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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