Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden

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Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden


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This is a beautiful and moving novel written by Janet Todd, a novelist and internationally renowned scholar, known especially for her biographies of women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Aphra Behn.

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Jane Austen is such a presence in Fran’s life that she seems to share her Norfolk cottage and garden, filling her days with wry observations –and sometimes irritating asides. After years teaching and living (fairly contentedly) alone, Fran is ready for a change. This comes through an old Cambridge friend and a new American one. The three women bond through a love of books and a quest for the Romantic poet Shelley in Wales and Venice. Shelley’s yearning for a utopian way of life, so at odds with Jane Austen’s pragmatic realism, makes each woman question her own choices. My novel meditates (lightly) on ageing, friendship, friction between generations, hope and the solace of nature.

“A beautiful book – a true treat and gift. Todd gives us an allusive dialogue of the living in vivid conversation with the illustrious dead. The voices of her learned, witty, aging twenty-first-century characters-like present-day Mrs. Dalloways going about their business in provocative daily routines-bring new life to the great authors of the past. This is a beautiful, moving novel of playful experimentation, gorgeous image, and brilliantly irreverent juxtaposition.” Devoney Looser, Professor of English, Arizona State, author of The Making of Jane Austen.



Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 200 × 130 × 99 mm


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