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  • By David Duncombe
    Oct 15, 2009
    ""Jane Austen Out of the Blue" Donald Measham" This is a witty and erudite novel, steeped in the Austen tradition and helping to satisfy the reader's natural curiosity about the lives of the characters after the end of the books in which they appeared. It is entertaining on its own merit, bringing as it does a more modern psychology to the treatment of the characters. Much more enjoyable than a mere sequel.
  • By Ulf Goebel
    Feb 15, 2007
    A novel, yes, that's what this is, sui generis, a comic tour de force set in the mind of Jane Austen during the last months of her life, after her final illness has forced her to stop writing. She is dying of Addison's disease, as tradition has it, though what killed her may actually have been lymphoma. She leaves a fragment of twelve chapters that has come to be known as "Sanditon" from its setting, the fictional village on the English Channel that is being developed (through a tangle of financial and emotional speculation) as a bathing place and health resort, "a community dependent on invalidism and hypochondria," featuring an enterprising quack touting bottled seawater as the ultimate elixir. Salt is her obsession, bleeding it into her bedclothes as she is, mentally seeking it by the sea. Quite in Austen's mock-heroic vein, Donald Measham breaks into her mind and renders what he finds there in a multi-layered narrative that not only finishes Austen's unfinished... More > novel but rounds off her entire literary heritage in a rousing finale, taking up and working out her themes, keeping what order he can among her frequently unruly characters. He makes her heroine, Charlotte Heywood, who refuses to be a heroine, his intermittent narrator, and then confronts her with her creator in his windup. With Charlotte in tow, Donald Measham turns himself into a veritable Duke of Dark Corners in this comedy. Through many twists and turns of the plot, with characters from all of Austen's major novels gathered at the "watering place" in question, ever again in danger of missing their main chance, he brings them all safely into their own in the end, some suitably dead, others as suitably married -- new love found, old love recovered -- and in possession of fortunes adequate to their purposes. There is much fun here, with as many surprises, as many enigmatic clues, as in a detective novel. Romantic figures like Richardson's Lovelace and Byron's Giaour get their comeuppance in the would-be seducer Sir Edward Denham they've inspired, whose "heroism" is reduced in the end to a domestic and manageable scale, as is true of other might-have-been heroes and heroines. "Far better," Charlotte muses, "to be one of those sensible, managing ladies who help the heroine on her way..." Artful stuff, the whole of this narrative coming "out of the blue," and every bit as plausible as anything dreamed up by the post-modern literary mind.< Less
  • By Caitlin Keeton
    Nov 20, 2006
    "Jane Austen Out of the Blue by Donald Measham" In amongst the pile of chick lit which I took on holiday this summer was ‘Jane Austen Out of the Blue’ by Donald Measham. So enjoyable was this novel that on my return to England I found myself immediately scanning my book shelves to re-read, twenty years on, ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Sense & Sensibility’. Donald Measham completes the dying Jane Austen’s final novel in her style. In the seaside town of Sanditon characters from Austen’s previous novels meet and interact, along with a cast of new. From the book’s delicious irony, ‘Isabella who enjoyed the same delicate health as had enabled her father to outlive his spouse by two decades was eager to try the remedy herself’; to its poetic descriptions: ‘Deep water. Salt, spray, mist, liquid smoke, seething, bursting star, fan shape, grey deluges, spires of water, plumes, coronets of seaweed, rise and release of waters’; to its thriller-type twists (I won’t give away the story) as... More > for example when the Last Will and Testament of Lady Denham is discovered; to its amusing and oh so acute observations, such as when Edward Denham insists on reading poetry out loud whilst walking with his lady friend along a cliff edge: ‘She could not … repress anxieties for the safety of his footing; he glancing at the book to be sure of his lines, or gazing into Clara’s eyes’, ‘Jane Austen Out of the Blue’ especially coming – as indeed it did – “out of the blue” fulfilled me so much more than my normal chick lit fix: an unusually absorbing, relaxing, interesting and wholly entertaining read.< Less
  • By Kenneth Varty
    Nov 19, 2006
    "Jane Austen out of the blue" The imagery, so often really memorable, telling, entertaining, is linked to the humour, delightful humour, permeating much of the novel. Several of the characters are brought vividly to life. I was always wanting to know what would happen one character would respond to the statements, assertions, hesitations, questions of another. This is a complex, beautifully-written, entertaining, surprising and intriguing novel.
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Product Details

Donald Measham
September 6, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.88 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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