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Jane Fairfax (Jane Austen Entertainments) Paperback – 26 Sep 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (26 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575400420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575400429
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joan Aiken is one of the best loved authors of the twentieth century, and has written over one hundred books for young readers and adults.

NOW OUT: E BOOK editions of six of Joan Aiken's early THRILLERS from Orion's The Murder Room - Look out for THE SILENCE OF HERONDALE or TROUBLE WITH PRODUCT X and FOUR other titles in their distinctive green covers - "Don't miss - guaranteed un-putdownable" Observer

"THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE" TURNS 50 with a new Classic Hardback Edition, a Vintage Classics paperback. and a brand new AUDIO READ BY Joan's daughter Lizza Aiken. Hailed as "One Genuine Small Masterpiece" by Time magazine when it first came out, the book is still appearing in new translations all over the world.

Read More at "The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken" at www.joanaiken.com
https://www.facebook.com/JoanAikenOfficial and http://joanaiken.wordpress.com/



Product Description

About the Author

Joan Aiken, English-born daughter of American poet Conrad Aiken, began her writing career in the 1950s. Working for Argosy magazine as a copy editor but also as the anonymous author of articles and stories to fill up their pages, she was adept at inventing a wealth of characters and fantastic situations, and went on to produce hundreds of stories for Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Vanity Fair and many other magazines. Some of those early stories became novels, such as The Silence of Herondale, first published fifty years ago in 1964. Although her first agent famously told her to stick to short stories, saying she would never be able to sustain a full-length novel, Joan Aiken went on to win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Whispering Mountain, and the Edgar Alan Poe award for her adult novel Night Fall. Her best known children's novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, was acclaimed by Time magazine as 'a genuine small masterpiece'. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature, and although best known as a children's writer, Joan Aiken wrote many adult novels, both modern and historical, with her trademark wit and verve. Many have a similar gothic flavour to her children's writing, and were much admired by readers and critics alike. As she said 'The only difference I can see is that children's books have happier endings than those for adults.' You have been warned . . .

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First Sentence
The marriage of Miss Jane Bates to Lieutenant Fairfax was accompanied by the usual good omens: church bells rang, the sun shone, and many handkerchiefs were waved. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lesley on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Let's get this point out of the way immediately, this is not a book written by an author who thinks she is Jane Austen. I cannot even conceive of Joan Aiken purposefully trying to copy the writing style of Jane Austen. If she did, then she failed completely. But, that doesn't mean that this author didn't write a very good book in the style of books written during the same time period in which Austen wrote. Sometimes the writing is too prosy, overly wordy, but overall this was a very good book from my standpoint.

Emma Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax are the same age. People in the village of Highbury think it the most natural thing in the world that the two children would be great friends. There is the difference in their stations in life, of course, but still they could be playmates and provide company for each other. This does not take into consideration at all that the two girls are so very different in nature that being forced to become friends sends them each in completely opposite directions. While Mrs. Woodhouse is alive, Jane is perfectly content to be the little ghost who slips into the house to practice the piano and take lessons from Emma's piano teacher. When Mrs. Woodhouse dies in childbirth her will reveals that she has left a legacy for Jane and childish jealousies combined with grief turn Emma completely away from Jane. Soon afterward Jane leaves Highbury to go to London to live with ColonelCampbell, his wife, and their daughter Rachel. The remainder of Book One relates Jane's life with Rachel, her family and the friends they make as they are growing up.

Book Two begins when Jane returns to Highbury because Rachel and her family have gone to Ireland. From here on the story follows "Emma" except that all the happenings are seen from the perspective of Jane Fairfax.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 July 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the teases in Emma, that most teasing of books, is that it leaves you wanting to know more about Jane Fairfax, and the feeling that Jane is probably the more interesting woman of the two. And Joan Aiken tells us more. She tells us what it was like for Jane, growing up in three rooms with two old ladies and wearing the Wodehouse girls' cast off clothes; what it was like leaving Highbury for London; and what really happened at Weymouth. She looks at the stark future facing Jane, if she had not met Frank Churchill. And she takes us on through the events of Emma, who missess so much, telling us what Jane was going through. Only Jane Austin is Jane Austin, but in many ways this is the more interesting book. It wears it two hundred years of hindsight lightly. Enjoy it, you are in safe hands.
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Format: Paperback
Jane Aiken's Austen sequels are far, far better than most. This book is the result of meticulous study of "Emma" so that it fits exactly with the chronology and narrative of Austen's novel. Whether one is drawn to Jane Fairfax herself or not (and let's face it, not everyone finds Emma Woodhouse a sympathetic heroine)this is a very clever work and I thoroughly enjoyed it: no jarring developments, no-one acting in a way Austen's characters would never have done. If you enjoyed "Emma," and especially if you wish that Austen had written more novels, you will probably like this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 April 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives us more depth to a very intersting character from Emma. It also gives more insight into the relationship between Jane and Frank Churchill, whilst at the same time showing us a different perspective on some of the events and people in Emma. It also shows what a grave future Jane really has to expect.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's me. Maybe I read this book with the wrong attitude. I must confess I never cared a lot for Jane Fairfax in the first place, while reading "Emma". But I liked "Emma" so much that I thought it interesting to hear the story told from another perspective. Well, partly, that is true. But the author takes such a long time- half the book- to get to the point where Jane comes to Highbury and sets off into the plot of "Emma" that any interest I ever had in Jane Fairfax was exhausted to a point where only the mention of Emma and Frank Churchill kept me reading on.
I cannot agree with my fellow reviewers and say that in the original novel by Jane Austen Jane Fairfax is more interesting than Emma. Emma is a beautiful, complex and -what is most important- fallible human being, Jane is the perfect virtuous well-behaved proper girl she is always contrasted with. I must admit that Jane is a little slighted in "Emma", she is mainly a plot device. But in this book, she is worse: she in a stereotype. And so is Emma, which made me really angry. They are shallow, ill-made and only in name like anything Jane Austen ever produced. The point of this book was- for me, at least- to provide Jane Fairfax's angle on the "Emma"-plot, but there it let out terribly. We learn almost nothing new, the encounters with Emma are dull and predictable and the encounters with Mr. Knightley and other caracters are slight and even more predictable. As for Frank Churchill: Jane Austen's whole point in writing Jane Fairfax was to show how completely wrong Emma is about her.
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