New Jane Austen Short Story Anthology Announced Today

Hot off the presses is an announcement today in Publishers Weekly of a new Jane Austen short story anthology to be published by Random House in 2011. The collection will include approximately twenty stories inspired by Jane Austen, literature’s witty muse of the modern novel and astute observer of human nature and the heart.

Readers familiar with Austen inspired paraliterature will recognize many popular authors among the list of those contributing and a few surprises from best selling authors who greatly admire Austen’s works. Contributing to the line-up are best selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club), Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation Series) and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Approximately twenty Austenesque authors and others from related genres have already committed to the project including:

Pamela Aidan (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy)

Elizabeth Aston (Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, & Writing Jane Austen)

Stephanie Barron (A Jane Austen Mystery Series, & The White Garden)

Carrie Bebris (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries Series)

Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, & Mrs. Elton in America)

Frank Delaney (Shannon, Tipperary, & Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show)

Monica Fairview (The Darcy Cousins, & The Other Mr. Darcy)

Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club, & Wits End)

Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, & Mr. Darcy’s Diary)

Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, & The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte)

Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances)

Janet Mullany (Bespelling Jane Austen, & Rules of Gentility)

Jane Odiwe (Lydia Bennet’s Story, & Willoughby’s Return)

Beth Pattillo (Jane Austen Ruined My Life, & Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart)

Alexandra Potter (Me & Mr. Darcy, & The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A Novel)

Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino Bradway (Lady Vernon & Her Daughter)

Myretta Robens (Pemberley.com , Just Say Yes, & Once Upon a Sofa)

Maya Slater (The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy)

Margaret C. Sullivan (AustenBlog.com, & The Jane Austen Handbook)

Adriana Trigiani (Brava Valentine, Very Valentine, & Lucia, Lucia)

Laurie Viera Rigler (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, & Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict)

Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation Series)

In addition, a short story contest hosted by the venerable The Republic of Pemberley website will be held to fill one slot in the anthology for a new voice in Austenesque fiction. Further details on submission and manuscript deadlines will be posted here and at Pemberley.com.

And if you were wondering how I know so much about the project, I have been secretly working on it for months and will be the editor. I’m the luckiest Janeite in the world!

Cheers, Laurel Ann

© 2007-2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

A Soirée with Lady Susan: Guest Blog with Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubino-Bradway authors of Lady Vernon and her Daughter

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan, by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (2009)There are some great writers who wrote too much. There are others who wrote enough. There are yet others who wrote nothing like enough to satisfy their admirers, and Jane Austen is certainly one of these. Margaret Drabble 

I love this quote by Austen scholar Margaret Drabble. It is the opening line of her introduction to the 1974 edition the Penguin Classics Lady Susan, The Watson’s and Sandition, long before the Austen sequel industry would become its own book genre. Little did she know that other writers would take the next step to satisfy Austen admirers.  Thirty-five years later, we have literally hundreds of prequels, sequels, spinoffs and continuations to choose from. Most are inspired by Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice. Proportionally – too many. So when I read the announcement last March of a new novel Lady Vernon and her Daughter based on Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan, my heart leapt. A fresh concept! I knew of only one other sequel based on Lady Susan written by Phyllis Ann Karr in 1980, and long out of print. It was past time for Lady Susan to have her turn again. The authors, appropriately a mother-daughter team, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway have graciously offered this guest blog during ‘A Soirée with Lady Susan’ to share their insights about Lady Susan and their inspiration to write a new novel based on Jane Austen’s novella. 

Welcome Jane and Caitlen 

Lady Susan is the title character of an early epistolary work written by Jane Austen in the early- to mid-1790s. Lady Susan Vernon is a beautiful young widow, a “dangerous creature” and “the most accomplished coquette in England.” In a series of letters, principally between Lady Susan and her friend, Alicia Johnson, and Lady Susan’s sister-in-law Catherine Vernon and Catherine’s mother, Lady deCourcy, we extract a portrait of a woman of pleasure, flirting with three admirers while disarming her wary in-laws and arranging a loveless marriage for her daughter. It’s a work that’s difficult to characterize; it is too sophisticated to be considered juvenilia, and it isn’t a fragment; yet, while it’s a complete work, it isn’t a fully realized novel. 

It is not unlikely that some inspiration for Lady Susan came from the sensational French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which appeared in England in the decade before Lady Susan was written. The Marquise de Merteuil’s, “…it seems to me scarcely possible for a woman who is offered such a golden chance – with so little risk – to reduce a male to despair could resist indulging in such a treat” is not very different in sentiment from Lady Susan’s, “There is an exquisite pleasure in subduing an insolent spirit, in making a person pre-determined to dislike acknowledge one’s superiority.” The Marquise’s contempt for the youthful affection of Cecile and Danceny resembles Lady Susan’s disdain for her daughter’s admiration of Reginald deCourcy, and Lady Susan’s scheme to force Frederica to marry Sir James is as coldly calculating as the Marquise’s plot to have Valmont seduce Cecile. 

Jane Rubino had written a contemporary mystery series, and happened to be reading Lady Susan at the time she was thinking of writing a second series. The “Lady Susan mysteries” were quickly abandoned, and we began discussing turning the work into a historical novel with elements of mystery; that plan gave way to reconstructing the work – converting an epistolary novel to a third person narrative, as Austen revised Elinor and Marianne into Sense and Sensibility. In fact, we discovered a number of similarities between Lady Susan and Sense and Sensibility.  There are the dual heroines, dual romances, and a mother and daughter(s) displaced when the family estate passes to an heir.  We decided to approach the book as a “what if Jane Austen had revised Lady Susan, as she had done with Elinor and Marianne”? 

In order to conform to Austen’s canon, we resolved to use Austen’s novels as our primary reference.  Austen’s heroines are flawed, but not malicious, so Lady Susan became a sympathetic character. Her conduct is not radically altered, but is motivated by economy, rather than “exquisite pleasure” – with that in mind Lady Susan became Lady Vernon.  While there are supporting players in Austen’s canon who are widows of independent means – Lady Catherine deBourgh, Mrs. Jennings, Lady Russell – Austen’s widows are more likely to be anywhere from women of modest means to downright indigent – Mrs. Dashwood, Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Norris, Mrs. Thorpe. Austen’s heroines, moreover, are not women of high rank, and to have Susan Vernon the daughter of an earl (as suggested by that “Lady Susan”, but never stated in the work) would have taken her out of that tier from which Austen’s heroines are drawn. 

The format, of course, had to go – the novel-in-letters is unwieldy – but we converted as much of the letters as we could into dialogue or exposition.  The use of letters was retained, however, as Austen frequently used letters to advance the plot, or reveal critical information. There are the letters of Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice, Isabella Thorpe’s self-centered correspondence to Catherine Moreland in Northanger Abbey, and, of course, Frederick Wentworth’s proposal in Persuasion

Finally, we decided to dedicate Lady Vernon and Her Daughter to one of Caitlen’s favorite professors, Mary Ann Macartney.  While Jane has always been an Austen devotee, Caitlen’s love of Austen really developed in college, in an intensive Austen seminar.  Ten Austen fans in a small room every other day will fuel your fanaticism no matter what, but it was Dr. Macartney’s passion and attention to detail that really inspired Caitlen.   Our dedication is a small way of saying thanks for hers. 

Thank you Jane and Caitlen for joining us today. Lady Vernon and her Daughter is one of my most highly anticipated Austen inspired novels of the year. It is due out on the 6th of October and available for pre-order today. 

A Soirée with Lady Susan: Day 7 Giveaway 

Lady Vernon and her Daughter, by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (Crown Publishing Group) 2009 

Leave a comment by September 13th to qualify for the free drawing on September 14th for one copy of Lady Vernon and her Daughter, by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (US residents only) 

Lady Susan AvatarUpcoming event posts
Day 08 – Sep 8            Morgan Library Jane Austen Exhibit
Day 09 – Sep 9            LS Group Read – Letters 23-33
Day 10 – Sep 10          LS Quotes & Quips
Day 11 – Sep 11          Guest blog – Regency Letter Writing

Announcing – Lady Vernon and her Daughter Book Trailer

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan, by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (2009)Austenprose is very honored to have the privilege of announcing the exclusive premier of the Lady Vernon and her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan book trailer. This new retelling of Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan was co-written by mother and daughter team Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway and is due out October 6th, 2009. You can read a complete preview of Lady Vernon and her Daughter here at Austenprose.

Stay tuned for more great information on this exciting new release as Jane and Caitlen will be guest bloggers on September 7th during ‘Soirée with Lady Susan’ event here at Austenprose September 1st through the 14th. If you would like to join in the fun, check out the invitation and the group reading schedule.

 

I am so looking forward to reading this new Jane Austen inspired book. You can pre-order your copy of Lady Vernon and her Daughter online for October delivery.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

Preview – Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Jane Austen Novel, by Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, by Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubion-Bradway (2009)When I read about Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, a new novel based on Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan, I got a total Austen adrenaline rush. Due out next October from Crown Publishing Group, we will finally have a novel based on Austen’s brilliant and vicious jewel. Here is the description. 

A delightful interpretation of Jane Austen’s early novella Lady Susan – a treat for fans of literature’s most beloved woman of letters, as well as historical fiction readers. 

Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan was written during the same period in which she produced Elinor and Marianne. Like Elinor and Marianne, Lady Susan focused on the economic and romantic plights of two heroines displaced when the family home passes to an unworthy heir; but while Elinor and Marianne was revised and happily expanded to become Sense and Sensibility, Lady Susan was abandoned. Until now. 

In Lady Vernon and her Daughter, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway have taken letters from this novella and transformed them into to a vivid, authentic, and more recognizably “Austen” milieu. Lady Susan Vernon and her daughter must navigate a society where a woman’s security is at the mercy of an entail, where love is hindered by misunderstanding, where marriage can never be entirely isolated from money, and yet romance somehow carries the day. 

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown (October 6, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0307461667 

Not only is this an interesting concept, it is written by a mother – daughter team, mirroring the two main characters in Lady Susan. Here are their bios from their literary agent Marly Rusoff & Associates website who continue to have an eagle eye for fresh Austen inspired talent after they hit a home run with Laurie Viera Rigler’s Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict in 2007. 

Jane Rubino holds a BA from NYU in Dramatic Literature, Theatre and Cinema. She lives in Ocean City, NJ and is the author of a contemporary mystery series set at the Jersey shore, and a volume of Sherlockian novellas. She has also written several short screenplays that have been produced as student and independent films; one of the films was recently awarded a jury prize at San Francisco’s annual WYSIWYG Film Festival. 

Caitlen Rubino-Bradway holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Publishing from Rosemont College. While in college, she interned with LeFrak Productions, Tor, and Jane Dystel Literary. She currently lives and works in New York City, where she has attended the Monday “day after” dissections, sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America, of the most recent series of Austen teleplays. 

Both avid readers of Austen, Caitlen and Jane re-examined her six great novels in order to reproduce Austen’s distinctive style and apply the fundamentals of her storytelling to expand this short work into novel length. Lady Vernon and her Daughter, while retaining much of the original text, restores Lady Susan and Frederica Vernon to a vivid, authentic, and more recognizably “Austen” milieu: much like the Dashwood’s (Sense and Sensibility), the Bennet sisters (Pride and Prejudice), and Anne Elliot (Persuasion), Lady Susan Vernon and her daughter must navigate a society where a woman’s security is at the mercy of an entail, where love is hindered by misunderstanding, where marriage can never be entirely isolated from money, and yet romance somehow carries the day. 

Can’t wait to learn more about this one! If we can judge this book by its beautiful cover, then we may have another winner from this literary agency.

Lady Susan, by Jane Austen, Naxos AudioBooks (2001)Pre-order Lady Vernon and Her Daughter at Amazon.com

Read Lady Susan by Jane Austen online at Mollands

Listen to an audio sampler of Lady Susan at Naxos AudioBooks