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Writing Jane Austen

Writing Jane Austen

A Novel

  • reading group guide
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.
Choose a format:
  • Touchstone | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416587873 | 
  • April 2010
List Price $19.99
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Read an Excerpt

One

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.”
... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Writing Jane Austen includes discussion questions and a Q&A with author Elizabeth Aston. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

For Discussion

1. When Georgina takes the Jane Austen tour in Bath, she’s startled to learn one tourist’s opinion of the original books and the written word in general: “Never read it, and don’t want to,” said Dot. “Haven’t got time for that, and reading’s passé, no one reads these days, books and all that are finished” (page 77). Do you agree? What do you think of the disparity among the fans on the tour?

2. Early on, Georgina resists Austen’s style and subjects. “That’s why this fascination with Jane Austen is so damaging, people harking back to a time when people were seriously oppressed, and pretending it was some kind of golden age” (page 78). Do you identify with the subject matter of Jane Austen’s novels or do you find them alienating?

3. Were you surprised by Georgina’s first reaction to finishing the chapter of Jane Austen’s novel, Love and Friendship? Why do you think Georgina so fervently resists this job at first, and later is so reluctant to read t see more

About the Author

Elizabeth Aston
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Elizabeth Aston

Elizabeth Aston is a passionate Jane Austen fan who studied with Austen biographer Lord David Cecil at Oxford. The author of several novels, including Mr. Darcy's Daughters, she lives in England and Italy.

Visit www.elizabeth-aston.com for more information.

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