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Showing posts from July, 2011

Winner announced!

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret - I really enjoyed hearing about your ideas. The name drawn from the hat was:                                                                           Shelly Congratulations, I hope you enjoy reading all about Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, and Georgiana!

Mr. Darcy's Secret: Chapter One, and a Giveaway!

Here in England, we are enjoying (I'm not sure that is quite the word I want) a spell of miserable weather, grey skies, and rainy days. It's actually feeling rather cold today, and so for no other reason other than trying to bring a little cheer on a gloomy day, I thought I'd post an extract from Mr. Darcy's Secret, which I hope you'll enjoy! Here is chapter one of my latest published novel. I'm also offering a copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret - all you have to do is either leave a comment below, or send one to me here   telling me what you'd like to read about next in an Austen-inspired novel! I'll put the names in a hat and the winner's name will be drawn next Monday, 25th July, 2011. With little exception, the anticipation of a long-awaited and desirous event will always give as much if not more pleasure than the diversion itself. Moreover, it is a certain truth that however gratifying such an occasion may prove to be, it will not necessarily

Jane Austen's Watsons manuscript...SOLD!!!!

Jane Austen's manuscript went on sale yesterday sold for    £993,250 ($1.6m) yesterday in London - three times more than expected. There's a  clip from the BBC  which makes fascinating viewing! Oxford University’s Bodleian Library later said it had bought the Austen manuscript and it would go on display this year. Here's another  clip  from the BBC with Sotheby's Gabriel Heaton talking about The Watsons - enjoy!

Austenesque Extravaganza

Meredith Esparza from the wonderful Austenesque Reviews has popped over to tell us all about the Austenesque Extravaganza she is holding in August! I'm thrilled to bits because I've been asked to participate, and there will be copies of Mr. Darcy's Secret to be won. I'm looking forward to joining in the fun. Over to you, Meredith!  Austenesque Extravaganza Hello dear readers, it's time to share with you all the fun and festivities planned for  AUSTENESQUE EXTRAVAGANZA!    Austenesque Extravaganza is a month-long celebration of Austenesque novels and authors!  Each day of the week has it's own special event.  Are you curious to know what events you can look forward to?? Here they are, my friends! SOCIABLE SUNDAY  - This event takes place on Twitter and will consist of a Twitter Party with several Austenesque Authors.  Here's your chance to chat live with your favorite Austenesque Author, ask them your questions, and learn more about their writing!   (

The Rice Portrait Provenance by Mrs. Henry Rice - Edward Rice 1899-1973, and Henry Rice 1928-2010

Edward Rice As we come to the close of this fascinating history of the Rice Portrait provenance, I'd like to tell you about a new website , which gives more detail and information about the painting. The Rice Portrait of Jane Austen  is to be found at, and will cover every aspect of the portrait's history from its provenance to concerns  and addresses the Mary Anne Campion attribution,  amongst other matters. It is a work in progress, and more pages are being added daily! And now, I'd like to thank Mrs. Rice for joining us again to tell us about the tenth owner, Edward Rice, and poignantly, about her late husband, Henry Rice, the eleventh owner of the portrait. Edward Rice 1899-1973 Edward Rice inherited the portrait as the tenth owner on his father’s death in 1943. He married a great heiress, Lord Curzon of Kedleston’s stepdaughter, Marcella Duggan, and built a ballroom onto Dane Court, which was large, echoing, and rather draughty wh

The Rice Portrait Provenance by Mrs. Henry Rice - Lady Northbourne, née Gwenlian Rice 1871-1952, and Henry Edward Harcourt Rice 1864-1943

 Lady Northbourne, n é e Gwenlian Rice 1871-1952 Jane Austen, the Rice Portrait Lady Northbourne, the eighth owner of the portrait gave the painting back to the main branch of the family, Henry Rice 1864-1943, her first cousin. Her father, Sir Ernest had considered giving it to the National Portrait Gallery, but eventually decided his cousin should have it, as he still lived in the large house, Dane Court, which had been bought by Edward Royd Rice and Elizabeth Austen on their marriage. (The then Henry Rice had owned a fast ship, the East Indiaman ‘Dutton’, which made three trips to India collecting a fortune in tea, silks, and spices.) He had married ‘The Heiress of Dover’, Sarah Sampson, some say for a bet, and he was also known affectionately as ‘The Pirate’, again probably quite true! (She is mentioned in Jane Austen’s letters, as is their reprobate eldest son Henry, whose mother constantly paid his large debts.) Gwenlian Northbourne stipulated that Jane should no longer hang o

The Rice Portrait Provenance by Mrs. Henry Rice - The Rev. John Morland Rice, 1823-1897, and Admiral Sir Ernest Rice, 1840-1927

Mrs. Henry Rice continues the fascinating history of the Rice portrait with the Rev. John Morland Rice, and Admiral Sir Ernest Rice. Thank you for joining us again! Morland Rice, the sixth owner of the portrait was the fourth son of Elizabeth Austen and Edward Royd Rice, who must have been devoted, producing fifteen children in all. He was called Morland after his mother's 'dear friend from girlhood' Margaretta Morland, and received the portrait in 1883. He wrote to various members of the family about it, and was told by the elderly family historian Miss Fanny Caroline Lefroy (whose mother had known Jane Austen) that she 'knew before of the portrait in your posession, and but for one or two difficulties would have no doubt about its authenticity'. She also believed that 'the date on your picture is (she thinks) 1788 or 9, making her (Jane) not  14.' She was correct, we have discovered a date on the back of Jane's canvas of 1788, making her in that year