Blog Tour: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel by a Gentleman Volume I by Collins Hemingway: A Book Review
The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel by a Gentleman Volume I by Collins Hemingway
Publication Date: June 20, 2015
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Austen, single and seemingly comfortable in the role of clergyman’s daughter and aspiring writer in the early 1800s, tells friends and family to hold out for true affection in any prospective relationship. Everybody, she says, has a right to marry once in their lives for love.
But when, after a series of disappointing relationships, the prospect of true love arrives for her, will she have the courage to act? The Marriage of Miss Jane AUsten re-imagines the life of England’s archetypal female by exploring what might have happened if she had ever married. It shows how a meaningful, caring relationship would have changed her as a person and a writer.
It also takes her beyond England’s tranquil country villages and plunges her info what the Regency era was really about: great explorations and scientific advances, political foment, and an unceasing, bloody war.
In such times, can love—can marriage—triumph?
My Review: We all know that Jane Austen was never married. However, what would it have been like if Jane Austen had fallen in love and married? The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen reimagines how Jane Austen would have changed had she been married. Jane Austen takes a disliking to her childhood friend, Ashton, because he has grown up to be pompous and arrogant. She doesn’t believe that he is capable of winning her heart. However, through a series of events, Jane realizes that Ashton may be the person who completely understands her and may be worthy of her love.
Because there are so many known facts about Jane Austen’s life, I had a hard time believing that this character was Jane Austen. There were a few mannerisms that did not seem to match with the historical Jane. One example is I highly doubt that Jane would go up in an air balloon with a gentleman without a proper chaperone. Therefore, in order to fully enjoy this book I had to picture her as a fictional character rather than Jane Austen herself. To be honest, I never truly understood Jane. Jane is smart and observant. However, she can be impulsive at times. She seemed to change her mind a lot after she makes a decision. Therefore, Jane is not a character that I thought was developed to her full potential.
The Marriage of Jane Austen started off great, then by the second part of the book it started to drag. This is because it is written in a series of letters, and it didn’t capture the emotions of the characters. Because this is such an integral part of the book, it did not translate the story to the page. This is the part where Jane Austen falls in love with Ashton. However, it never shows why she starts to fall in love with him. What was it about Ashton that she loved about him? It was never fully explained. Thus, by the end, I was still unsure why Ashton was still the one for Jane. Therefore, the relationship between Jane and Ashton was very undeveloped and forced.
Overall, this book is about friendship, second chances, and love. The characters were a bit flat. The novel could have been shortened and edited. There were a lot of heavy details about politics, philosophy, science, and religion that could have been toned down. The novel had a great idea, but did not fulfill its potential. Still, it was a very sweet love story. There were moments in the book that reminded me Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. It did make me want to read the sequel to see how Jane Austen would grow as a writer once she was a married woman. Therefore, this novel is definitely worth a read for Janeites.
Praise“What if Austen, who penned so many classic love stories, found her own romantic match? Ashton Dennis fits right into the Austen universe, while this Jane remains true to life, an intelligent and determined young woman. The writing is Austen-ian, and Hemingway has a talent for witty banter and wry observations that would make Elizabeth Bennet proud. An enjoyable first novel in an imaginative, well-researched series.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A skillful portrayal of a … literary icon takes this historical romance on an imaginative journey of the soul. … Insight and intuition, along with meticulous research, have created a believable version of her character in this tender story of Ashton and Jane. … Excellent character development enhances the plausibility of the scenario. Background, motivation, eccentricity—everything that constitutes a personality allow these fascinating people to step off the pages in lifelike form.” —Julia Ann Charpentier, Foreword CLARION Reviews, 4 stars
“All readers of Jane Austen wonder what Jane’s life might have been like had she married, or had money. The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen explores these intriguing possibilities. It also depicts Austen in a rapidly changing world, connecting her to important aspects of the era-war, slavery, indistralization, and new modes of travel. Heminghway’s book raises many ‘what if’s’ in his thoughtful and thought-provoking portrayal of Jane Austen falling in love.” -Susannah Fullerton, author of A Dance with Jane Austen and Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
“[An] engaging and remarkably convincing romance. … Wry, observant, laconic—much like Jane Austen herself, without ever dipping into pastiche or mimicry. … Hemingway, with the lightest touch, builds up a thoroughly convincing alternative history for Jane. … [A] thoughtful re-imagining of Austen’s love life.” —Joceline Bury, Jane Austen’s Regency World
About the Author
Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people’s lives and everything that makes tThe hem complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity.
As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world’s thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader.
Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism.
Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus.
Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon.
For more information please visit Collins Hemingway's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
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