Miss Austen

Miss Austen

Book - 2020
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""A deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts." -Karen Joy Fowler For fans of Jo Baker's Longbourn, a witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane. Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was? England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister's reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane's letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister's legacy to the flames? Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra's vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane's brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane's life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2020
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250252203
Branch Call Number: FICTION Hor
Description: x, 270 pages : map ; 24 cm


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May 24, 2020

Jane Austen’s beloved sister Cassandra embarks on a visit to the Fowle’s family vicarage in search of correspondence that could, in her opinion, reflect negatively on her sister’s legacy.

Best for readers familiar with Jane Austen’s writing and these connected families, but what a treat if you are. Hornby uses real people from the Fowles and Lloyd family with whom the Austens married to cast her inventive telling of the Austen sisters’ adult years and Cassandra’s efforts years later to assure our good opinion of her sister. Hornby helps us see why Cassandra may have burned so many of Jane’s letters and takes a poke at her family’s efforts to frame Jane’s story to suit themselves. And, that mysterious suitor long speculated on makes an appearance! Quite a feat of both scholarship and just plain fun.


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