Godmersham Park

Godmersham Park : A Novel of the Austen Family

4.04 (27 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.04 (27 ratings by Goodreads)
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A richly imagined novel inspired by the true story of Anne Sharp, a governess who became very close with Jane Austen and her family by the #1 International bestselling-author of Miss Austen.

On January 21, 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At thirty-one years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge--twelve-year-old Fanny Austen--Anne's arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the "upstairs" and "downstairs" members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr. Edward Austen's family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together, and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming, and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent, mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane's brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess. And from now on, Anne's days at Godmersham Park are numbered.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 150 x 228 x 36mm | 576g
  • English
  • 1639362584
  • 9781639362585

Review quote

"Hornby (Miss Austen, 2020) continues her fictional dramatization of the Austen family. In 1804, unmarried and with little outside support, Anne Sharp accepts the position of governess for the Austen family at Godmersham Park in Kent. Fanny, her charge, is easy to care for, her charming uncle Henry is a challenge, but Anne's favorite Austen by far was Fanny's Aunt Jane. As they discover their similar experiences and opinions, a friendship begins and grows deeper with each letter they exchange. Everything is seen through Anne's viewpoint, how she views herself and others, how tenuous her living situation is, and how limited her options are, and soon it becomes impossible not to feel as if you're listening to the confidences of a dear friend. Based on actual individuals, all of Hornby's characters are engaging, and the small details of their daily lives build a colorful picture of this time and place. Enjoying the thoughtful treasures and quiet moments encourages a leisurely reading pace, while the Author's Note is chock-full of fabulous true tidbits. Janites, fans of the Brontë sisters, and readers of immersive historical fiction will savor every moment."--Stacey Hayman "Booklist, starred review"
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About Gill Hornby

Gill Hornby is the author of the novels Miss Austen, The Hive, and All Together Now, as well as The Story of Jane Austen, a biography of Austen for young readers. She lives in Kintbury, England, with her husband and their four children.
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Rating details

27 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 19% (5)
4 67% (18)
3 15% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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