logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: jane-austen
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-24 17:34
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen, performed by Juliet Stevenson
Persuasion - Jane Austen,Juliette Stevenson

I read "Persuasion" on a wave of enthusiasm for Jane Austen created by reading "The Jane Austen Project". I'd never read the book before and knew nothing of its plot or its ending. I found that this ignorance significantly enhanced my enjoyment of this book about lovers frustrated by circumstance and the things that they have persuaded themselves of or have been persuaded of by well-meaning advisors..

 

I listened to the audiobook version read by Juliet Stevenson who delivered every line with an ease and confidence that made the whole book at once easily accessible and tantalisingly complex.

 

The clarity of the language, the dryness of the wit and the unhurried pace of the book all added to my enjoyment.

 

I was surprised at the vigour of the social commentary in the book. The vain and incompetent Baronet, who takes pride in looks he has convinced himself are not declining year by year and a rank he gained by birth but lacks the acumen to sustain in life is practically vivisected in the text, even though he is the father of the mild-mannered main character.  There is also a spirited championing of the capabilities of women and the role that men play in disadvantaging the development and use of those capabilities.

 

Some of the novel is set in Bath, a city I lived in for many years, so I was amused to see references to streets that apart from the addition of traffic signs and double yellow lines, have remained unaltered since Jane Austen's time. I used to live in the building occupied by the baddy of the plot. It was great fun to imagine these familiar streets populated by Regency sailors and a ladies so unused to exercise and so bound up in corsets that walking up Milsom Street was an achievement.

 

The story itself is rather unremarkable but achieves a considerable level of engagement in  the lives of the protagonists for a plot built on so slight a premise. I enjoyed myself immensely and am now encouraged to move on to the rather more substantial "Emma".

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-22 11:29
"The Jane Austen Project" by Kathleen A Flynn
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn

I found the premise of "The Jane Austen Project", time travelers from our future being sent back to 1815 to inveigle their way into an intimate acquaintance with Jane Austen with a view of diagnosing the disease that would kill her in 1817 and retrieving a copy of her unpublished novel "The Watsons", irresistible

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was much more than a good idea written up over a few hundred pages. "The Jane Austen Project" is well written, engaging and original.

 

The story is told from the point of view of Rachel, a physician with a history of working in disaster zones in her own time, who is passionate about meeting Jane and deeply curious about the disease that will end Jane's life.

 

Placing a strong, competent woman with a broad experience of the world and an expectation of being in charge of her own life into England in 1815 is a very effective way of highlighting the constraints placed on women at that time and the frustration and waste that they caused.

 

Rachel is a deeply imagined character that it is easy to become attached to. The future she comes from is tantalizingly different from today. That I wanted to know more about it and her life before the Jane Austen Project, is a sign of skill of the story teller. I was tantalized and intrigued. I came to realise that Rachel's past was as alien as the 1815 present the action takes place in.

 

I was surprised at how much tension I felt reading the book. I wanted to know what happened next. This wasn't an academic exercise or a passive homage to Jane Austen. It started as a difficult mission where failure could have disastrous consequences and became a personal and emotional journey for Rachel and those who's lives she touches.

 

Seeing the world of Jane Austen through the eyes of a woman from an unknown future but who has a detailed knowledge of Jane's life and works produced a kind of refraction of ideas and expectations that kept the novel fresh and made me think again about what I thought I knew of Jane Austen and her times.

 

Fans of Jane Austen will be fascinated by this book. People who only know Jane through various Mr Darcy movies will not feel left out but may find themselves intrigued. My interest in Jane Austen's books was revived to the extent that my next read will be "Persuasion", a Jane Austen novel that I've never read before. 

 

Saskia Maarleveld did a competent job as a narrator but I was distracted by her inability to pronounce place names like "Berkley Square" and "Basingstoke" correctly. You can hear her work on the soundcloud link below.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/317680906" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

 

kathleenflynn

 

This is Kathleen Flynn's debut novel, She's a copy editor at the New York Times. In this interview she discusses how the novel came about and what it was like for an editor to be edited.

 

I hope I see more work from her soon.

 

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-09 03:01
Travel Back To Meet Jane
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn

Very enjoyable time travel, back to Jane Austin's time. A couple of future people are sent back to find the lost letters of Jane Austin. The comparisons, the reality of life then and the futuristic was awakening to the characters and me. If was easy to fall into the world created by this author. Even more fascinating was the world the travelers came from, returned to and the changes that happened from their interferences and influences. So many changes, from so little time, it made me think about all the possibilities.
I picked this up wanting more Jane Austin, as a fan it's required. Check the fan manual. LOL. As I went along with this audiobook it became more about these two people and their lives so fluid. Jane, was more of a off to the side character to me. The author did an excellent job of making feel realistic. I would love to read more works from her.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-09-08 16:10
Reading progress update: I've read 87%.
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn

She knows what now ? What havoc have they charged ? Might this be love ?

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-09-06 16:55
Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn

Brother and sister necking in the woods scandalous ! I expected to drop this book after several review I read. it has some dull-ish moments but it is fascinating in so many ways. Well I'm glad I stuck with it

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?