Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden

Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden : A Novel with Pictures

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Eccentric Fran wants a second chance. Thanks to her intimacy with Jane Austen, and Shelley, she finds one.
Jane Austen is such a presence in Fran's life that she seems to share her cottage and garden, becoming an imaginary friend.
Fran's conversations with Jane Austen guide and chide her - but Fran is ready for change. An encounter with a long-standing friend, and a new one, a writer, lead to something new. The three women unite in their love of books and in a quest for the idealist poet Shelley at two pivotal moments: in Wales and Venice. His yearning for utopian communities and visionary power lead them to interrogate their past relationships, literature, motherhood, death, feminism, the resurgence of childhood memory in old age, the tensions between generations. Despite the appeal of solitude, they open themselves to different ways of living outside partnership and family. Jane Austen has plenty of comments to offer.
This "coming of old age" novel is a (light) meditation on age, literature, friendship, hope, and the joy of new opportunities.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 25.4mm | 294.84g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 45 black and white illustrations
  • 1909572276
  • 9781909572270
  • 8,943

Review quote

"A beautiful book - a true treat and gift. Todd gives us an allusive dialogue of the living in vivid conversation with the illustrious dead. The voices of her learned, witty, aging twenty-first-century characters-like present-day Mrs. Dalloways going about their business in provocative daily routines-bring new life to the great authors of the past. This is a beautiful, moving novel of playful experimentation, gorgeous image, and brilliantly irreverent juxtaposition." Devoney Looser, Professor of English, Arizona State, author of The Making of Jane Austen.
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About Janet Todd

Janet Todd (Don't You Know There's a War On?. Jane Austen's Sanditon, Radiation Diaries, Aphra Behn: A Secret Life, A Man of Genius, Mary Wollstonecraft), a founding feminist, is a former president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Born in Wales, she grew up in Britain, Bermuda and Ceylon/Sri Lanka and worked in Ghana, Puerto Rico, India, the US, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Cambridge and Norwich. She lives in Cambridge and Venice.
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