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The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith…

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen

by Sally Smith O'Rourke

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This was one of those finds at a charity sale table and what a lucky little find it was. A very interesting idea of just who Mr. Darcy could have been and how with a little imagination he could have been Jane's great love. This cover I thought was somewhat deceiving in that it is not a steamy romance but a lovely soft story. Some good characters with a few surprises and an engaging look at Jane and her family. If you are a Mr. Darcy fan do not miss out on reading this book. ( )
  LiteraryChanteuse | Jan 27, 2016 |
Do you ever wish that Jane Austen might have know love such as she chronicled, despite the historical documentation of her spinsterhood? Such a dream is the basis for O'Rourke's novel.

When Eliza Knight finds the perfect vanity table in a run-down antique market, little does she know she is changing the course of her future. Behind a warped mirror backing, Eliza discovers correspondence between a Miss Jane Austen and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy! An avid devotee of Miss Elizabeth Bennet's quest for love, the open letters leave Eliza thrilled, enchanted, and determined. With the help of the Austenticity.com web site, and her cat Wickham, Eliza traces clues which reveal the truth behind Jane's exchanges with a supposedly fictional character of her own creation. By delivering Jane's final letter to Darcy, Eliza discovers true love equal to that which Elizabeth Bennet enjoyed.

For another tale based around a hidden cache of Jane Austen letters, but without the time travel elements, check out Beth Pattillo's debut novel Jane Austen Ruined My Life.
  ktoonen | Mar 16, 2012 |
I picked up this novel because I was on a literary trip following Miss Jane Austen's steps in Bath and in Chawton.
Having read most of her books and wanting to keep the one I had left for after the journey, I chose "The man who loved Jane Austen" looking for a light entertainment and because I wanted to read something related to Austen as well.
I didn't expect a masterpiece and the book started quite well. I thought it to be a predictable story but a good romantic one, with some of Austen's touch. Well, I was entirely mistaken. The novel resulted to be a cheap sci-fi story, treating time travel as the commonest thing in the world.
And then...the assumption that Mr. Darcy (our dear Mr. Darcy, pure embodiment of the ever-after perfect English gentleman) was an American was too much for me, even with the author's foreword apologising for her daring imagination.
Jane Austen appears cheapened, shallow and uninteresting. A middle aged poor woman in search of an affair.
The Mr. Darcy of this story is a snob and a big headed guy who behaves like a puppet without will or determination like the Mr. Darcy that we know. He is not appealing at all, just a fake and unsatisfying replacement.
And Eliza, the heroine of the book, is conceited, uni dimensional and superfluous.
I was actually a bit ashamed to keep on reading because the book loses all the essence like in chapter 4.

So, I think I'll stick to Austen's books, they are far more rewarding and always a pleasure to read for any kind of public who appreciates a good novel. ( )
1 vote Luli81 | May 18, 2011 |
This was an "OK" read- silly and a bit stilted in its language. Had a sci-fi twist I did not expect, if you do not like that sort of thing, then don't read this one. ( )
  effulgent7 | Nov 17, 2010 |
I enjoyed this. It was a fun story that had its moments of being a bit poorly written, but overall a good story. ( )
  January_F | Apr 22, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 075821037X, Paperback)

New York artist Eliza Knight certainly did not realize it at the time, but her life changed when she bought the old, beat-up vanity table one lazy Sunday afternoon. Tucked away behind the mirror she found two letters, one sealed, but one already opened: "May 12th, 1810. Dearest Jane, the Captain has found me out. I am being forced to go into hiding immediately. But if I am able, I shall still be waiting at the same spot tonight. Then you will know everything you wish to know. F. Darcy." F. Darcy? Fitzwilliam Darcy, the fictional hero of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"? Even more mysterious was the other letter, sealed and never read - from Jane to Darcy. Could this man, possibly the most romantic character ever written and the hero of Eliza's favourite novel, have been a real person? Eliza's initial guarded curiosity turns to astonishment as scientific testing confirms the sealed letter was indeed addressed by Jane Austen. But she is completely baffled by the revelation that the other letter, though proven to be from the same time period - was written by an American. Caught between the routine of her present life and the intrigue of these incredible discoveries from the past, Eliza decides to look deeper. Her research leads to a majestic, 200-year-old estate in Virginia's breathtaking Shenandoah Valley where she meets the one man who may hold the answer. But he also has a secret, one he has kept hidden for years. Now, as the real story of Fitzwilliam Darcy unfolds, Eliza finds her life has become a modern-day romance, one that perhaps only Jane Austen herself could have so eloquently written.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After discovering a letter to Jane Austen from Fitzwilliam Darcy--a supposedly fictional character--in the back of her antique vanity's mirror, Eliza Knight searches for the only man who knows the truth behind this mystery.

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