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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Seducing Jane Austen by Peter M. Bollington is a dramatic comedy novel revolving around the life of the trailblazing English female novelist when she lived in a large cottage in the village of Chawton, with her mother and sister, Cassandra, in 1814. Life at Chawton is generally quite peaceful until the handsome Johannis Whitesides takes up residence at The Boar's Head Arms with the announced intention of looking for a wife. Not just any wife; actually, he is there to seduce the enigmatic author, Jane Austen. The task is not that simple though, since her response to the attention is sometimes positive, most of the time perplexing. And then there is the ardent rival, Viscount Fox-Smith, Johannis Whitesides' own shady past, and the unwanted attention of the enterprising Mrs. Juliet Merryweather.
Peter M. Bollington's caustic wit strikes again and this time it comes in the form of the hilarious novel, Seducing Jane Austen. Imagine a quiet village in 19th century England where a mysterious and handsome young man openly tries to seduce the beautiful and talented author. Then throw in a number of very interesting characters and what we have is a delightfully entertaining tapestry of humorous tensions that somehow fall into their right places at the end. Peter Bollington's humour mimics that of Jane Austen's in that it emanates from simplicity, not from superiority, and it does highlight the 19th century woman's traditional dependence on marriage to gain social prominence and financial security. Combining reverence and ridicule and a healthy dose of comic imagination, Seducing Jane Austen by Peter Bollington surreptitiously reconciles the author's satirical bias with his sense of what is right and good.