This novel was written in 1918 and is the first fan novel of Jane Austen’s work. It combines almost all of Jane Austen’s characters. Brinton tried her best to emulate Jane Austen’s writing style and common Austen traits to the plot such as romance between people of different classes, misunderstandings that separate the pair, balls and decorum.
The main character is Georgiana Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. She was the sister of Mr Darcy and was one of the minor characters. Georgiana is described as shy, timid and kind hearted. She doesn’t have much confidence but overcomes her timidness when there is a friend in need. The novel starts with the breaking of her engagement with her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam when they realise that they both don’t want to be married to each other just wanted to please their families.
Cousins use to marry all the time in the past but Georgiana never felt any romantic love for Colonel Fitzwilliam. The story follows Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam as they fall in love with other people from the Jane Austen world. There is also a subplot with Kitty Bennet who is also from Pride and Prejudice and is the sister in law to Georgiana.
I found it a little hard recognising all the Jane Austen characters that made an appearance in this novel; especially the women as they were all referred to by their married names. For example, Emma Woodhouse was now Mrs Knightley. I have read all the Jane Austen books but I had to do a double take on some characters particularly if they were minor characters in the Jane Austen novels.
I felt that the story was too cluttered with all the characters making their cameo appearances and Georgiana did a lot of travelling just so that she could meet everyone. I think Brinton did a good job capturing the spirit of the Jane Austen characters. She also makes an admirable attempt at capturing Austen’s writing style but it’s not quite the same. There’s only one Jane Austen after all.
I think this book is a good easy read. I think that the mindset that you need to have when you read a fan written book. It’s easy to criticise the direction that the author may take but just treat it for what it is which is something fun rather than butchering a classic.