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Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar Paperback – 28 Oct 2014
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About the Author
Jane Odiwe is the author of seven Austen-inspired books, Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar, Mrs Darcy's Diamonds, Project Darcy, Searching for Captain Wentworth, (White Soup Press) Mr Darcy's Secret, Willoughby's Return, and Lydia Bennet's Story (Sourcebooks). Recent television appearances include an interview in a special edition of the 200 year anniversary of Pride and Prejudice on BBC Breakfast, and a BBC Masterchef Special celebrating 200 years of Sense and Sensibility. Jane was born in Sutton Coldfield, England, and gained an arts degree in Birmingham where she indulged her great loves of Fine Art, Literature, and History. After teaching in the midlands for some years, Jane moved to London to teach, until writing novels, and a growing obsession with all things Jane Austen, took over her life. With her husband, children, and two cats, Jane now divides her time between North London, and Bath, England. Jane is a member of the Jane Austen Society and when she's not writing, she enjoys painting and trying to capture the spirit of Jane Austen's world. Her illustrations feature in a biographical film of Jane Austen's life in Sony's DVD edition of The Jane Austen Book Club and in the picture book, Effusions of Fancy.
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The book opens with the heroine’s visit to that special place, only to find that it’s even more magical than she had expected. It’s a dreary winter’s day and the inclement weather has kept all other visitors at bay, so she has the place all to herself (a heart-warming thought for every Janeite) and before too long she is brought into a world inhabited by the characters of her favourite story! Not only that but, joy of joys, she gets to meet her favourite author too!!
Isn’t this THE dream-come-true for every Jane Austen devotee? To travel in time to the delightful Regency period and to the place where it all began? To share a house with the Bennets and be favoured with treasured glimpses into the brilliant mind that had created them all and had fashioned a world that, for 200 years, has given so much joy to so many people? Moreover, to witness the greatest love-story of all time slowly developing under her very eyes and see the author at work, testing avenues, sampling possible outcomes and finally deciding on the best one? And the greatest privilege of all, to find herself in possession of the original manuscript and learn the secret content of the maddeningly tantalising two-thirds that were ‘lopt and cropt’ to turn ‘First Impressions’ into ‘Pride and Prejudice’!
The premise is delightful and it’s developed with great skill and affection. The reader can easily see that the author has visited the area many times and feels at home in the cottage, the village and in Chawton Great House. There is magic in the narrative, but also a great deal of humour. For example, the workings of the modern mind make for a very entertaining read, as the heroine begins by trying to speculate and make sense of the magic. And then she is swept away by the fairytale and allows herself to enjoy the great gift she was given rather than dwell on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. Everything is revealed in the end of course, when the story comes to its very satisfying conclusion. I don’t want to add spoilers, so I’ll just say that it has everything: Christmas, time travel and a Mr. Darcy for both Elizabeth and our heroine. Especially at this time of year, what more could we be looking for?
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