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By Jill Pitkeathley

ISBN-10: 0061875988

ISBN-13: 9780061875984

In Dearest Cousin Jane, a fascinating new novel that attracts on ancient truth, Jill Pitkeathley paints a luminous portrait of the true-life cousin of a literary legend—from her flirtatious more youthful years to her profound impact on one of many world's such a lot loved authors. Free-spirited and seductive—outrageous, precocious, and a well known flirt—Countess Eliza de Feuillide has an unquenchable thirst for all times and a glamorous air that captivates all people round her. Rumored to were born of a mad love affair among her mom and the good Warren Hastings of the East India corporation, Eliza sees the realm as her playground—filled with grand galas, theater, and romance—and she is going to enable not anything carry her down. Even tragedy can't dim her enthusiasm. wasting her purely baby at an early age and widowed while her husband—the speeding French count number Jean de Feuillide—is claimed through Madame l. a. Guillotine throughout the darkish days of the Reign of Terror, Eliza is set to stay indomitable, unpredictable, and unfettered. And it truly is this passionate spirit that she brings to an easy English nation parsonage to steer the lifestyles, the paintings, and the realm of her unsuspecting cousin . . . a quiet and unassuming younger author named Jane Austen.

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Mr Austen,’ replied my mother, ‘you may be a clergyman well versed in the sins of your parishioners, but you are innocent of the wily ways of a woman like her. Why, she has been headstrong and spoiled since the time we first knew her and that racketing life she has led in France has not made her conform to our simple country ways. I tell you both James and Henry are in a fair way to having their heads turned and it is not a good example either to our girls. ’ my mother persisted. ’ My mother had never quite become used to the idea of the niece she had always known as Betsy being called Eliza, as she suddenly announced she wished to be known when she was fifteen years old, and found it even more difficult to refer to her as Madame la Comtesse, as she should rightfully be known since she became the wife of the Comte de Feuillide three years ago.

The Bombay Castle was known as a fast modern ship, one of the best owned by the East India Company and my uncle Francis, who had arranged my passage, had implied that it would be richly furnished and spacious. It was far from that, being very cramped and small and of course the ladies were to share cabins. I was fortunate to be placed in one with only two beds—or bunks as I learned to call them—while some had four in a very small space. There was a great deal of wood about the boat also so it was no wonder we had heard tales of fires aboard that caused the poor passengers to take to the lifeboats, awaiting rescue that sometimes never came.

Anyway, with all these connections and occupation I was not very pleased at the idea of going to live in a strange country, even though I knew it had been an urgent wish of my father’s that I should learn the French language and also the refinements of French society. ‘I am tired of London, my dear, and do not feel quite at home here’ was my mother’s explanation. ’ I asked. ’ I had guessed before that my mother somehow had not the right position in society to please her. We lived a proper life, but our level was not right.

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Dearest Cousin Jane by Jill Pitkeathley

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