Jane Odiwe Joins Us from the Jane Austen Festival in Bath
Good morning, dear readers!
Normally I would say how honoured I am to have a fellow Austen Author join me for coffee - or perhaps in this case I should say tea! And better make mine green because I am so envious of my guest this morning since she is at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England, and I'm lucky if I get a chance to take a bath!
I am teasing, of course. Not about my baths, but I truly am honoured that Jane Odiwe is here to share her experiences with us. PLUS she has a new novel - Project Darcy - coming out soon! That will at least help salve the sting. Someday I know I will return to the U.K. - I hope sooner rather than later - and perhaps surprise Jane by appearing on her doorstep! (I mean, if she is going to have the audacity to live in England, what does she expect?) In the meantime, I will get a cup of tea and some sticky toffee pudding and enjoy the festival vicariously.
Thank you so much, Colette, for inviting me to your blog today. I’m currently in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival and having a fantastic time. Today I had a terrifying and exhilarating time being part of the Pride and Prejudice reading that took place in Bath Library. It’s continuing all week so if you’re near Bath it’s a free event, and there’s nothing as good as hearing this novel read out loud.
I don’t think until I arrived at the venue that I’d fully comprehended what I’d let myself in for. Can you imagine having to follow the readings of such famous actors as Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham, P&P 1995) Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy) and Maggie Ollerenshaw (He knew he was right)? I read chapters five and nine, which have a lot of Mrs Bennet in them so I was very lucky to have such funny material. When the audience were polite enough to laugh it really helped to put me at my ease even though I knew my legs were shaking and my heart was thumping. You realise when you hear the book being read, the enjoyment Jane Austen must have had when she read the book aloud to her sister and family. I remember reading once that she wasn’t entirely happy on one occasion with the way her mother was reading, and I should think Jane must have had strong views on how the characters should sound. Oh, that we could hear Jane’s rendition!
Tonight, we were treated to another wonderful performance from Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe – they performed duologues from all of Jane’s books – I couldn’t say which were my favourite though their Darcy and Elizabeth one was fantastic. They were so very
charming and both looked a picture against the backdrop of the portrait room in the Holburne Museum, busily signing autographs to a huge line of waiting fans when I left.
It’s been such a treat to meet old friends and new – I’m going to be here for a little longer whilst I’m finishing the last edits on my upcoming novel, Project Darcy. I’ve loved writing this book – it’s set in Steventon, Hampshire, London, and Bath – and in two time zones – the present day and in Jane Austen’s youth. Hopefully, it will be out before the end of the year!
It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins the volunteers on an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home with some friends from university. She’s always had a bit of a talent for ‘seeing’ into the past and is not easily disturbed by the ‘shade’ she encounters at the house where the friends are staying. As Ellie travels into the past and sees life through the eyes of Jane Austen, she discovers exactly what happened when Jane danced at the Harwood’s Ball in the snowy winter of 1796 and finds how love inspired her to write Pride and Prejudice. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie finds she has a heartbreaking decision. Should she stay in the past with Mr Darcy's ghost or bravely face the present where both Pride and Prejudice could just influence her destiny?
Jane Odiwe is the author of Searching for Captain Wentworth, Mr. Darcy’s Secret, Willoughby’s Return, Lydia Bennet’s Story, and Effusions of Fancy. She lives with her husband, three children, and two cats, dividing her time between North London, and Bath, England.