- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: BERKLEY - US; Reprint edition (28 Feb. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425253368
- ISBN-13: 978-0425253366
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 21.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,258,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Paperback – 28 Feb 2013
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Praise for THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT OF JANE AUSTEN"A novel within a novel honoring what we love most about Austen: her engaging stories, her rapier wit, and her swoon worth romance...pitch perfect, brilliantly crafted."--Austenprose "This richly imagined Jane Austen 'road novel' is...a page turner...A standout addition to the crowded archive of Austen homages."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A literary feast for Anglophiles...[with] an Austen-worthy ending."--Publishers Weekly "Syrie James has surpassed herself...It'll be one of your favourite reads in 2013!"--My Jane Austen Book Club "Ingenious!...An absorbing, reflective, and remarkable work of fiction that masterfully captures the essence and style of a Jane Austen novel."--Austenesque Reviews "James expertly blends Austen archetypes--bumbling suitors, lady friends both silly and sympathetic, bemused fathers--with her own narrative wit...A sweet, enjoyable read for any Austen fan."--Shelf Awareness "A delightful novel that you simply won't want to put down...A must read for all Jane Austen enthusiasts."--Confessions of an Avid Reader "A book a Jane Austen lover cannot miss."--The Bookish Dame "A magical book that readers will definitely store on their keeper shelf and read more than once."--RT Book Reviews Praise for Syrie James "Syrie James is a fine storyteller, with a sensitive ear for the Austenian voice."--Jane Austen's Regency World "Offers a deeper understanding of what Austen's life might have been like."--Los Angeles Times "A beautiful, fictional what-if."--Austenprose "Suspense builds, and it's a tribute to the world James creates that the readers will anxiously root for Jane to find true love and wealth, even though we know it never happened."--Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Avon, 2008), which was named Library Journal's Best First Novel of the Year. Syrie is a Jane Austen scholar and a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She is also an award-winning playwright and screen writer. Find out more at syriejames.com.
Top customer reviews
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Personally, I wouldn't consider myself a die-hard fan, but I enjoy Austen's writing and studied enough about her at university to be intrigued by this book. The contemporary storyline might be simplistic, and yes, the ease by which the protagonists discover the manuscript is pretty unrealistic, but it's a fun, comfort read for those who enjoy Austen's work. I was definitely impressed by "The Stanhopes", and found myself getting more and more wrapped up in the fictional manuscript as the story progressed. I'll definitely be checking out more of Syrie's writing in the future.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Critically acclaimed and best-selling author, Syrie James has once again fictitiously uncovered the hidden mysteries of Jane Austen's life. In her outstanding 2007 release, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, Ms. James pens a memoir that illustrates the "secret" love affair between Jane Austen and an unknown man she meets by the seaside. In her latest release, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, she brings to light a seventh novel written by Jane Austen in 1802. A manuscript that no one except Cassandra knew about. A manuscript that was lamentably lost from Jane Austen's possession and never rewritten or discovered...until now.
Another impressive and ingenious release from Syrie James! I love how adeptly and thoughtfully Syrie James blends together actual events and circumstances in Jane Austen's life with her own clever imaginings. Ms. James creates a story so authentic and credible that this reader often forgets she is reading a work of fiction! On more than one occasion I found myself desperately hoping this novel was reality and that this story would come true! (Who knows, maybe it will...)
While the first part of the novel involves the mystery, speculation, and discovery of the missing manuscript, the second part, where the characters sit down and read every blessed word of the manuscript, is when the author's talent really shines. The Stanhopes is an absorbing, reflective, and remarkable work of fiction that masterfully captures the essence and style of a Jane Austen novel. Using Jane Austen's satirical "Plan of a Novel" as guide and inspiration, Ms. James's creation is one filled with realistic and lovable characters, keen observations of human nature, and a few tender and turbulent romances. I think my favorite aspect of The Stanhopes was spotting the parallels between Jane Austen's life and that of her characters of which there were many. I'd like to think that if Jane Austen did write a novel during her first years in Bath that it would be a lot like The Stanhopes - full of introspection, change, and experiencing trials. It probably would have been a therapeutic release for her.
Whatever the secrets of Jane Austen's life are, I hope they are wonderful - just like the ones created by Syrie James. I'm so thankful to Syrie James for crafting stories like this that let readers dream, wish, and fantasize about their favorite authors. I sincerely hope she "uncovers" another lost or secret item from some historical or literary figure real soon!
1 Fergus, "Biography", Jane Austen in Context, 3-4
I enjoyed the story within a story very much. It was well done and I think the best aspect of the book. My only disappointment was I felt that some of the situations or people in the book felt lifted directly from Austen"s books. Perhaps this was intentionally done by the author.
All in all, a satisfying read for those who have studied Austen's life and love the books she created.
The story forming the framework could have done with some more (editing) work, as things move much too quickly and smoothly to be truly believable. Yet Jane and her bitter-sweet love story come to life beautifully. Jane's wit, level-headedness, sly sense of humour, and deeply moral outlook on life are masterfully rendered. (Though apparently, she tended to be quiet and tongue-tied in life.)
The author knows her Austen well and cleverly interweaves motives from Austen's work with the fictitious biography. The reader is treated to a few sensuous kissing scenes, but as 'some things are best left to the imagination', it doesn't go any further.
All in all the novel offers intelligent and thrilling romantic reading - not just for Janeites.