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By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's Englandby Amanda Elyot
Synopses & Reviews
A tale of time travel, true love, and Jane Austen.
New York actress C.J. Welles, a die-hard Jane Austen fan, is on the verge of landing her dream role: portraying her idol in a Broadway play. But during her final audition, she is mysteriously transported to Bath, England, in the year 1801. And Georgian England, with its rigid and unforgiving social structure and limited hygienic facilities, is not quite the picturesque costume drama C.J. had always imagined.
Just as she wishes she could click her heels together and return to Manhattan, C.J. meets the delightfully eccentric Lady Dalrymple, a widowed countess who takes C.J. into her home, introducing her as a poor relation to Georgian society — including the dashing Earl of Darlington and his cousin, Jane Austen!
When a crisis develops, C.J. — in a race against time — becomes torn between two centuries. An attempt to return to her own era might mean forfeiting her blossoming romance with the irresistible Darlington and her growing friendship with Jane Austen, but it's a risk she must take. And in the midst of this remarkable series of events, C.J. discovers something even more startling — a secret from her own past that may explain how she wound up in Bath in the first place.
"Offering a picturesque dose of time travel, romance and the atmosphere of 19th-century England, Elyot follows actress C.J. Welles as she is mysteriously transported between present-day Manhattan and Bath of 1801. After an unfortunate stint as 'lady's companion' to the abusive Lady Eloisa Wickham, C.J.'s luck arrives in the form of Lady Dalrymple, a progressive thinker who opens her home and her purse to C.J., believing she is her long-lost niece. Despite the pleasures of her adventures in history, which include steamy romance with the dashing Lord Darlington and friendship with Lady Dalrymple's cousin Jane Austen, C.J. must search for the way back to Greenwich Village, where she's auditioning for the role of Jane Austen in a modern-day play. Although she has to struggle to get a grasp on the customs and expectations of the day, C.J. is swiftly — and somewhat unbelievably — accepted as a British woman of the times. Occasionally, Elyot (pseudonymous author of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy and published elsewhere as Leslie Carroll) indulges in verbosity that thickens and slows the story, but there are plenty of upper-crust scandals and snobbery to keep anglophiles engaged." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"For all of us who have always wanted to wake up one day in a world of balls and beaux...but wondered how well we would blend in. Teeming with period detail, By a Lady provides a sly peek into Austen's England through the eyes of a thoroughly modern heroine." Lauren Willig, author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and The Masque of the Black Tulip
"Bending rules of sense as well as time, Elyot fools no one but appears to enjoy herself mightily, depicting Austen as a keen shopper....True aficionados will despair, but fans of lighthearted mystery/romantic/historical fantasies may be amused." Kirkus Reviews
"Diana Gabaldon readers, as well as fans of Elizabeth Aston and Linda Berdoll who have continued the adventures of Austen's Darcy clan, will enjoy this book." Library Journal
"Richly textured and carefully researched, By a Lady is a bright and bawdy romp that combines nitty-gritty life in 1801 Britain with the wit of the real Jane Austen. Amanda Elyot brings the past alive in this fresh and wickedly clever tale." Mary Jo Putney, author of Stolen Magic
In this comic, romantic time-travel romp, a young woman fascinated by the life and work of Jane Austen finds herself mysteriously transported back to the author's beloved city of Bath in 1801.
About the Author
Amanda Elyot is a professional actress and the author of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy. She lives in New York City.
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