Archive for the ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine’ Category

I’ve had a gorgeous review for Searching for Captain Wentworth by Joceline Bury for Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine.

I love a time travel romance, especially one involving Jane Austen characters, and Jane Odiwe has pulled a great story out of the hat in her latest novel.
The writer Sophie Elliot (whose favourite novel is, unsurprisingly, Persuasion) is invited to use her great-aunt’s Bath town house as a writing retreat and is delighted to find that she is living next door to where the Austen family spent some of their time during their stay in the spa city. She’s initially less than delighted by what appears to be a haunting presence in the house – although that could just be the mice in the wainscot.
But past and present are set to collide when she finds that an antique glove belonging to her present-day neighbour has the power to transport her back in time to the days of the Regency.
Sophie is a beguiling heroine, and her time-slipping adventures involve historical figures alongside fictional creations to great effect.
Odiwe certainly writes a page-turning romantic mystery – her characters are intriguing and her narrative full of surprises and suspense. She blends historical fact and fiction with great style, and the settings are spot on in what the writer describes as her “love letter to Bath.”

Thank you, Joceline Bury – you’ve made my week!

Before I tell you what I got up to last week, here is Chapter Five of Searching for Captain Wentworth!

These costumes reminded me of Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth

Last week I visited the new galleries at the V&A where they have revamped the costume collection. I loved the way they’ve arranged costumes with accessories, furniture and paintings of the period. There is a fabulous ballgown exhibition on in the middle of it all with the most mouth-watering display of dresses from the 50s to the present day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the Hollywood costume exhibition as it was fully booked but I’m hoping to go very soon.

I hope you enjoyed the photos!


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Isn’t this cover beautiful? It’s a still from the fabulous film Brightstar about the romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne which is featured in the magazine. The Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine has always been a favourite read of mine, but I was absolutely thrilled to bits to find Joceline Bury’s review of Willoughby’s Return in this month’s issue. Thank you, Joceline, you’ve absolutely made my week!

Sense and Sensibility is, of all Jane Austen’s novels, the most erotically charged, the most romantic, the most yearning. Its portrayal of the anguish of love unrequited is often physically painful to read; its heroines are at times breathtakingly modern in the risks they take in order to follow their hearts.
Jane Odiwe, whose first novel imagined what really happened to Lydia Bennet, here takes Marianne Dashwood’s story beyond her marriage to Colonel Brandon, in a well-plotted and elegant romance.
The rakish Willoughby is one of Austen’s most attractive leading men – and there can be few readers who don’t feel a pang when he loses Marianne to the undeniably deserving but ever-so slightly dull colonel. Now he’s back on the scene and Marianne finds herself battling with temptation on a grand scale. Odiwe’s feeling for Jane Austen’s characters is undeniable – she writes with wit and an enviable lightness of touch, creating a believable world of new possibilities without ever losing sight of the original narrative.
She also develops the delightfully oddball character of the youngest Dashwood sister, Margaret – placing her centre stage alongside Marianne and giving her an engrossing storyline of her own.
Sense and Sensibility is my favourite Austen, and it is quite a treat to have the story continued in such an accomplished and satisfying sequel.

The May/June (No.45) issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World is now published and includes:

* Bright Star (cover story) – Jane Campion’s film about John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was nominated for an Oscar

* British election special – remembering the men and women who died in the Peterloo massacre of 1819

* Woman-to-woman – when the boundary between love and friendship became blurred

* Maggie Lane discusses the art of reading aloud in Jane Austen’s time

* Eleanor Coade, the woman who developed artificial stone

* Clapperboard tours – the film buffs guide to the streets of Bath


Book reviews: new publications by Carrie Bebris, Jane Odiwe and Tracey Chevalier

News from JAS and JASNA, and all the latest Jane Austen news and readers’ letters

Jane Austen’s Regency World is published on May 1 and is available by subscription from Jane Austen Magazine

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I recently met up with lovely author Sue Wilkes in Bath. She’d been invited to a gorgeous afternoon out with Tim Bullamore (publisher of the Jane Austen magazine) and some of the ladies at the Jane Austen Centre to see Clare Tomalin’s talk at the Bath Literary Festival. Sue and I met for lunch and had a lovely chat – we’ve corresponded for years ever since we did an article or two together on Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, but this was the first time we’d actually met. Incidentally, Sue had tea at the Jane Austen Centre afterwards – lovely treat. I’ve been there myself and highly recommend the cheese toasted sandwich!
I always enjoy Sue’s articles and she has also written some fabulous non-fiction books. Her latest, Regency Cheshire is about that county, but filled with so much more, lots of fascinating stories about the era in general.
It was an age of unique style and elegance; the era of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Regency Cheshire explores the scandals, sports and pastimes of the great county families such as the Grosvenors of Eaton Hall. Their glittering lifestyle is contrasted with conditions for humble farmers and factory workers. The gentry and mill owners created elegant new villas and beautiful gardens while workers huddled together in slums with inadequate sanitation. The Prince Regent and his cronies danced and feasted while cotton and silk workers starved. Cheshire’s rural tranquility was under siege; smoke belched out over the textile and salt towns. Stage coaches rattled through the streets; packet boats and barges sailed down the canals. The author traces the changes in the county’s transport system and the effect on its chief industries: silk, cotton, salt and cheese. Reform and revolution threatened the old social order. Blood was spilt on city streets during election fever and in the struggle for democracy. Napoleon’s forces were poised to invade – but Cheshire troops battled their own countrymen instead of marauding Frenchmen. Balls and bear-baiting; highwaymen and hangings; riots and reform: Regency Cheshire tells the story of county life during the age of Beau Brummell, Walter Scott and Jane Austen.

Read more about Sue and her books on her blog

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I’ve had two lovely reviews from Bath this week, the first from Joceline Bury of Jane Austen’s World Magazine and the second from The Bath Chronicle, Bath’s own newspaper.

Joceline Bury says ‘Jane Odiwe…gives us a heroine who is remarkably likeable…Lydia’s diary… a catalogue of frivolity – reveals a great sense of fun, an engaging lack of self-pity and an unerring eye for a good-looking chap …(Odiwe’s) technique of interspersing third person narrative with ‘diary extracts’ works particularly well as a way of counterpointing the disastrous events in Lydia’s life with her indomitable optimism and spirit.’

There is also a competition in the magazine to win three copies of my book. If you’d like to enter you can subscribe to the magazine by clicking here
The new format magazine is just the right size to pop into your handbag and has some very interesting articles:

Credit Crunch: Austen Bank Goes Bust
Pride and Prejudice – The New Musical
Lost in Austen: Hugo Rifkind on the TV series
Christmas in Regency England

The above are just a few examples of what’s to be found in this month’s issue, plus there is news from JAS and JASNA, as well as being sumptuously illustrated throughout.

Next from Bath’s own newspaper,’The Bath Chronicle’ comes this review.

A new twist in the tale for Austen’s Lydia

Jane Austen fans are in for a treat with Jane Odiwe’s sequel to Pride and Prejudice detailing Lydia Bennet’s story.

Lydia, the thoughtless, conceited younger daughter who was only interested in flirting with officers and getting married before her sisters, has a chance to redeem herself in this novel.

Creatively interweaving the narrative with extracts from Lydia’s diary, the reader begins to understand her actions and the motives of others.

In part one Jane Odiwe focuses on Lydia’s description of the events which take place in Pride and Prejudice.

In part two where Austen’s novel leaves off, Jane and Elizabeth are happily settled in their estates while Lydia is finding life hard with her husband, the dashing-but-deceiving George Wickham.

Throughout the book new friends are introduced and old ones are revisited against a vivid background of Regency England.

In Bath, all the familiar haunts from Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are revisited; the Pump Room, the Upper Rooms, Queen Square and even Gravel Walk.

An unexpected twist brings about a happy ending for Lydia.


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