Fresh Pick | PERSUASION by Jane Austen

Persuasion

Modern Library Classics
June 2001
On Sale: June 12, 2001
Featuring: Anne Elliot; Frederick Wentworth
224 pages
ISBN: 0375757295
EAN: 9780375757297
Paperback
$5.95

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Fiction
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Jane Austen

Ultimate novel of second chance love

Persuasion
by Jane Austen

Called a ‘perfect novel’ by Harold Bloom, Persuasion was written while Jane Austen was in failing health. She died soon after its completion, and it was published in an edition with Northanger Abbey in 1818.

In the novel, Anne Elliot, the heroine Austen called ‘almost too good for me,’ has let herself be persuaded not to marry Frederick Wentworth, a fine and attractive man without means. Eight years later, Captain Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars with a triumphant naval career behind him, a substantial fortune to his name, and an eagerness to wed. Austen explores the complexities of human relationships as they change over time. ‘She is a prose Shakespeare,’ Thomas Macaulay wrote of Austen in 1842. ‘She has given us a multitude of characters, all, in a certain sense, commonplace. Yet they are all as perfectly discriminated from each other as if they were the most eccentric of human beings.’

Persuasion is the last work of one of the greatest of novelists, the end of a quiet career pursued in anonymity in rural England that produced novels which continue to give pleasure to millions of readers throughout the world.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favorite volume always opened:

“ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH HALL.

“Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Read More…

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Fresh Pick | WRITING JANE AUSTEN by Elizabeth Aston

Writing Jane Austen

April 2010
On Sale: April 13, 2010
Featuring: Georgina Jackson
320 pages
ISBN: 141658787X
EAN: 9781416587873
Trade Size
$15.00

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Women’s Fiction Contemporary
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Elizabeth AstonWriting Jane Austen
by Elizabeth Aston

Critically acclaimed and award-winning—but hardly bestselling—author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it’s bad news. Shockingly, she’s offered a commission to complete a newly discovered manuscript by a major nineteenth-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to know that the author in question is Jane Austen.

Torn between pushing through or fleeing home to America, Georgina relies on the support of her banker-turned-science student roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud—a serious Janeite. With a sudden financial crisis looming, the only way Georgina can get by is to sign the hugely lucrative contract and finish the book.

Excerpt

Email from livia.harkness@hplitagency.co.uk

To georgina@seaofcrises.co.uk

Ring me.

Henry stood at the door of Georgina’s room, holding a weighty textbook in one hand and marking his place with a finger. He looked at his lodger with concern. “Gina, why the screech of terror? What’s up? Why are you looking at that screen as though it had grown fangs?”

“It’s an email from Livia.”

“Okay, fangs is right. What does she want?”

“She wants me to ring her.”

“I’ll get the phone.”

“I don’t want to ring her. It’s bad news.”

“What precisely does she say in her email?”

“Ring me.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“You can’t deduce Read More…

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Fresh Pick | ACCORDING TO JANE by Marilyn Brant

According To Jane

October 2009
On Sale: October 1, 2009
Featuring: Ellie Barnett; Sam Blaine
352 pages
ISBN: 0758234619
EAN: 9780758234612
Paperback
$14.00

Romance Contemporary
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Marilyn Brant According To Jane by Marilyn Brant

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett’s teacher is assigning Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. From nowhere comes a quiet ‘tsk’ of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who’s teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author’s ghost has taken up residence in Ellie’s mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane’s wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own.

Years and boyfriends come and go – sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane’s counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love – perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie’s head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.

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Fresh Pick | RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT by Laurie Viera Rigler

Rude Awakenings Of A Jane Austen Addict

July 2009
On Sale: June 25, 2009
Featuring: Jane Mansfield; Wes
304 pages
ISBN: 0525950761
EAN: 9780525950769
Hardcover
$25.95

Romance Historical, Romance Paranormal

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Laurie Viera Rigler

Rude Awakenings Of A Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

The eagerly anticipated sequel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Laurie Viera Rigler’s debut novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, was a hit with fans and critics, and a BookSense and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Its open-to-interpretation ending left readers begging for more—and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict delivers. While Confessions took twenty-first-century free spirit Courtney Stone into the social confines of Jane Austen’s era, Rude Awakenings tells the parallel story of Jane Mansfield, a gentleman’s daughter from Regency England who inexplicably awakens in Courtney’s overly wired and morally confused L.A. life.

For Jane, the modern world is not wholly disagreeable. Her apartment may be smaller than a dressing closet, but it is fitted up with lights that burn without candles, machines that wash bodies and clothes, and a glossy rectangle in which tiny people perform scenes from her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice. Granted, if she wants to travel she may have to drive a formidable metal carriage, but she may do so without a chaperone. And oh, what places she goes! Public assemblies that pulsate with pounding music. Unbound hair and unrestricted clothing. The freedom to say what she wants when she wants—even to men without a proper introduction.

Jane relishes the privacy, independence, even the power to earn her own money. But how is she to fathom her employer’s incomprehensible dictates about “syncing a BlackBerry” and “rolling a call”? How can she navigate a world in which entire publications are devoted to brides but flirting and kissing and even the sexual act itself raise no matrimonial expectations? Even more bewildering are the memories that are not her own. And the friend named Wes, who is as attractive and confusing to Jane as the man who broke her heart back home. It’s enough to make her wonder if she would be better off in her own time, where at least the rules are clear—that is, if returning is even an option.

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Fresh Pick | THE INDEPENDENCE OF MISS MARY BENNET by Colleen McCullough

The Independence Of Miss Mary Bennet

January 2009
On Sale: December 30, 2008
Featuring: Mary Bennet
352 pages
ISBN: 1416596488
EAN: 9781416596486
Hardcover
$26.00

Historical
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Colleen McCullough

The Independence Of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough

Everyone knows the story of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. But what about their sister Mary? At the conclusion of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Mary, bookish, awkward, and by all accounts, unmarriageable, is sentenced to a dull, provincial existence in the backwaters of Britain. Now, master storyteller Colleen McCullough rescues Mary from her dreary fate with The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, a page-turning sequel set twenty years after Austen’s novel closes.

The story begins as the neglected Bennet sister is released from the stultifying duty of caring for her insufferable mother. Though many would call a woman of Mary’s age a spinster, she has blossomed into a beauty to rival that of her famed sisters. Her violet eyes and perfect figure bewitch the eligible men in the neighborhood, but though her family urges her to marry, romance and frippery hold no attraction. Instead, she is determined to set off on an adventure of her own. Fired with zeal by the newspaper letters of the mysterious Argus, she resolves to publish a book about the plight of England’s poor. Plunging from one predicament into another, Mary finds herself stumbling closer to long-buried secrets, unanticipated dangers, and unlooked-for romance.

Meanwhile, the other dearly loved characters of Pride and Prejudice fret about the missing Mary while they contend with difficulties of their own. Darcy’s political ambitions consume his ardor, and he bothers with Elizabeth only when the impropriety of her family seems to threaten his career. Lydia, wild and charming as ever, drinks and philanders her way into dire straits; Kitty, a young widow of means, occupies herself with gossip and shopping; and Jane, naïve and trusting as ever, spends her days ministering to her crop of boys and her adoring, if not entirely faithful, husband. Yet, with the shadowy and mysterious figure of Darcy’s right-hand man, Ned Skinner, lurking at every corner, it is clear that all is not what it seems at idyllic Pemberley.

As the many threads of McCullough’s masterful plot come together, shocking truths are revealed, love, both old and new, is tested, and all learn the value of true independence in a novel for every woman who has wanted to leave her mark on the world.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

The long, late light threw a gilt mantle over the skeletons of shrubs and trees scattered through the Shelby Manor gardens; a few wisps of smoke, smudged at their edges, drifted from the embers of a fire kindled to burn the last of the fallen leaves, and somewhere a stay-behind bird was chattering the tuneless nocturne of late autumn. Watching the sunset from her usual seat in the bay window, Mary felt a twisting of her heart at its blue-gold glory, soon to be a memory banked inside the echoing spaces of her mind. How much longer? Oh, how much longer?

Came the rattle and tinkle of the tea tray as Martha bore it in; she deposited it carefully on the low table flanking the wing chair in which the mistress of Shelby Manor slumbered. Sighing, Mary turned from the window and Read More…

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Monica Fairview | When Caroline Bingley Spoke…I Listened

MONICA FAIRVIEWTHE OTHER MR. DARCYOn what must have been an ordinary day in my life, I woke up with a strange idea. I ignored it, got on with my usual routine, and hoped it would go away. But it didn’t. So on that perfectly ordinary day, I made a fateful decision: I was going to write about Caroline Bingley. Yes, Caroline Bingley, the woman in Pride and Prejudice that everyone loves to hate.

Surely not? I really had someone rather different in my mind for my next novel. I’d finished An Improper Suitor, a regency romance, and I’d had such a wonderful time writing it that I was all geared up to continue with one of the characters. But Caroline had wormed herself into my mind, and she refused to go away.

The thing is, I was probably one of the few people on the planet that didn’t really dislike her. Which is probably why she’d come to me to plead her case.

To read more about the conversation between Ms. Fairview and Ms. Bingley please click here.