Austenesque, Book Reviews, Editor's Picks, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Jane Austen Sequels

The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen, by Lindsay Ashford – A Review

The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen, by Lindsay Ashford (2013)I had the pleasure of reading this mystery novel in 2011 when it was published in the UK as The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen. I was very happy to learn that it was being published for the North American market by Sourcebooks as The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen. After a recent second reading, I can honestly state that “my affections and wishes are unchanged.”

The book opens with this shocking question. Did Jane Austen die of natural causes or was she murdered? The possibility sent shivers down the back of my neck. Like many Janeites, I have read of the many theories (and much speculation) on the fatal illnesses that may have caused Jane Austen’s death at age forty-one in 1817. Addison’s disease, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bovine tuberculosis, and recently Brill-Zinsser disease have all been suggested. We know that Jane Continue reading “The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen, by Lindsay Ashford – A Review”

Austenesque, Book Reviews, Editor's Picks, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Jane Austen Sequels

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford – A Review

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford (2011)Jane Austen’s personal life is a bit of an enigma. We know a bit about her day-to-day life from her remaining personal correspondence; of which a few snippets allude to her beaux and friends. Readers are often puzzled how a spinster wrote so perceptively about romance and the human heart. One would think that first-hand experience would be a requirement. I have always thought that she had her fair share of romance. We are just not privy to the details. We do, however, know a little about of one of her dear female friendships.

Anne Sharp was governess to Jane’s niece Fanny Knight from 1804 to 1806 at Godmersham Park where Anne and Jane were introduced in 1805. Even though the social chasm between Anne as a servant and Jane as the sister of the wealthy land owner should have prevented them from closer acquaintance, Continue reading “The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford – A Review”