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The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen Paperback – 15 Aug 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (15 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061341428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061341427
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 595,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“This fascinating novel will make readers swear there was such a man as Mr. Ashford and that there is such a memoir... Tantalizing, tender, and true to the Austen mythos, James’s book is highly recommended.” (Best First Novel of 2008, Library Journal)

“James creates a life story for Austen that illuminates how her themes and plots may have developed... the reader blindly pulls for the heroine… hoping against history that Austen might yet enjoy the satisfactions of romance... offers a deeper understanding of what Austen’s life might have been like.” (Los Angeles Times)

“James…[has] a sensitive ear for the Austenian voice and a clear passion for research...a thoughtful, immensely touching romance that does justice to its subject and will delight anyone who feels...that Austen couldn’t have written with such insight without having had a great romance of her own.” (Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine)

“Austen and Ashford seem a perfect match in matters of head and heart ... though she hews closely to the historic record, [James] creates...will-they-or-won’t-they suspense that culminates with a proposal and an “intensely” kissed Austen. A pleasant addition to the ever-expanding Austen-revisited genre.” (Publishers Weekly)

“There are not enough accolades i could use to recommend this book ... I read it thinking all the while it was a newly discovered memoir of the famous writer. That is how good the writing is... It is a love affair equal to anything Jane Austen wrote.” (News Review)

“Suspenseful... and filled with surprises... one of the best additions to the current spate of books featuring Jane Austen.” (Santa Barbara Independent)

“James has taken on an enormous task-channel Austen and bring her back to life-and she has done just that ... Talk about a love story. Whether or not it happened, James has created the possibility in an intelligent, historical romance novel. I do believe that Jane would approve.” (Writer's Flow)

“Readers may find themselves forgetting that the book is fiction… James bases her book on facts from Austen’s life and … clearly depicts Austen’s witty imagination and keen intelligence… Readers may want to pour themselves a cup of tea before settling in with this novel… It’s a delightful read.” (Montgomery Advertiser)

“A delicious novel... comic scenes of hilarity together with love scenes of great emotion, witty dialogue, and well-drawn characters. Jane Austen comes alive from the first page to the last. You truly believe that you are reading her long-lost memoirs, not a historical fiction novel.” (, Athens, Greece)

“Rarely have I read a book that I enjoyed as much ... I honestly believe even Jane herself would have loved this book... It’s written so well, and stays so true to form for the historical period, that it feels uncannily like a real memoir ... utterly delightful!” (Romance Reader At Heart.Com)

“Captures all that is best and true about Jane Austen … You will find yourself caught and enchanted ... For die-hard Austenites, this is the book you’ve been waiting for; for those of you wishing for knowledge of how to be a writer like Austen, you can find that, too.” (Romance

“A fantastic addition to all things Jane … one of those books that must go into the pile that I will read again and again … James does a beautiful job weaving together elements of fact, fiction, and imagination, which made this reader believe in the truth of her fiction.” (Savvy Verse &

“James’s book imagines a Mr. Ashford for Jane, a man with whom she shares a good deal of passion in the two years preceding the publication of Sense and Sensibility ... And if she didn’t she should have, as it makes for a compelling read.” (News Observer)

“The writing style was so effortlessly Austen that I almost felt as if I truly was reading a memoir penned by her own hand. And while these lost memoirs were just a fabrication, Ms. James did a terrific job of melding the historical details from Ms. Austen’s life. (The Writer's Road Less Traveled)

“A story that not only leaves you believing ‘it could have happened,’ but wishing ‘oh… I hope she had this’ ... I was wholly engaged from beginning to end ... When I closed the cover (the very tactilely pleasing cover) … I felt as though I’d made a friend.” (Dear Author.Com)

About the Author

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women's National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) Translation rights for Syrie's books have been sold in sixteen languages. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Okay, so I might have appropriated the "Gentle Reader" part from someplace else, but this book was simply marvelous for me. I loved everything about it. I have always wanted to think that the Jane Austen who wrote those books I absolutely love must have experienced a great passion in her life. Syrie James gives readers that great passion for Jane Austen. And it is completely believable.

The basic premise of the book is that a trunk was discovered in an attic and upon opening it various manuscripts, letters, journals and a ring were found. The trunk and everything it contained had belonged to Jane Austen. Dr. Mary I. Jesse, has been given the task of editing the material and this book is the result of her work on the final segment of the journals found. I had to remind myself over and over that this book is a work of fiction. The fictional portions have been woven so seamlessly into the actual facts known of Jane Austen's life that I have to say this is the most realistically presented book of fiction I've read concerning the life of Jane Austen. I simply loved how events and experiences written into the Austen novels were used in the "journal" to show that Jane had lived those events or met those people during her lifetime. And the man Jane loved and who loved her in return was precisely the strong, confident man who would have positively been the right partner for her. Most fans of Jane Austen know her history and we know there is no evidence that a man such as this one existed for her. But, wouldn't it have been wonderful for her if she had been given the chance to love as passionately as her characters loved? If you feel that way about Jane Austen, the woman, then you will probably enjoy this book as much as I did.
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Format: Paperback
i am 16 years old and am i a big fan of Jane Austen, and i can honestly say i wasn't at all disappointed in this book. it is charming, at points funny, and i think even Austen would be proud of it. the story could have happened, i know it didn't but the timing is good so it could have happened.
if i were to be critical about this book then i would have to be picky and pedantic because the only "flaw" i could find with this book was it jumped around a little at the start and through the whole book, but it's not a major flaw.
i won't give the plot away to that person who's thinking of buying this book and hates when the plot is given away so here's a very brief summary (keeping in mind English isn't my strong point, in fact it's probably my weakest)
the actual book itself starts off with a map of the England Jane Austen grew up in and on the next page an easy to follow family tree, it is helpful as most of her family do crop up so you can always refer to the tree to see who's who. the actual first piece of writing is meant to be written by a university person who studies english Literature and has a PhD. it just tells you where they found these "memoirs" and why she thinks they have been hidden etc etc. the first chapter is an introduction by Austen to the whole book. then all the chapters after that are her life in her perspective. of course this book is a work of fiction so the charming Mr Frederick Ashwood is a fictional character and didn't actually exist.
the whole book reminds me of sense and sensibility and the really handy authors words at the end tells you all the normal answers to the normal authory questions. all throughout the book there is handy little footnotes marked by numbers.
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Format: Paperback
Author Syrie James's personal & professional accomplishments serve her well in her reverent presentation of THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN. Her website brims with such a diversity of talents that one does not question why she is qualified to write about such a sensitive subject, but rather why she waited so long! Even Jane Austen's discerning character Mr. Darcy might consider her one of the 12 most accomplished women of his acquaintance.

Breaching the hollowed halls of Jane Austen para-literature is a daunting task for none but the stout-of-heart and thick-of-skin writer. Mrs. James wears her Austen-armor well and delivers a sincere and honest love story that will engage and delight most Jane Austen devotees, and raise an inquisitive eyebrow of the Austen purists. Her Jane is real and approachable, flesh and bone, human and fallible; -- not the stour judgemental old maid envisioned in the 19th-century portraits. We feel her troubles, her joy, her pain, understand her life decisions, and appreciate her all the more for it.

It is not often that this discerning reader can offer unqualified praise, so I will not break my streak. Five Austen stars!

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had never read any Syrie James novels before but as a huge Jane Austen fan I just had to buy it. I enjoyed it very much. At times I had to check that it was a novel I was reading and not a biography. The story was excellently told. I did find the end a bit rushed though as if she couldn't think how to quiet finish it. I will certainly buy more Syrie James books.
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