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BOOK REVIEW: A couple — and a country — at war

Published on January 20, 2018 3:00AM

Cover photo courtesy of Collins Hemingway.

Cover photo courtesy of Collins Hemingway.

Collins Hemingway’s trilogy of the missing years of British author Jane Austen’s life, an exploration of what might have happened if the famous writer had married, comes to its tragic conclusion in Volume III.

Volume I of “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen” details the wooing of the strong-willed, intellectually inclined but impoverished daughter of a clergyman by neighbor Ashton Dennis. Volume II explores not only the first 14 months of their marriage and the birth of a child, but also clashes with former friends now intent on ruining the couple.

As Volume III opens, all is not well with baby George. A fundamental disagreement about his treatment has shattering consequences for the family, and the rift created threatens to destroy them. Can a war with France create an unlikely path to forgiveness and healing? Or will old enemies return to finish what they started?

Hemingway twines the real tumult of the early 1800s in England with the fictional chaos of Austen’s life, creating a seamless narrative and a plausible explanation for her destruction of all references to what should have been the best years of her life.

“The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: Volume III,” written and published by Collins Hemingway, © 2017.


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