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The Jane Austen Project

by Kathleen A. Flynn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3624155,504 (3.93)56
"Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel"--
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» See also 56 mentions

English (40)  Dutch (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane are sent back to 1815 England to find and retrieve the completed The Watsons novel of Jane Austen, and find the correspondence destroyed by Cassandra Austen. What could go wrong, and much could they change the future.
An enjoyable well-written story. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
I enjoy the writings of Jane Austin, but I would never want to travel back in time to the 1800's. This is kind of like a really well-written fan fiction of any Jane Austin novel, which is part of the reason l liked it. I felt a little confused at the ending, especially with how the timeline changed, but I still liked how the characters adapted.

The audience I would recommend for this book is those who are old enough to handle some mature content and implications. Nothing I read scandalized me, but I was surprised when those situations showed up. I'm pretty sure that wasn't part of the original Jane Austin books. ( )
  Emma.June.Lyon | Feb 23, 2021 |
I've never much enjoyed Austen, so a time travel book centered on Austen was a bit of a risk for me. I picked this one up as a random library shelf find. I sneered a little when I saw the title and read the description, but then I decided to resist my inner snob and try the book out anyway. It was a mistake. The book reads at times like a modern day ham-fisted imitation of Regency literature, but wrapped in a sort of ham-fisted sci-fi-ish story, with a dab of bumbling love affair writing. Honestly, the book wasn't as horrible as I expected it to be, but it certainly wasn't to my taste, and though it may be literary in that it deals with a literary figure, it's not what I would call, on its own merits, a piece of literary fiction (which is fine; other genres are certainly worth reading). I guess it's basically a work of fan fiction, and I didn't find it very satisfying. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
This is an engaging time travel novel, in which a doctor and an actor team up to retrieve a lost novel of Jane Austen's. In the quest, they discover that small acts can potentially change the course of history.

I enjoyed the Regency aspect and the philosophical questions enormously. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Time travel is the essence here. Dr. Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane (actor, professor, Old British poseur) are colleagues who go back to 1815 posing as Mary and William Ravenswood, a brother and sister newly arrived in England after selling their Jamaican coffee plantation (and freeing their slaves). Their mission is to attain copies of Jane Austen's lost letters to her sister Cassandra, as well as a novel, The Watsons that she had not finished in "real" history. They have a fake letter of introduction to Henry Watson, Jane's brother, a large amount of (fake) British money, and a vast knowledge of the time period and the Austens. What this novel does a good job of is showing all the little details that make it nearly impossible to live in a time other than your own, as well as the risks involved. Aside from showing up naked and dazed in the Time Traveller's Wife, the protagonists in other stories don't have the same realistic view of some of the problems they face, here namely death, if they are perceived as French spies or "witches." The crossroads gibbet they view upon arrival is a chilling reminder of this. The other big challenge is not to alter the probability field -- i.e. mess with events as they historically had unfolded -- because altering any part of the past will have repercussions in the future, which ultimately is the present Rachel and Liam will return to. This unspecified time is vaguely futuristic: there has been a "dying off" and seems to be a re-org of society with the British on top, specifically "old British" but not much more than this is explained. The 1815 details are well-done and the Austens thoroughly researched by the author which is impressive. Rachel is a little to "plucky" to fit convincingly in the time period, though it is interesting that though she is the medical doctor, it is Liam who must fill that role convincingly with both Henry and jane's health. There is sexual tension between Liam and Rachel (ew, since they are "siblings") and also between Mary and Henry, and Liam and Jane. So due to the medical angle and the romantic interest, Liam and Rachel are in with the Austens. The mission goes along well for about 9 months, and then things take a drastic turn. Return to the "present" is a little fuzzy and difficult to grasp, and I didn't even time-travel! Always an intriguing story concept, but also always a lot to wrap my mind around which challenges my ability to really be all in. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flynn, Kathleen A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maarleveld, SaskiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Go, go, go said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

-- T. S. ELIOT, "BURNT NORTON"
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To Jarek
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What kind of maniac travels in time?
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"Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel"--

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Book description
England, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team of time travelers, their mission is the most audacious yet: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common except their extraordinary circumstances. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of 19th century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history as they found it…however heartbreaking that proves.
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