Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Mysterious Death Of Miss Jane Austen

The Mysterious Death Of Miss Jane Austen

By Lindsay Ashford

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark, August 6th, 2013

When I saw this listed in the NetGalley catalogue, I had not a moment of hesitation in requesting to be allowed to read and review it. I have an interest in all things Austen and the Regency period and have often pondered the symptoms of Jane Austen's final illness and untimely death.

It is nice to see that others have also exercised themselves in finding out what her illness actually was; Lindsay Ashford has a degree in Criminology and is an accomplished mystery writer, making her well-placed indeed to weave an intriguing and highly convincing fictional account of what may have happened during Jane's final years.

Written from the viewpoint of the witty, highly intelligent and somewhat unconventional Anne Sharp, governess to Jane's niece Fanny, Jane's life is described, her  achievements celebrated, her death mourned and then brooded over as Anne's horrifying suspicion is confirmed that Jane Austen's death was the result of poisoning. Anne Sharp sets her formidable intellect into uncovering the truth about the death of her adored friend, unearthing layer upon layer of intrigue and covered-up scandal as she does so.

Based upon letters and documents of the Austen family, this clever story makes for compelling reading and will certainly appeal to anyone who likes Miss Austen's works or has an interest in her life and times.

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1 comment:

Athanasia said...

Now this one looks intriguing! It is on my TBR pile.