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Merits and Mercenaries: (The Bath Novels of Lady A~, Book 1) by [Lady A~]
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Merits and Mercenaries: (The Bath Novels of Lady A~, Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 391 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

Inspired by an epiphany over Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park' at the impressionable age of 15, this authoress has long been fascinated with 'The Bard of Bath'. Answering a need to pursue her interest in the 'comedy-of-manners' genre, of which Jane Austen is the uncontested exemplar, this lady took on the shaded mantle of 'Lady A~' (as Jane Austen was once known), some fifteen years ago, to write the first of seven new Austenian novels. Sure to sate even the most discriminating of Janeite minds, Lady A~ has ensured that each 'Bath Novel' refreshingly reflects her modern spirit, while at once faithfully portraying Jane Austen's universal appeal.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6968 KB
  • Print Length: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Hye St. Press; 2 edition (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054M8O8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #689,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A wonderful Austenesque homage with a 21st-century sensibility - not only has `Lady A' created a worthy companion piece to Austen's classics, but a classic-to-be in its own right. Maria Beckett is a villainess for the ages - and one of the most compelling and beguiling characters to grace a work of fiction in this or any era!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable work! While you are reading it, it is difficult to believe that the semi-fictional account of its origin, outlined in the Preface, is not altogether true. Had the talented author been able to employ an equally skilled forger to produce the 'long lost manuscript', this might have been a splendid hoax that would never have been found out!

The book is beautifully written by an author who must have made a deep study of Jane Austen's life and work. She (I hope it doesn't turn out to have been written by a man!) has produced an entirely convincing set of fully rounded characters whose words and actions are unerringly suited to their natures and to the period of Jane Austen. Heroes and villains abound and one falls in love with them or wishes them ill as each page unfolds. A thoughtful addition to the book is a 'Gallery' near the beginning with silhouette illustrations and brief descriptions of the main characters. Other books would do well to follow this example to help you keep track of the plot. As it happens I found that for once it was hardly necessary. The protagonists are so carefully drawn as the narrative proceeds that one's interest never flags and there is no need to rely on the Gallery. You soon get to know your characters very well indeed.

To keep you on the alert there is plenty of mystery too. At one point, after many twists and turns, it seems that things are coming together to reach a happy conclusion. But, hang on! There are still about 50 pages to go. Whatever is going to happen next? You can't put the book down!

The spirit of Jane Austen shines out on every page. Occasionally it seems that even some of her failings have been overcome. In Mansfield Park, for example, does not the last chapter seem just a bit of an anticlimax?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Merits and Mercenaries is a fabulous novel, and as far as I am concerned, it goes far and above a five-star rating. It is exceptional on all fronts, from the delicious characters (heroes and villains), the page-turner plot and the deft, witty style which can, by turns, make you laugh out loud and take you deep into a character’s psyche in a way that invites you to immerse yourself in this perfectly rendered world.

Although Merits and Mercenaries springs from the irresistible conceit that it is the first of the 7 ‘missing’ Jane Austen novels, it is very important to say that this is not a pastiche of Jane Austen; nor is it a prequel or a sequel or a reverential homage. It is a full-bodied original creation that will, I’m sure, and especially when all 7 novels can sit side by side on the bookshelf, make a major contribution to the literary canon. It has a voice all of its own. It is, indeed, 'novel' in every way.

It is also worth noting that the design of the book is quite superb and far above the norm of any trade paperback. The very beautiful cover, the Map of Meritocrats and Mercenaries, and the gorgeously detailed silhouettes of all the main characters in the book’s introduction contribute to the true pleasure gained from entering the wonderfully mesmerizing world of Lady A……
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Kindle as I was intrigued by the idea of the ‘Bath novels’. I had perhaps hoped it would be entertainingly awful. How wrong I was! I was hooked from the start by the intriguingly enigmatic chapter 1 which introduces a mystery slowly unravelled in the course of the story. I soon found myself interested in the characters and longing to know how the plot would resolve itself. There are some very nicely written passages, and a sly wit worthy of Miss Austen herself. The Hampshire setting of the story allows for some clever interaction with Jane Austen’s world – I particularly liked the idea of a visit to Steventon, Jane’s birthplace, and the desire of the heroine to read her latest novels, a nice conceit as we are made to believe that Miss Austen is the author of the work we are reading. ‘Lady A-’, the supposed author of Merits and Mercenaries, is clearly steeped in the world of Jane Austen and her novels, and this work is an enjoyable homage to the great authoress.
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