Unearthing Jane Austen’s Alternate Past — 12 Comments

  1. I always wonder how the people that writes finds the theme or idea to develop. You have a wonderful imagination. I hope I have the chance to read your book sooner rather than later.

    • Sometimes I wonder where the ideas come from too, but it’s a thrill when they do and to be given the privilege to translate them onto the page. This book was a joy and a delight to write, but then so they all are!

  2. I absolutely loved The Persuasion of Jane Austen, and even though it isn’t a Darcy & Elizabeth story it is a wonderful read and I love how it parallels Persuasion. I do wish Jane had been able to marry for love and lived a long and healthy life.

    I guess the best momento I found is an album of photographs my step-grand father took and developed during World War II. He was an army cook deployed in Germany. There are pictures of my grandmother, a few years before they were married.

    • Nice find, Deborah! As I continue sorting, I recently found a letter from my great uncle to my grandparents – one he wrote during WW2 a few months before he was killed – along with the newspaper clippings about how his carrier was sunk. I’d been interested in his story, and it felt like he’d reached across time to connect with me in a personal way when I read his letter.

      Glad you loved TPMJA! And thanks for pointing out that it’s possible to enjoy a book “even though it isn’t a D&E story!” Haha!

  3. Oh! It would be so nice to think so, Shannon! She, of all people, deserved a love story of her own! Thanks for giving her one!

    • It was my pleasure, Kara, and I agree she deserved a happy ending! I use a lovely quote from Ian McEwan’s “Atonement” in the postscript to the book as part of my rationale:

      “Who would want to believe that they never met again, never fulfilled their love? Who would want to believe that, except in the service of the bleakest realism? I could not do it to them…. I like to think it isn’t weakness or evasion, but a final act of kindness, a stand against oblivion and despair, to let my lovers live and to unite them at the end.”

  4. I think it’s entirely plausible. I can’t help thinking that Jane had something to hide, that’s why her letters were destroyed by Cassandra. I love the idea of giving her the happy ending she longed for.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Monica! Although it is fiction, I like to believe it might have happened the way I imagine. ;D

  5. I once found some letters my husband wrote to his parents. He was a very young man in the submarine service. Before WWII, his sub was sent to the Galapagos. This was in 1941. They were with some scientists looking for the grave of a U.S. sailor who had been buried there around 1813. After some investigation, I discovered the the sailor had been killed by a shipmate during an apparent drunken fight. There were some interesting side lights into the mind of a young man away from a rural home for the first time. Another interesting part of the letter was tha it was picked up at the Post Office Bay at the Galapagos by the next ship that had sailed there, Thus ship was a private yacht owned by George Vanderbilt, who did many scientific expeditions looking mainly at the flora of various places. It was many months between its being left, then picked up, and then remained to the mainland US. Especially interesting for my children and grandchildren to read about the adventures of their Grandpop.

  6. I certainly want to believe JA found love and had a happy ending (though much too soon).

    I kept a journal off and on from my senior year in high school until I was 30 or so. They hold a lot of my very personal experiences and thoughts. I sometimes wonder if I should destroy them so no one can read them when I’m gone. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I think I would be ok if they sat around for a few generations before anyone read them. I just wouldn’t want anyone who knows me now to read them.

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