation in her illegitimate daughter, who he raises as his ward. But at the age of fifteen, his ward goes missing. Devastated by the thought of what could have happened to her, he is surprised to find himself falling in love with Marianne Dashwood. But Marianne is falling in love with the charismatic Willoughby. Berkley Trade, ISBN: ISBN: 978-0425227794 

Ransome's Honor, by Kaye Dacus (2009)Ransome’s Honor (The Ransome Trilogy ),  by Kaye Dacus 

I love supporting emerging authors, and am happy to feature this new release with Austen undertones. Just think of the themes of lost opportunity and renewed romance from Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, and throw in a dashing Naval hero like Horatio Hornblower, and you’ll understand Dacus’ inspiration for her first book in the trilogy. I am such a sucker for a man in a blue uniform. (Publisher’s description) The war with France has ended, and Captain William Ransome, known for never letting women aboard his ship, has returned to Portsmouth, England. Julia Witherington, considered an old-maid at 29, discovers that she must marry immediately to receive a large dowry. Julia knows that the only man she doesn’t want to marry is William Ransome. And the only man her father will approve of is…William Ransome. When the couple strikes a financial deal to feign marriage for one year, the adventure begins. These stubborn people face humorous and hard situations that reveal what else they have in common—a growing affection for one another. This intriguing tale of faith and loyalty is a wonderful new offering for readers of all genres. Harvest House Publishers, ISBN: 978-0736927536 

Nonfiction 

Jane Austen and Marriage, by Hazel Jones (2009)Jane Austen and Marriage, by Hazel Jones 

A well connected Marriage. What every Regency Miss dreamed of, and every parent schemed for. An advantageous alliance could elevate social position, increase wealth and expand property; all critical elements in Regency society. Jane Austen was keenly aware of the importance of marriage through family, friends and her own life. Her novels are driven by it. Author Hazel Jones presents this important topic with aplomb and energy. (Publisher’s description) With original research, this book offers a new insight into Jane Austen’s life and writing. The question of marriage lies at the centre of Jane Austen’s novels. The issues bound up in the pursuit of love, happiness, money and status were those of her day and informed the plots and morals of her work. In this fascinating book, Hazel Jones explores the ways in which these themes manifest themselves in Jane Austen’s life and fiction, against the backdrop of contemporary conduct manuals, letters, diaries, journals and newspapers. Drawing on original research, this entertaining and detailed study provides a charming and profound insight into the world of Jane Austen. Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN: 978-1847252180 

Jane Austen's Sewing Box, by Jennifer Forest (2009)Jane Austen’s Sewing Box: Craft Projects and Stories from Jane Austen’s Novels, by Jennifer Forest 

All well-bred Regency ladies aspired to be highly accomplished. What is that you ask? Well, they painted tables, covered screens, and netted purses as Austen’s character Charles Bingley matter-of-factly describes in Pride and Prejudice (among other talents), all to allure and secure husband. Women of this era were great at handiwork – sewing, drawing and trimming bonnets. Author Jennifer Forest has researched Regency crafts compiling this lovely volume of projects to turn you into the accomplished woman that even Mr. Darcy might admire. (Publisher’s description) Jane Austen’s Sewing Box opens a window into the lives of Regency women during a beautiful period in arts, crafts and design. Jennifer Forest examines Jane Austen’s novels and letters to reveal a world where women are gripped by crazes for painting on glass and netting purses, economise by trimming an old bonnet, or eagerly turn to their sewing to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Based on Jane Austen’s novels and with illustrated step-by-step instructions for eighteen craft projects, this beautifully presented book will delight Jane Austen fans, lovers of history and literature and craft enthusiasts alike. Murdoch Books, ISBN: 978-1741963748 

Austen’s Contemporaries & Regency era 

Camilla (Oxford World's Classics), by Fanny Burney (2009)Camilla (Oxford World’s Classics), by, Fanny Burney 

“I was thinking of that other stupid book, written by that woman they make such a fuss about, she who married the French emigrant.” “I suppose you mean Camilla?” “Yes, that’s the book; such unnatural stuff! An old man playing at see–saw, I took up the first volume once and looked it over, but I soon found it would not do; indeed I guessed what sort of stuff it must be before I saw it: as soon as I heard she had married an emigrant, I was sure I should never be able to get through it.” John Thorpe and Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey 

Only one of Jane Austen’s horridly uncouth characters like John Thorpe would have the audacity to call Camilla a stupid book. Austen uses one of the most famous novels of her time as an example to defend novel writing. ‘”It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best–chosen language.’ No doubt that she valued its merits highly. (Publisher’s description) First published in 1796, Camilla deals with the matrimonial concerns of a group of young people – Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, the daughters of a country parson, and their cousin Indiana Lynmere – and, in particular, with the love affair between Camilla herself and her eligible suitor, Edgar Mandlebert. The path of true love, however, is strewn with intrigue, contretemps and misunderstanding. An enormously popular eighteenth-century novel, Camilla is touched at many points by the advancing spirit of romanticism. As in Evelina, Fanny Burney weaves into her novel strands of light and dark, comic episodes and gothic shudders, and creates a pattern of social and moral dilemmas which emphasize and illuminate the gap between generations. Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN: 978-0199555741 

Vanity Fair (Oxford World's Classics), by W. M. Thacheray (2009)Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero (Oxford World’s Classics), by W. M. Thackeray (Author), John Sutherland (Editor) 

Weighing in at a hefty one and a half pounds and numbering 1008 pages, this literary classic is a shining jewel, and well worth the patience to read its winding plot and numerous pages. From the title, you know right off the bat that Thackeray has a wry sense of humor. Of course the novel has heroes! the main one Rawdon Crawley is a charming wastrel, and the second, William Dobbin, is a bit of a namby pamby, taking his time to show his colors. Adapted unsuccessfully into numerous movies since the 1930’s, I am still waiting for the ultimate Rawdon and Becky on screen, though Miriam Hopkins’ interpretation of Becky Sharp is quite slipery and snarky in the 1935 film of the same name. (Publisher’s description) Set during the Napoleonic wars, Vanity Fair (1847-8) famously satirizes worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp, and Amelia Sedley, pampered child of a rich City merchant. Despite the differences in their fortunes and characters, they find their lives entangled from childhood. As Becky’s maneuvering ingratiates her with high society, the financial ruin of Amelia’s father forces Amelia into poverty. Destiny, of course, has further adventures in store for both women, whose lives Thackeray (1811-63) uses as theatres for the whims and foibles of their contemporaries. — This edition of one of the greatest social satires of the English language reproduces the text of the Oxford Thackeray and includes all of Thackeray’s own illustrations. Oxford University Press, USA; Reissue edition, ISBN: 978-0199537624 

Austen Ephemera 

British Library Jane Austen Desk Diary 2010British Library Jane Austen Desk Diary 2010, edited by by Freydis Welland, James Edward Austen-Leigh (Illustrator), Jane Austen (Contributor) 

Keep your journaling going in style with this beautiful desk diary from the British Library filled with images of silhouettes created by Jane Austen’s nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh and compiled by his descendant Freydis Welland. These images were also included in the recently published book, Life in the Country with Quotations by Jane Austen, which I reviewed last December. Lovely book, so no doubt this diary will not disappoint. (Publisher’s description) Jane Austen wrote of her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh: “We were happy to see Edward, it was an unexpected pleasure, and he makes himself as agreeable as ever, sitting in such a quiet comfortable way making his delightful sketches.” Edward brought the fine art of silhouettes to perfection, creating evocative images of landscapes and the creatures that lived in them. This appealing diary lets readers organize their thoughts and express their own artistry with the inspiration of Austen and her artist nephew. Frances Lincoln; Desk edition, ISBN: 978-0711230071 

British Library Jane Austen Pocket Diary 2010British Library Jane Austen Pocket Diary 2010, Edited by Freydis Welland, James Edward Austen-Leigh (Illustrator), Jane Austen (Contributor) 

Another variation of the before mentioned desk diary, this version is of a compact pocket diary. For every writer in the making, you can pop this in your purse, briefcase or backpack and scribble your thoughts and inspirations as they hit you on the go. (Publisher’s description) Like the desk diary, this pocket diary is based on the popular book Life in the Country, a celebration of Regency England published by the British Library in 2008. This book has the added advantage of being portable, allowing would-be writers and artists to take it anywhere to record their thoughts, compile a to-do list, sketch their surroundings, or any of a number of other activities — all in the stimulating presence of the brilliant English writer and her talented nephew. Frances Lincoln, ISBN: 978-0711230088 

Jane Austen Jigsaw Puzzle, by Potter Style (2009)Jane Austen Puzzle: 500-Piece Puzzle, by Potter Style 

The good people at Potter Style, who have brought us other great Jane Austen inspired ephemera such as note cards, address books and journals, now enter into the Jane Austen entertainment/games arena with this 500 piece jigsaw puzzle in a boxed shaped like a book, ready to sit right next to your collection of Jane Austen novels and reference books in your library. The main image is from Hugh Thomson’s 1894 illustration of Pride and Prejudice and depicts a scene of Mr. Darcy’s first failed marriage proposal. Good choice designers! Also included are quotes from Austen’s novels, images of a Regency era estates and a cameo of the Bardess of Basingstoke herself, Jane Austen. This looks like great fun, but what next? Jane Austen Game Boy?  Potter Style; Puzzle edition, ISBN: 978-0307453839 

Until next month, happy reading! 

Laurel Ann

Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for May

What Would Jane Austen Say? (2009), by Laurie BrownThe Jane Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that many Austen inspired books are heading our way in May, so keep your eyes open for these new titles. 

Fiction (prequels, sequels, retellings, variations, or Regency inspired) 

What Would Jane Austen Do? by, Laurie Brown 

Are you ready for an historical romance laced with Jane Austen’s influence for your light and fun summer reading? In this time travel fantasy, take a trip back to Regency England as the heroine attempts to alter the past and thwart a deadly duel. Publisher’s description: Eleanor is a costume designer in England for the Jane Austen festival, where her room at the inn is haunted. In the middle of the night she encounters two ghost sisters whose brother was killed in a duel over 200 years ago. They persuade her to travel back in time with them to prevent the duel. Eleanor is swept into a country house party, presided over by the charming Lord Shermont, where she encounters and befriends Jane Austen. But there’s much more to Lord Shermont than the ghosts knew, and as Eleanor dances and flirts with him, she begins to lose her heart. Sourcebooks Casablanca, ISBN: 978-1402218316 

Cousin Kate (2009), by Georgette HeyerCousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer 

Sourcebook’s continues on its quest to reissue all of Georgette Heyer’s classic novels with Cousin Kate, originally published in 1968. This novel is one of only two Heyer Gothic Regency romances, and is sure to be a treat for historical romance and Gothic novel readers. Publisher’s description: Kate, in dire circumstances, is surprised to receive an invitation to live with a distant aunt. Her aunt, uncle, and cousin welcome her to their estate, buy her new clothes, and provide all the amenities a Young lady of quality should have. Slowly, however, as strange events unfold, Kate begins to realize that her aunt’s apparent benevolence hides an ulterior motive. To assure succession of the title, her aunt intends Kate to marry her cousin Torquil, until his increasingly bizarre behavior culminates in violence and tragedy. A compelling tale exploring mental illness in the Regency period. Sourcebooks Casablanca, ISBN: 978-1402217685 

Austen’s Contemporaries  

Corrine, or Italy (2009), by Madame de StaelCorinne, or Italy (Oxford World’s Classics), by Madame de Stael 

Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein (1766 – 1817), commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a Swiss author living in Paris whose writings strongly influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century. She was highly praised by her male contemporaries during her lifetime and credited as the foundress of the Romantic Movement. Corinne, or Italy was published at the height of her writing skills in 1807 and considered her greatest achievement.   

Madame de Stael may have been a renowned authoress, but her notorious reputation preceded her when she arrived in London in 1813. Jane Austen passed up the opportunity to meet her that year when she was visiting her brother Henry in London. Nineteen years later he would explain her rejection of the invitation, “To her truly delicate mind such a display would have given pain instead of pleasure.” Madame de Stael may have privately thought Pride and Prejudice “vulgaire,” but in my estimation she redeemed herself by acquiring a copy of Mansfield Park for her home library at Coppet, Switzerland. 

Publisher’s description: Corinne, or Italy, is both the story of a love affair between Oswald, Lord Nelvil, and a beautiful poetess, and an homage to the landscape, literature and art of Italy. Stael, the subject of recent feminist rediscovery, weaves discreet political allusion into her romance, and upon its publication Napoleon renewed her order of exile. Sylvia Raphel’s new translation preserves the natural character of the French original, while the notes and introduction place this extraordinary work of European Romanticism in its historical and political context. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0199554607 

The Romance of the Forest (Oxford Worlds Classics) 2009, by Ann RadcliffeThe Romance of the Forest (Oxford World’s Classics), by Ann Radcliffe 

Author Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823) may be best known to Janeites for heroine Catherine Morland’s fascination with her Gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey, but another Austen character also admired her horrid novels! When Harriet Smith in Emma suggests The Romance of Forest to her beau Robert Martin, the simple tenant farmer is more inclined to read Agricultural Reports than Gothic novels, and his hesitation gives fuel for Emma Woodhouse to discredit him as a proper suitor to her little friend Harriet. Don’t delay like Robert Martin! If you have not ventured into Gothic fiction before, this is an excellent choice, full of ruined abbey’s, skeletons and mystery. Publisher’s description: The Romance of the Forest (1791) heralded an enormous surge in the popularity of Gothic novels, in a decade that included Ann Radcliffe’s later works, The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian. Set in Roman Catholic Europe of violent passions and extreme oppression, the novel follows the fate of its heroine Adeline, who is mysteriously placed under the protection of a family fleeing Paris for debt. They take refuge in a ruined abbey in south-eastern France, where sinister relics of the past – a skeleton, a manuscript, and a rusty dagger – are discovered in concealed rooms. Adeline finds herself at the mercy of the abbey’s proprietor, a libidinous Marquis whose attentions finally force her to contemplate escape to distant regions. Rich in allusions to aesthetic theory and to travel literature, The Romance of the Forest is also concerned with current philosophical debate and examines systems of thought central to the intellectual life of late eighteenth-century Europe. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0199539222 

Until next month, happy reading! 

Laurel Ann 

Jane Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for November 2008

Mr. Darcy's Daughter, by Rebecca Ann Collins (2008)The Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that Austen inspired books are heading our way in November, so keep your eyes open for these new titles. Next month’s edition of upcoming releases of Austen-esque books will include my selections of Jane Austen inspired holiday gift giving suggestions, so please check back on December 1st.

Mr. Darcy’s Daughter: The Pemberley Chronicles Book 5, by Rebecca Ann Collins. The Pemberley Chronicles continue as author Rebecca Ann Collins carries on the saga of the children of the Darcy’s and the Bingley’s as she focuses on the daughter of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy, the charming, beautiful and intelligent Cassandra. It is now 1864 and Cassandra Darcy must step forward and assist her family in the running of Pemberley after her willful brother Julian fails in his responsibilities as heir. “Mr. Darcy’s Daughter is the remarkable story of a strong-minded woman in a man’s world, struggling to balance the competing demands of love and duty as a daughter, wife, mother, and sister.” Sourcebooks Landmark, ISBN: 978-1402212208 

The Lost Years of Jane Austen: A Novel, by Barbara Ker Wilson. Even though every reasonable attempt to discover information about the content of this book has been conducted, the Austen book sleuth is still stumped. So we shall call it the mystery Austen book of the month and make a wild guess that it is a reprint of Barbara Ker Wilson’s 1984 novel, Jane in Australia in which Jane travels to Australia in 1803 with her aunt and uncle the Leigh Perrot’s. Sorry if my hunch is off, but if publisher’s wont’ give a description on their web site or answer polite inquires, we are left to the mercy of a good surmise. Ulysses Press, ISBN: 978-1569756928 

Eliza’s Daughter: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, by Joan Aiken. Did anyone catch that steamy opening scene in the Andrew Davies adaptation of Sense and Sensibility last spring on Masterpiece? If so, you might guess the parentage of the heroine Eliza Williams, but since she could not, she has no notion of who her father is or how she is connectioned to the kindly man who is her guardian, Colonel Brandon. Intelligent, creative and free-spirited, Eliza makes her way to London and into some of the fine intellectual and artistic circles with poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge eventually traveling the world, all the while seeking to solve the mystery of her parentage. My only hope is that she takes cousin Margaret Dashwood along on the adventure! Sourcebooks Landmark, ISBN: 978-1402212888 

Issues of Class in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: (Social Issues in Literature), edited by Claudia L. Johnson. Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet was a middle class gentleman’s daughter and hero Fitzwilliam Darcy was from the upper-class landed gentry. Ever wonder why only the rumor of their engagement provoked Lady Catherine to say “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”, and what it all meant? This book will definitely fill in the blanks with its numerous essays from prominent Austen and 18th-century scholars such as John Lauber, Marilyn Butler, Juliet McMaster, Emily Auerbach and Claudia Johnson. Written for high school level students, I am quite certain that older Janeites will find these insightful essays worthy of further study also. Greenhaven Press, ISBN: 978-0737742589 

Bloom’s How to Write about Jane Austen, by Catherine J. Kordich. The title of this one says it all, but here is my flip rhetorical question of the day. Since Jane Austen’s writing style is revered and worshiped by thousands (if not millions) including this blog mistress, who the heck would not want to know why her writing is so brilliant and be able to write about it??? Who indeed? I must confess that I could benefit from this book and hope to have a copy in hand shortly. Designed to help students (and blog mistresses) develop their analytical writing skills and critical comprehension, I know a few Austen friends who will smile at the title and snap it up in a heartbeat. Chelsea House (Facts on File, Inc.), 978-0791097434 

Life in the Country:  with quotations by Jane Austen and silhouettes by her Nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh. Edited by Freydis Jane Welland and Eileen Sutherland, contributions by Maggie Lane and Joan Klingel Ray, afterword by Joan Austen-Leigh, designed by Robert R. Reid. Wow! The contributors to this book play out like the royal pedigree of Janedom! If you didn’t catch the connections, then I advise you to read the dust jacket flap. Suffice it to say, this is Jane Austen royalty rolling out the red carpet for our edification and enjoyment. The silhouettes are stunning, add to that well chosen Jane Austen quotes, a foreword from the editor, a family biography and an afterword by one of the creators of JASNA, and it does not get any better! Seek this one out and buy it. It is a gem. British Library, ISBN: 978-0712349857 

Until next month, happy reading to all! 

Laurel Ann

The Darcy’s Give a Ball Contest Winner

A Gentle Joke Jane Austen Style, by Elizabeth Newark, (2008)The Austen Book Sleuth is pleased to announce …

Congratulations to Felicia for being the lucky winner of a new copy of The Darcy’s Give a Ball: A Gentle Joke Jane Austen Style, by Elizabeth Newark in our contest. Felicia has responded to our e-mail and says, “Yea!  I have never won anything! Thank you so much!” 

We are thrilled to be anyone’s first, at anything, and hope that Felicia will enjoy the book and let us know her thoughts after she finishes reading it! Elizabeth Newark has a light and witty hand as a story teller, and we suspect that you will laugh in all the right places. Have fun, and happy reading.