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Jane Austen Mysteries #0001: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery

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Jane Austen Mysteries #0001: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery Cover

ISBN13: 9780553575934
ISBN10: 0553575937
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

1. Jane Austen was born in 1775, on the eve of Englands war with the American colonies, and died in 1817, two years after Napoleons defeat at Waterloo. Her life was in many ways defined by warfare. How might this have shaped Austens attitudes toward men? Toward womens traditional roles?

2. In Barrons novels, Jane Austen is regarded as a gentlewoman-a person of good birth and social standing-who unfortunately has no money. Her desire to write novels is partly motivated by a desire for financial independence and a life beyond the narrow domestic roles accorded to women in her day. Is this struggle different today?

3. The fictional Jane of this mystery series walks a fine line between knowledge of the broader world and its evils-murder, adultery, jealous, scheming, avarice, political treason-and a sharp awareness that a lady of her period was expected to know nothing of any of them. Is Jane a hypocrite? Is she unusual in her knowledge of the world? How does her compromise between experience and the limits of social convention surface in her fiction?

4. Lord Harold Trowbridge holds an immense attraction for Jane in these novels. What does he represent in her life-the desire for power? For deep emotional and physical experience? The desire to save him from himself? Or merely Janes yearning to be known for who she truly is? Is Jane more honest with Lord Harold that with others in her life?

5. Jane lavishes affection on her elder sister Cassandra. Is Cassandra worthy of it?

6. Janes involvement in the lives of others suggests the possibility that she a) an insufferable busybody; b) has too much time on her hands; or c) is extraordinarily perceptive about human nature-which allows her to map the motivations behind (occasionally criminal) actions. Discuss. Is Jane a perceptive person? Is this evident in her novels as well as her detective adventures?

7. In an era when women were expected to marry and have children, Jane did neither-publishing books instead. Was she a rebel? How did she make the best of a social fate she neither chose nor controlled? Which qualities make it more or less likely that she would enjoy the challenges of amateur detective?

8. Janes fictional women usually triumph by the power of their wits and the energy of their actions. Does this reflect Janes real life? Is it a hopeful view of existence? Do you think Jane was a content person? An ambitious one? A wise woman or a blind one?

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Cathy Chapman, September 11, 2006 (view all comments by Cathy Chapman)
Stephanie Barron has "discovered" the formerly unknown journals and papers of authoress Jane Austen, and presents them, with her compliments (and occasional explanatory footnotes). It will come as no surprise to Austen fans that Jane was as perceptive and witty in her journals and letters as in her literature, though readers may be somewhat surprised that Jane was also an equally adept sleuth!

First in Barron's wonderful mystery series featuring Jane Austen. A true gem. Jane Austen lives!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553575934
Author:
Barron, Stephanie
Publisher:
Crimeline
Location:
New York :
Subject:
England
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Series
Subject:
Detective and mystery stories
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
Subject:
Mystery & detective
Subject:
Women detectives
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Women sleuths
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Traditional British
Subject:
Women novelists
Subject:
Women novelists, English
Subject:
Women detectives -- England -- Fiction.
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Jane Austen Mysteries Paperback
Series Volume:
25
Publication Date:
19961231
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
6.91x4.23x1.07 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Jane Austen
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

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