Saturday, 20 August 2016


It’s a pleasure to have a chance to connect with other Jane Austen enthusiasts. I’m an English and drama teacher as well as a playwright, actor and director. Like many people, my passion for Jane Austen grew hugely with the 1996 mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. The theatricality of the characters and the beauty of her dialogue delivered by that magnificent cast made that series one that was watched time and time again for me!

My first full length play (Water Child) was produced in Newcastle Australia in 2012. Having won an award for that play and received very enthusiastic reviews and comments from audience members, I was keen to write another. But I had no particular idea about what until one day, like a gift, an idea presented itself. Mr and Mrs Bennet. How – ? why – ? And what inspired this unlikely union? I read Pride and Prejudice again eagerly with those characters in focus, and noted that very little context is provided for their past.

Chapter 42 opens with reflections on their courtship and marriage:

‘HAD Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had, very early in their marriage, put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown.’

Thursday, 18 August 2016


Monica Fairview's new Mr Darcy tale is out: Mr. Darcy's Pride and Joy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (The Darcy Novels Book 3).
A Jane Austen “what-if” novel. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are engaged at last, and Mr. Darcy is preparing to take out a special license to get married quickly. But, just when everything seems to be going just right, he encounters opposition from an unexpected quarter. Then, when his engagement is announced – to someone else – Elizabeth, understandably, begins to doubt his sincerity. 
Perhaps their love is doomed after all…  

You'll find out more reading this third part of the Darcy Novels series.

Meanwhile, let's discover more of what Monica thinks of her favourite Austen hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Imagination is everything.

Those three words changed my life in 1995. They brought an amazing and diverse group of people into my orbit and have blessed me with friendships that continue to this day. They brought me a conviction, something solid to believe in. And, finally, importantly they brought me into the world of JAFF.
When I finished P&P2 (1995) and then the book, I wasn’t done with Darcy & Lizzy. Who could be? They were such rich, realized characters. And the story left off just when the story was getting good. Toni Morrison told us to write the story we want to read, so….Challenge accepted.

Jane Austen gave me a world less ordinary.

 Amy George

Saturday, 13 August 2016


(by guest blogger Cassie Phillips) 

Wanderlust goes hand in hand with reading an Austen novel. Every time I turn a page I can’t help but want to follow Mr. Darcy all the way to Pemberley. For me, every read through or movie adaptation leaves me longing for the cobblestoned streets of London or the expansive grounds of the Peak District, with its epic landscapes and rolling hills. 

Therefore, I’ve compiled a list must-see destinations that no Austen fan should miss. Some are beautiful backdrops from movies sets, and others are grounded in the writer’s history. These locations are all points on the Jane map and will make any fan of Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price and Lizzie Bennet stare in wonder.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


From the Author

I am happy for the chance to visit My Jane Austen Book Club once again to share an excerpt from my newest release, Impertinent Strangers. It’s always a great pleasure to be here. Thank you so much, Maria Grazia!

The Book

Impertinent Strangers: A Pride and Prejudice Story

An impertinent stranger is thrown into Fitzwilliam Darcy's path and, even though he declares her tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt him, it is all he can do not to think of her. Upon first making Mr. Darcy's acquaintance, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is quite fascinated with him. Then she discovers that the gentleman is haughty and above his company, and she wants nothing to do with him. Still, the prospect of spending time in each other's company is beyond their power to resist. Will Darcy and Elizabeth stop denying the truth to themselves and find in the other what's been missing in their lives?

Read an Excerpt (Reprinted with Author’s Permission. All Rights Reserved)

The first day passed much the same as the second day of her arrival. On the third day, the Collinses received a much-anticipated invitation to dine at Rosings. Taking advantage of the pleasant weather, they walked the half mile or so across the park in companionable silence. That was until the manor house appeared on the horizon, at which point her party members’ enthusiasm was scarcely contained.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Recently I was honored with a visit from the shade of Miss Jane Austen, whose work I have shamelessly used to inform my upcoming contemporary traditional mystery, Arsenic with Austen. Here is a partial transcript of our conversation (which I recorded on my computer, to her great astonishment and delight).

Mrs. Hyde: My dear Miss Austen, I cannot express how honored I am that you have chosen to grace us with your presence.

Miss Austen: My dear Mrs. Hyde, I assure you the pleasure is all mine.

Mrs. H: So kind of you to say so. I must confess, I was a trifle concerned lest you be offended by the way I have used your work in my humble little novel.

Miss A: I assure you, madam, I have rarely found myself in such company as I encountered among your characters.

Mrs. H (blushing): I must apologize, Miss Austen, for placing you amongst such low villains as some of my characters turned out to be. But as I’m sure you understand, contemporary American society does not enjoy the distinctions so carefully preserved in the England of your day. Those of more refined sensibilities must perforce mingle daily with all manner of louts, boors, and cads.

Miss A (bowing): Indeed, I do understand. I have watched the developments of the last one and half centuries with great concern. As society devolves to the lowest common denominator, it is gratifying and comforting to observe that my humble novels are still read by those who are nostalgic for a more gracious era.

Mrs. H: My dear Miss Austen, you give yourself too little credit. Your “humble novels,” as you call them, have reached a level of popularity you could scarcely have conceived of in your lifetime. They have not only been read widely but have been made into numerous films, and have provided the basis for a vast and growing multitude of works of fiction based on your characters, your own life, and your time period in general.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


While attempting to suppress his own desire to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy flees the Netherfield ballroom only to stumble upon a half-dressed Lydia Bennet in the library.  After being discovered with her in a compromising position, Darcy is forced to make her an offer of marriage.
Fearing the Bennets will attempt a similar “trick” with their brother, Mr. Bingley’s sisters convince him to leave Hertfordshire without any intention of returning.  After Elizabeth refuses Mr. Collins, a heartbroken Jane Bennet accepts his proposal.
Having resolved to propose to Jane, Bingley returns to Longbourn; but when he learns of her betrothal, he makes an offer to Elizabeth instead.  She accepts, with the hope that Jane will change her mind if Bingley remains at Netherfield. 
Meanwhile, Sir William Lucas is aware that Wickham had actually compromised Lydia in the Netherfield library and blackmails him into proposing to Charlotte Lucas, who is in danger of becoming an old maid. 
Hertfordshire has become a tangled web of misbegotten betrothals.
Although Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, he feels honor bound by his promise.  Elizabeth is also developing feelings for the master of Pemberley, but he has never seemed so far out of her reach.  How can Darcy and Elizabeth unravel this tangle and reach their happily ever after? 

Read an excerpt

Darcy tripped spectacularly, falling full length on top of the half-dressed girl.
The girl squealed.  “Ow!  You oaf!  Get off!  Move your hands!”  Darcy hastened to comply, quickly removing his hands from anything that might resemble a female body part.  “Get your hands off me!” the girl shrieked completely unnecessarily.
Darcy scrambled backward, attempting to find purchase and regain his feet.
Then he froze at the most horrible sound in the world: the opening of the library door.  A female form entered the library from the hallway, silhouetted by candlelight from behind.  “Lydia?” a voice called.  Darcy had no trouble identifying its owner.  Of all the women at the ball, it had to be Elizabeth Bennet.
“Here, Lizzy!” the half-dressed girl called to her sister. 
Oh, no, no, no!  Why did she say anything at all?  Why could they not pretend the library was uninhabited?

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


Thank you so much for welcoming me to My Jane Austen Book Club today, Maria Grazia, and for kicking off the blog tour!  I am honored and delighted to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about what inspired my recently published book, Jane Austen Speaks: About Life, the Modern World, & Heavenly Pursuits. 

My name is Maria-Emilia de Medeiros, and I began my lifelong love for Jane Austen when I was twelve years old.  An entire new world opened up before me when first I laid eyes upon the first pages of Emma.  In the many years since that day, I have eagerly learned everything I could about Miss Austen and her world.  Lately, I have been inspired to write about it. 

How many times have you ever heard a Jane Austen fan wonder aloud, “What would Jane Austen think about this?”  Perhaps you have had such thoughts yourself.  This book was born out of my own frequent musings about what the illustrious English novelist, born in the late eighteenth century into a proper Anglican clergyman’s family, would think about all manner of phenomena in the modern day world.  If someone could “channel” Jane Austen’s spirit, what would she think?  What would she notice?  Most importantly, what would she have to say about it?  Would Miss Austen approve of internet dating, for example?  (Perhaps she would…for Mr. Collins!)

Saturday, 2 July 2016


My name is Gabrielle, and I am entering my third year of university. I am studying Honors English Literature and Psychology. I have always been passionate about stories. I always try to look for the next best book that I can devour. One of my favourite authors is Jane Austen. Her works stuck with me for years, and have even influenced my choices of study. Her characters were like good friends, and she was someone that meant so much to me even though I never met her. There are so many things I can say about Austen and so many reasons why I love her works, and his inspired me to start a project that will, hopefully, reach many more Janeites. My project is called The Dear Jane Project, and I am very excited to share it with you.

My friends have heard me countless times recite how Jane Austen has affected my life. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings with those around me. I wished I could share my stories with other people who were affected by Austen the same way that I had. That is why I created this project. It is a collaborative blog in which people can send a text they write describing the ways Jane Austen have affected them on a personal level. When submissions are send to the email, I will upload them to the website for everyone to read. I only put the person’s initials and the country they are living in so that we may see and meet different Austen enthusiasts from around the world.

The email to submit a post is

I hope to bring this project to many people around the world as a platform for sharing the devotion and love we feel towards one of English language’s most beloved authors.

Thank you for reading my post, and I hope to read your stories soon! 


Gabrielle Lesage is an Honours English Literature and Psychology student at Bishop’s University. She has been passionate about Jane Austen since high school. She will be writing her honours thesis on Austen in the upcoming school year. She loves reading, writing, and getting to know people’s stories.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016


Miss Lydia Bennet!  What can we say about the youngest of the Bennet beauties?  The first thing we notice is that she is determined to have fun.  She dances every dance and she is so absorbed by her games that she can sometimes forget everything else – even the officers.  She describes how she and some of her friends dress up Chamberlayne – perhaps a servant of her uncle’s? – in women’s clothing (yes, there is cross-dressing in Austen).  She chases the redcoats, which some find in bad taste but does show energy.

The second thing is that she refuses to listen to others.  She never listens to her sister Mary, and when her cousin Mr. Collins starts reading aloud from Fordyce’s Sermons, she interrupts him before he has finished three pages.  Her parents and her sisters upbraid her for her rudeness, but in reality Lydia has spared them a very dull evening.  We can understand Lydia’s policy of not listening, with parents and aunts and four older sisters, always ready to tell her what to do.

Although last in a family of five girls, she refuses to remain in the background and elbows her way to the front.  Encouraged by her mother, at fifteen she is already “out” in society, a decision that Elizabeth agrees with Lady Catherine is ill-advised (although not even her ladyship could have stopped Lydia).  But still Lydia is the youngest, and being the youngest meant that in many respects she was the least in her family.

Saturday, 25 June 2016


Jeanna Ellsworth Lake
Thank you for the chance to share with you my latest release! The Hope Series Trilogy is a series of love stories where each character has to endure the hopelessness of unrequited love.

But where there is love, there is always hopeI thought I would give you one of my favorite scenes in Hope for Mr. Darcy, the first in the Hope Series Trilogy. But I will have to give you a bit of background to help you understand the dynamics of the environment.  Darcy had been refused the day before. The first part of the excerpt is from Elizabeth’s perspective, while she is very ill and delusional. 

However, every word and touch between Darcy and Elizabeth are actually happening in the real world where Darcy is questionably sane himself. (LOL – I mean who has ever suffered unrequited love is truly in their right mind??). The second section is from Darcy’s perspective and what is actually happening in the Collins’ parsonage sitting room. I would apologize for the length of it . . . but I think you might thank me instead!   *wink wink

Read an excerpt  

Elizabeth had felt alone for a brief moment. But no sooner had she called out for Mr. Darcy, than he was right beside her again, his hand in hers again.
“Do not fret, Elizabeth,” he whispered. “I am here.”
Elizabeth opened her eyes and looked to her left, and sure enough, he was there. Her gaze returned to the sun. “This is such a beautiful place. I believe I could stay here forever. Do you ever stay here for long periods of time?”
“No, not usually. But I will stay if you wish.”
Elizabeth was sure she already knew that. This place seemed to effectively communicate things with accuracy; she felt privileged to partake of it. She could hear things without ears. She observed without seeing. Without speaking, she was able to say exactly what she meant. Her heart spoke for her, yet she never felt her lips move, although they might have out of habit. Her only limitation in communicating in this garden was her ability to describe it.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


A huge thank you to Maria Grazia for welcoming me back for part 2 of The Elizabeth Papers blog tour stop at My Jane Austen Book Club. At the beginning of the blog tour, I posted this piece about imagining the faces of Pride and Prejudice. Using contemporary paintings, I had tried to find all of our favourite characters. Maria Grazia posted a selection of portraits and I invited readers to guess who was who.

There are, of course, no right answers, because we all imagine these fine characters differently. This, however, is my whos who.


Reader, meet Lydia Wickham. In The Elizabeth Papers, Lydia has an important role so imagining what she looks like is something I did a lot while I was writing it. This portrait may be slightly too poised for her, but something about the face, about to break into a laugh shouts her name to me.

Friday, 17 June 2016



Love & Friendship by   Whit Stillman - Book description

Whit Stillman has taken Austen’s never-finished epistolary novella, Lady Susan, reimagined it as a straight narrative, and added the hilarious new character of Rufus, Susan’s apologist nephew, who aims to clear Susan’s good name come hell or high water (even if he is doing it from "the ignoble abode" of debtors’ prison ). Despite many indications to the contrary, Rufus insists that Susan is, “the kindest, most delightful woman anyone could know, a shining ornament to our Society and Nation.” Rufus then appends his earnest tale with a collection of his aunt’s letters, which he claims have been altered by Austen to cast the estimable Lady Susan in a bad light.
Impossibly beautiful, disarmingly witty, and completely self-absorbed, Lady Susan Vernon, is both the heart and the thorn of Love & Friendship. Recently widowed, with a daughter who’s coming of age as quickly as their funds are dwindling, Lady Susan makes it her mission to find them wealthy husbands——and fast.
But when her attempts to secure their futures result only in the wrath of a prominent conquest’s wife and the title of “most accomplished coquette in England,” Lady Susan must rethink her strategy.
Unannounced, she arrives at her brother-in-law’s country estate. Here she intends to take refuge——in no less than luxury, of course——from the colorful rumors trailing her, while finding another avenue to “I do.” Before the scandalizing gossip can run its course, though, romantic triangles ensue.

Monday, 13 June 2016


A coming-of-age story told in four volumes between Austen’s infamous couple; savor the story of the prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, as they meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride & Prejudice. Could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?
Caitlin Williams, author of the highly-praised book, Ardently, tours the blogosphere from June 13- June 26, 2016 to share her newest release, The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet. Fourteen book bloggers, specializing in Austenesque fiction and romance stories, will share excerpts, guest posts, an exclusive interview with the author and book reviews from this highly awaited Austen-inspired novel. Eight ebooks are also being included in our giveaways  (check the rafflecopter form below this post) 

Welcome readers to the launch of the blog tour for Caitlin Williams’ newly released book, The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet. We would like to extend our gratitude to Maria Grazia for welcoming us to her wonderful blog and for helping us launch these virtual visits with fourteen popular book bloggers, who feature Austenesque and romance fiction, as they share guest posts, giveaways, excerpts, book reviews and an interview with Caitlin Williams along this journey.

The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet takes readers back to when Elizabeth Bennet was a highly-spirited and immature fifteen-year-old girl, as she finds herself facing the most heartbreaking situation of her young life; Mr. Bennet has passed away and Elizabeth must go to Derbyshire to live with her new guardian. You’re probably curious who this new caretaker is! It is none other than Mr. George Darcy, Mr. Bennet’s old friend, who has agreed to raise her alongside his own daughter, eleven-year-old Georgiana Darcy.

Friday, 10 June 2016


Mr. Darcy is at his wits’ end. Elizabeth Bennet, the woman he can’t live without, overhears him insulting her family. Now she won’t even listen to his apologies. Then his old friend Sir Anthony Duxbury tells him two of their friends are in terrible danger. If Darcy wants to help them, they have to leave for Yorkshire immediately.

But something doesn’t add up. Elizabeth claims to know Sir Anthony, too – but by a different name. What game is his old friend playing? And is it dangerous?

Even Sir Anthony says the trip is dangerous. The Luddite rebels are on the verge of armed revolt – and he should know, because he’s one of them. Darcy’s cousin Lady Frederica decides she’s going with them anyway, and insists on bringing Elizabeth. Could this be Darcy’s chance to earn Elizabeth’s forgiveness and her love?

Elizabeth would rather face a squad of Napoleon’s soldiers than spend three days trapped in a carriage with Darcy and his headstrong cousin, but she has her own reason for agreeing to come. If she can just manage to keep her temper, she may be able to rescue her uncle from financial ruin.

But when a Luddite riot erupts around them, it’s Darcy and Elizabeth who need rescuing – from each other.

Read an excerpt

Darcy presented himself at the door of Matlock House precisely at the hour his uncle had commanded. The butler looked surprised to see him and hesitated noticeably before admitting him, but he took him to the drawing room and announced him to Lady Matlock and Frederica.
His aunt offered him her cheek. “Darcy, what a pleasant surprise!”
A bad sign. Lady Matlock did not like surprises. “His lordship invited me to dinner,” he said cautiously.

Monday, 30 May 2016


If you close your eyes and say Elizabeth Bennet, who do you see? This is something that I have tried to do many times whilst writing about her, with varying success.

Of course, throughout The Elizabeth Papers, Elizabeth Bennet is in fact, Elizabeth Darcy. The story commences in 1817, when our favourite couple have been married for some four years. At the very outset of this story, Elizabeth is, as she would have it, four and twenty years of age. She is married and has two young children with another one well on the way. In fact, she spends quite a lot of The Elizabeth Papers pregnant.

All of these things have ramifications for what she looks like, and how we can imagine her. Im conscious that we are all influenced by the various actresses who have played Elizabeth. Often, once we have seen a character performed, we cant get that face out of our minds. I have tried to apply a sort of method acting theory to my writing. Basically, I try to imagine myself back in time. What do the clothes feel like? How do the hairstyles feel when you touch your hand to them? How comfortable was Mr. Darcys carriage as it rattled out of Pemberley?

The questions crop up in relation to other characters as well of course. What does Mr. Darcy really look like? We know that hes tall, but how tall? How have the years treated the wider Bennet family? Whay. I hope that you enjoy it. Can you guess who I imagine each one to be?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Thank you, Maria Grazia, for welcoming me here today on the blog tour for my latest ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation, ‘Miss Darcy’s Companion’, it’s always such a pleasure to be your guest! I am especially glad to be here this time because my post is about an extremely beautiful Italian aria, and I can’t imagine a better place to talk about it than on your blog.

Music played a great part in Jane Austen’s life and novels. Not only was it the major source of entertainment in an age where people had to create their own amusements, but it also was the main conduit for falling in love. Indeed, how could Jane Austen and her characters have flirted, courted and been courted without the delicious opportunities offered at balls and assemblies? How would Jane Austen have learnt the first joys and sorrows of falling in love, had she not danced with the dashing but all-too-practical Tom Lefroy? How much poorer would her novels be without the Netherfield ball or the ever so delightful scene where Elizabeth plays for the company at Rosings?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


In Becoming Jane, Anne Hathaway’s Jane Austen visits Ann Radcliffe, author of The Mysteries of Udolpho, a popular novel of the time. While this visit is likely fiction, I can’t help but wonder what such a conversation might have covered. Although reading was an admirable pastime, fiction that could be considered romance—fictional escapes not based on historic figures—was frowned upon by many. ‘Romance’ described stories read purely for entertainment rather than the betterment of the mind. Shocking! Topping the list was the Gothic, unlikely to be displayed on your drawing room shelves. Hmmm. Nowadays, romance is the largest portion of the fiction market, yet still gets the ‘cut’ from serious literary readers!

Gothics depended on wildly exaggerated tales of danger, and helpless women dependent on brutish men. They included the supernatural and degrees of violence. I’m sure Jane Austen read at least one of these tales, and had an opinion on Miss Radcliffe. Was it admiration for her craft, or admiration for her timing and boldness to write such fiction? After all, writers were often looked down upon, and a woman writing for income? Not to be borne!

Monday, 2 May 2016


I uploaded my very first Pride and Prejudice fanfic to the internet on April 23, 2014. Barely over two years later, I’m here at My Jane Austen Book Club, embarking on a blog tour celebrating the release of my first Austen-based novel. This seems to me to be a very large distance covered in only two years. For most of that time, Side by Side, Apart has been occupying a huge chunk of my mind. Since I am sort of a clingy person and not quite ready to let go, I want to use my blog tour as an opportunity to talk about all the things that went into building the world of the novel and how, even though this is a Pride and Prejudice story, Jane Austen’s other completed works were never far from my mind as I wrote it. Today, I want to talk about world enough and time and Sense and Sensibility.

Side by Side, Apart picks up eleven years after the marriage of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. One of the first things I had to consider was how eleven years had changed the characters since last we saw them. And that went for everyone, not just Lizzy and Darcy. Where is Kitty? Where is Georgiana? Has Mr. Collins inherited Longbourn, or is Mr. Bennet still around? If Mr. Bennet is alive, how is he managing living at Longbourn with just the missus and no daughters acting as a buffer?

Monday, 18 April 2016


Jane Austen's House Museum, Chawton
(Our guest blogger today is Paula. More about her below her post.) 

Reading the classic novels by one of the greats such as Jane Austen can inspire you to decorate your own room, or home in a style Jane herself would adore. Falling in love with the old English style is one thing, but achieving the look for your own is another. We’ve found some tips and tricks that can help you achieve the perfect Jane Austen inspired room.

When you begin designing the Jane Austen themed room you will need to take a look at every aspect of the room. Each detail, great and small, can affect the overall look and feel of the room. No matter where you decide to begin,  everything from floor to ceiling should be taken into consideration.