Monday, November 23, 2015

The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation and Mr Darcy!

A year ago I wrote a book called Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar - a novella written to celebrate my love of Jane Austen and her home at Chawton in Hampshire. I really loved writing this book - I've always loved visiting Jane Austen's House in Chawton, as well as Chawton Great House where her brother Edward lived, and wanted to include those fabulous settings in a book inspired by Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. Last year, I had the great privilege of meeting Caroline Knight, a fifth great-niece of Jane Austen who told me of her passionate ideas to launch a charity in Jane Austen's name and which she has now successfully launched as The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.

I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon being shown round Chawton House where Caroline grew up, and it is a day of lovely memories I will always treasure. It was extraordinary to hear about the history of the house through the eyes of someone who'd lived there, and to hear Caroline's own tales of a beloved house. 

I hope you'll be able to help me support the wonderful work of the charity by making your own donations to the charity or by buying a Kindle or paperback copy of Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar, available on Amazon (internationally). 100% of the profits on the sale of the new book will be going to help fund projects of The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation, along with Jane Austen products in my Zazzle shop. Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar is being launched today with a new cover and an updated interior - I hope you like the new cover! 

It's a magical tale, about a girl who visits Jane Austen's house only to be drawn into the world of her favourite characters from Pride and Prejudice when she opens the doors of an enchanted advent calendar. When she meets Jane Austen who asks for her help with the plot of a book that reminds her very much of her favourite novel, Lizzy is delighted to help, though nothing seems to be quite as it should be. As she finds herself increasingly drawn into an alternate reality, Lizzy discovers not only is Mr Darcy missing from the plot, but also that Jane Austen has never heard of him. All Lizzy can hope is that she can help to get the story and her own complicated love life back on track before Christmas is over, and bring everything to a happy resolution in Jane Austen's imaginary world!

If you'd like to read Chapter One, you can find it here! I hope you'll join me in helping to support the very worthwhile work of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. I feel very privileged to have been asked to be an ambassador alongside Sophie Andrews, aka Laughing with Lizzie, Simon Langton, Director of the 1995 BBC adaptation of 'Pride & Prejudice' and Amanda Jacobs, composer and playwright





8 comments:

Vee said...

What a wonderful story and the perfect ambassador to help promote The Jane Austen Literary Foundation. I will enjoy contributing to this wonderful cause. Jane Austen is a big part of my life.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Vee for all your very kind support! I've been wanting to help support a charity, and I'm so happy to be involved with it.

Mrs Darcy said...

What a fantastic thing to do. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to be part of this charity, isn't it? A fantastic cause, run by a fantastic woman in honour of a fantastic author! What could be more perfect?

Jane Odiwe said...

It is wonderful, Mrs Darcy! I hope I can help support the marvellous work being done by Caroline Knight and her charity.

Vee said...

My pleasure Jane. Wishing you Caroline and the foundation every success x

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Vee!

Anji said...

I loved reading Mr. Darcy's Christmas Calendar last year, Jane. I even managed to do it at one chapter a day! I'll be reading it again this year but probably at a faster rate this time.

Many congratulations on becoming an Ambassador for the Jane Austen Literary Foundation. It's a wonderful cause, as Vee says, and I hope to be a regular contributor to it.



Jane Odiwe said...

Anji, thank you so much for your kind words on everything-the charity will be thrilled to have your support and it's so lovely to hear you enjoyed the book.