“Utterly brilliant – this story is utterly brilliant!” (Austenesque Reviews)
“The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen is one of the most moving, soul-filling, and beautiful stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.” (Austenprose review)
I’m very excited about my new release! As the title implies, it’s a Persuasion tie-in with Jane Austen herself as narrator and heroine. It’s available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats through major online booksellers Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Don’t you wish Jane Austen could have enjoyed the same kind of romance and happy ending she was always careful to create for her heroines? Perhaps she did after all.
This book represents the journal Jane Austen wrote alongside her last, most poignant novel. In it she unveils the story behind the story – the truth about her previously unknown romance with a sea captain of her own, paralleling the story of Persuasion. She meant the novel to stand forever in public homage to the very private love affair she could not reveal to anyone at the time. Now, however, there’s no longer any need to keep the story concealed. But I’ll let Jane tell you about it in her own words. It is her secret, after all.
Here is how she begins:
It is time.
I could not have done it even a few years ago. But now the pain – though never far from my mind – has eased to a familiar, settled presence that I can bear without desperation, and the memories are objects I can view with more tenderness than despair.
Sitting at my writing desk at our beloved Chawton cottage, I gaze out the window toward the path that leads to the door. No one is there; no one ever is, at least not the one most fondly looked for. And yet looking has developed into a habit of longstanding duration, an unconscious exercise in futility over the twelve years since he went away.
Now the wars against the French are finally at an end, and still he does not come.
So it is time to lay aside any lingering hopes I have secretly cherished in that regard. My fires are at last tolerably quenched, and I have reconciled myself to the prudence of never fanning the remaining embers ablaze again. Instead, I have determined to instill the warm essence of my recollections into a novel about youthful errors, mature love, and second chances – to write the story I would have preferred for myself, one which embodies all the early promise of the genuine article but a more felicitous conclusion than providence has seen fit to authorize.
I will call my captain Frederick Wentworth, and his lady will be Anne Elliot… (read the rest of chapter 1 here, at Austen Variations)
*sigh* So poignantly sad, don’t you think? But don’t worry. I have something extra special cooked up for the ending – a little surprise for you… and for Jane!
I wanted to share these two unsolicited comments about the book from people I’ve never met. It makes my day when I receive encouraging notes like this, and they’re too good not to share!
“The book is an absolute treat, like a box of fine chocolates…which I devoured in less than 24 hours! Thank goodness it has no calories. lol. Every Janeite, especially Persuasion fans, must read this one! It pulls the heartstrings, and continually delights with the bits n pieces n hints of inspirational possibilities of our favorite parts of all of her works. That alone was so much fun to read! The way you weaved the facts and actual timeline of her life with such clever, even believable imaginations, boy, you did your homework, young lady! I absolutely loved it, Shannon! I dare say, Miss Austen would have thought it a delightful novel! : )”
“I’m greatly delighted with your books I have just read, and I wanted to personally tell you. ‘The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen’ gave me a sense of closure for her. I felt such a sadness about her life as history declared. But your book lifted that mournful spirit.”
If all this is true, then I accomplished what I set out to do. I hope you’ll agree.
(PS – Some of the comments below came in before this book was published and refer to a title controversy I was trying to sort out at the time.)