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Archive for the ‘Jane Odiwe’ Category

Project Darcy

I’m so excited to announce that next week sees the start of my blog tour and Book Launch for Project Darcy! I hope you’ll be able to join me here on my blog and also with all the wonderful bloggers who are generously hosting me.

There will be giveaways and treats on my blog, as well as those blogs listed below, so please keep checking back – after all, it’s 200 years of Pride and Prejudice, and I want to celebrate that, as well as my new book.

Here’s the list of lovely blogs I am visiting!

Wednesday, October 30th   – Wondrous Reads
Sunday, November 3rd – My Jane Austen Book Club
Tuesday, November 5th – AustenproseOFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH
Wednesday, November 6th –  Indie Jane
Thursday, November 7th – More Agreeably Engaged
Tuesday, November 12th Calico Critic
Wednesday, November 13th Meditating Mummy
Monday, November 18th Austen Authors
Monday, November 18th The Book Rat
Wednesday, November 20th Austenesque Reviews

Jane Austen Prints

It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home. She’s always had a talent for ‘seeing’ into the past and is not easily disturbed by her encounters with Mr Darcy’s ghost at the house where she’s staying. When Ellie travels into the past she discovers exactly what happened whilst Jane danced her way through the snowy winter of 1796 with her dashing Irish friend. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie discovers the true love story lost in Pride and Prejudice – a tale which has its own consequences for her future destiny, changing her life beyond imagination. 

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It suddenly looks very autumnal here in the UK, though the temperature is surprisingly high. I love this season – outside the leaves are turning to shades of red, russet and lemon, mornings are misty, and the nights are drawing in. What better time than to curl up with a new book!

Project Darcy – Jane Odiwe

I’m so excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming book, Project Darcy! In this special year of the 200th anniversary, I wanted to celebrate with a ‘darling child’ of my own.

 It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home. She’s always had a talent for ‘seeing’ into the past and is not easily disturbed by her encounters with ‘Mr Darcy’s ghost’ at the house where she’s staying. When Ellie travels into the past she discovers exactly what happened whilst Jane danced her way through the snowy winter of 1796. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie discovers the true love story lost in Pride and Prejudice – a tale which has its own consequences for her future destiny, changing her life beyond imagination.

I’ve had a very exciting week – with Mr Darcy’s Secret being featured on BBC, The One Show, along with fellow author friends, Amanda Grange, and Karen Doornebos.

Mr Darcy’s Secret on The One Show!

And then a fellow Austenite on twitter, @austengeek, sent me a lovely tweet about Willoughby’s Return having a mention in Entertainment Weekly in the US! Great excitement, too, for many of my fellow authors on Austen Authors – Regina Jeffers, Alyssa Goodnight, Mary Lydon Simonsen, and author friends, Margaret C. Sullivan, Amanda Grange, Kara Louise, and Vera Nazarian.

Entertainment Weekly

November 5th 2013 is launch day for Project Darcy and I shall be giving away a number of treats that week in conjunction with the release of my book. Please come back in due course for more details!

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This is the interview I had with David Sillito, the Arts Correspondent from the BBC. It was aired on the 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I only wish that all my author friends here and overseas could have shared it with me. That would have been a fantastic party!

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Elizabeth and Darcy – Jane Odiwe

 We are celebrating 200 years of the publication of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”!
I can imagine how excited Jane must have been when she finally received her copies of her “own darling child” as she referred to it in a letter to her sister Cassandra in January 1813. Her book, which has become one of the most popular novels of all time, had taken 17 years to achieve publication.
“First Impressions”, as it was initially entitled, was started some time in 1796 when Jane would have been coming up to her 21st birthday. Jane had recently fallen in love with a young Irishman, Tom Lefroy, a nephew of a neighbouring friend in the village of Ashe. Unlike Elizabeth Bennet who took her time to fall in love with Mr Darcy, it seems that Jane and her new friend behaved outrageously, flirting and dancing together in a way that caused a certain amount of gossip. Tom was packed off home before any more damage could be done – neither of them were in a position to marry though Jane joked that she expected an offer of marriage from him! In later life, Tom admitted he had been in love with her. I always wonder if he was the model for so many of her heroes, though looking at his miniature Mr Darcy doesn’t spring to mind. Tom looks sweet, not proud and aloof, but perhaps some of Elizabeth’s thoughts echoed Jane’s own feelings about Tom in this sentence. “She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talentswould most suit her.”
Jane had already penned a novel in letters, “Elinor and Marianne”, which later became “Sense and Sensibility” but it seems she was particularly pleased with her new novel. Her family also enjoyed her readings and her father was so impressed that he sent it off to a publisher in London. However, Thomas Cadell was unimpressed and declined it by return of post.

The Meryton Assembly, Pride and Prejudice – Jane Odiwe

Having experienced a few rejections myself, I can imagine how Jane must have felt. Her novel was put away though it seems she did tinker with it from time to time. Jane’s family moved to Bath when her father retired and later to Southampton. During this time, Jane’s beloved father died and she, her mother and sister became increasingly dependent on her brothers. Finally, in 1809, her brother Edward gave them a cottage on his Chawton estate and Jane returned to her writing, revising and editing the works she’d started in her youth. “Sense and Sensibility” was first published – Jane paid for its publication and on its success, Thomas Egerton paid £110 for the copyright of “Pride and Prejudice”. Jane had hoped for £150 – she said, “I would rather have had £150, but we could not both be pleased“.
The only reference to Jane on the frontispiece was the declaration that it had been written by the author of “Sense and Sensibility”. Writing was not considered a profession for a lady and so no one knew who had written it. Jane had a bit of fun with a neighbour, Miss Benn, reading it aloud to her but not revealing that she was the author! The novel was a success and talked about, so much so, that her brother Henry who had become her negotiator, could not help boasting about the fact that “Pride and Prejudice” had been written by his sister. Soon, everyone was talking about the Hampshire lady who was the daughter of a clergyman.

Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy – Jane Odiwe

Jane was always thinking about her characters. In May of that year when she stayed in Sloane Street with her brother Henry she went to a painting exhibition in Spring Gardens. She wrote to Cassandra describing the event.

It is not thought a good collection, but I was very well pleased, particularly (pray tell Fanny) with a small portrait of Mrs Bingley, excessively like her.
I went in hopes of seeing one of her sister, but there was no Mrs Darcy. Perhaps, however, I may find her in the great exhibition, which we shall go to if we have time. I have no chance of her in the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds’s paintings, which is now showing in Pall Mall, and which we are also to visit.

Mrs Bingley’s is exactly herself – size, shaped face, features, and sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her. I dare say Mrs D. will be in yellow. 

Charles Bingley with his sisters, Mrs Hurst and Caroline Bingley – Jane Odiwe

Although Pride and Prejudice was well-received, it is a fact that after her death in 1817, copies were remaindered. It wasn’t until the publisher Bentley brought out a collector’s edition in the 1860s that the book gained in popularity once more.

There are lots of events going on to celebrate and I’m so excited to be involved in some.
This week the BBC visited me to do a little interview – if I escape the cutting room floor it will be shown on BBC Breakfast, Monday, 28th January.
Later on Monday, I will be participating in the Jane Austen Centre’s Live Readathon, which is taking place in Bath from 11.00. You can watch the day’s event here – it’s being streamed on the internet and I will be on at 17.10.

I’m sure Jane had no idea what she was starting when she wrote her wonderful novel that has given so many millions of people such pleasure!

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Happily Ever After is Susannah Fullerton’s new book which celebrates Pride and Prejudice. It is a beautiful book and one I am enjoying enormously. I am very pleased and proud because one of my illustrations features in it on page 126 in a section about Mr Wickham!

Lydia, Wickham and Kitty

This is the illustration – as you can see, Lydia, Wickham and Kitty are stepping out in Meryton. No doubt they are shopping and will be perusing all the latest ribbons and muslins to be had along the way.
I was very surprised to see mentions of my two Pride and Prejudice sequels, Mr Darcy’s Secret and Lydia Bennet’s Story also included in Susannah’s book – you can imagine, I was thrilled!

Here’s a little blurb about the book:

In 2013 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice turns 200. Again and again in polls conducted around the world, it is regularly chosen as the favourite novel of all time. Read and studied from Cheltenham to China, there are Jane Austen Societies from Boston to Buenos Aires, dedicated to sharing the delights of Jane Austen’s masterpiece.
Here is the tale of how Pride and Prejudice came to be written, its first reception in a world that didn’t take much notice of it and then its growing popularity. As well as discussing the famous characters – sex-symbol Mr Darcy, charming heroine Elizabeth Bennet, and the superb range of comic characters who make readers laugh again and again – Susannah Fullerton looks at the style of the novel – its wicked irony, its brilliant structuring, its revolutionary use of the technique known as ‘free indirect speech’.
Readers through the years have both loved the book and hated it – the reactions of writers, politicians, artists and explorers can tell us as much about the reader as they do about the book itself. Pride and Prejudice has morphed into many strange and interesting forms – screen adaptations, sequels, prequels and updates. Happily Ever After explores these, and the wilder shores of zombies, porn, dating manuals, T-shirts, tourism and therapy.

Congratulations, Susannah! 

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Pride and Prejudice was first published 200 years ago on January 28th 1813. I wondered what Lizzy might be thinking as she started a new year – and so I wrote a little poem! I hope you enjoy it.

Garlands of ferns mist the frosted pane,
As Lizzy peers out to see the icy lane,
Drifts of snow swathe the fields in white,
A New Year’s early start by candlelight.
Lizzy hears the laughter as Jane slumbers on,
Kitty and Lydia are up, eager to be gone.
Off to join the revellers sledging in the snow,
Whilst Mary shuns the cold, refusing to go.
Jane is going to London for a holiday treat,
To aunt and uncle Gardiner in Gracechurch Street.
Lizzy hopes Mr Bingley will call on Jane there,
Together she thinks they make a perfect pair.
Not so much perfection as an arrangement of a kind,
Lizzy trusts her friend Charlotte may soon find
The happiness she hopes for in heavenly wedded bliss,
And the will to pucker up for Mr Collins’ kiss!
But, what will the year bring for our precious girl?
She, whose fine eyes match every nut-brown curl.
Mr Wickham’s charms seem to be fading fast,
Elizabeth sees his preference for another at last.
Will she seek solace in mountains and rocks?
Or in muslin and ribbon, new gowns and fresh frocks?
Perhaps she’ll be won over by a gentleman true
Who will gain her heart so she’ll pledge ‘I do’!
Lizzy doesn’t know it yet, but Reader, we do,
Our beloved Mr Darcy will soon be coming into view.
Pride and Prejudice will be turned round about,
And love will triumph over mistrust and doubt.
The silence of the morning breaks as Meryton springs to life
Mr Bennet is home with the post and greets his wife.
Boisterous boys and red-caped girls skate on the frozen lake
As toast and tea to break their fast the Bennet family take.
Slender tracery on stained-glass trees standing in a row
Frame the blackwork hills and blazing cottages below.
A picture of the countryside, New Year dress’d
Jane Austen’s English landscape, seen at its best.
Happy New Year to you all!
Jane Odiwe

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Pulteney Bridge, Bath

Happy New Year – Thank you all so much for making my 2012 so memorable with all your wonderful support for my books, your kind emails and letters. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish you all a very prosperous and happy time throughout 2013!

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