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