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My Dear Charlotte: With the assistance of Jane Austen's letters [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Hazel Holt , Dr. Jan Fergus
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1. Juli 2009
Hazel Holt has published 19 Mrs. Malory mysteries in the tradition of Barbara Pym and has admirers around the world. My Dear Charlotte is a departure from her other work. It is a novel-in-letters written "with the assistance of Jane Austen's letters." From the Introduction by Jan Fergus: My Dear Charlotte is a great British mystery set in the early 1800s and infused throughout with the actual language and style of Jane Austen, one of the world's great stylists and comic writers. Of course, you don't have to love Austen to love this book. If you enjoy detective novels, you will find here a completely satisfying murder mystery, coupled with a romance (or more than one, in fact). My Dear Charlotte gives you, in addition to mystery and romance, a portrait of the world of the English gentry at around 1815, immediately after the defeat of Napoleon-its manners and its moral certainty. As in Austen, Napoleon is not directly mentioned, but his shadow is there: one brother of the heroine is a sailor and the other a junior diplomat at the Congress of Vienna. It's the social world at home that is central, however, with its balls, visits, courtships, gossip, and of course murder, underlining the tensions and rifts within that apparently civilized society.

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  • Taschenbuch: 202 Seiten
  • Verlag: Coffeetown Press; Auflage: New. (1. Juli 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1603810404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603810401
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,9 x 15,2 x 1,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 542.031 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)


Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Hazel Holt has many devoted fans in the United States and Great Britain as a writer of "cosy" British mysteries; she has published nineteen Mrs. Malory novels at last count. She is also known to admirers of Barbara Pym as the friend and biographer who additionally edited Pym's posthumous works.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable 30. Mai 2013
Von eva__
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
The book was fun to read. The murder mystery was well-developed.
The preface promises that the reader will not be able to spot the excerpts from Jane Austen's letters, but I disagree. Most of the letters talk about the characters in this book, but every once in a while there is an unrelated anecdote. Pretty noticeable!

What I did not like was the ad hoc lovestory at the end. The letter writer did not need to meet anyone, or if she did, it should have been actually developed. As it is now, it is clear that she will get _that_ guy since all the other ones get eliminated, but it is not clear why. He does not seem interesting (or right for her) in his own right. The love story part was somewhat disappointing. But since the focus of the book seems to be on the other story line, this is ok.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen  31 Rezensionen
23 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen So well done you will forget it isn't the Austen sisters you are reading about. 21. Oktober 2009
Von J. Lesley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Reading the description of this book made me interested in reading it. Once I actually held the book in my hands and could see how it was constructed made me even more interested in reading it. I have such admiration for Hazel Holt after finishing this very unusual novel she has written. What an imagination she has, what an innovative approach to the world Jane Austen would have lived in.

First, there should be no mistake on the part of anyone investigating this book. This is not a book about Jane Austen. Instead, this is a book of fiction where portions of letters written by Jane Austen have been inserted into letters written by our letter writer, Elinor Cowper (pronounced Cooper)to her elder sister Charlotte Cowper. The additions from the Austen letters are not notated in any way so it is possible to read this entire book without being certain which portions come directly from Jane Austen. I have never read the Austen letters, but I believe I could spot some of the insertions - in some cases because they did not fit the ongoing narrative completely smoothly.

The book is made up of letters written by Elinor to her sister Charlotte who is, naturally, away from home for the entire length of the novel. They begin as descriptions of everyday common occurrences regarding family, domestic subjects, and friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood in and around Lyme. As time passes there is a death in one of the homes nearby and this turns into a mysterious happening which becomes the focus of all those within the community.

Even though the two sisters are called by different names, the similarities to the life and novels of Jane Austen are strongly represented in this novel. After a while I actually began to see these two women as Jane and Cassandra, even though I knew better. The writing style is very, very well done to remind the reader of the Austen books but the author was able to have Elinor act in ways Jane Austen did not. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Even though it moved slightly slowly to begin with because of establishing the settings and characters, by the time I was halfway through the book I was constantly telling myself that I had time to read just one more letter, then just one more letter again, and then again. There are no chapter breaks in the book, instead you will simply progress from one letter on to the next letter. As a mystery this particular vehicle of the novel written in letters did not allow for quite as much investigation as I would have liked, but it is a satisfactory mystery none the less.

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of the world and life of Jane Austen. I also think it is important to read the Introduction written by Jan Fergus because she explains the insertion of various portions of the Austen letters. Now I'm ready to find and read the Jane Austen letters. I've always known that I should read the letters, this book has made me anxious to read them.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic! 21. September 2009
Von Paul B. - Veröffentlicht auf
My Dear Charlotte is not just another Jane Austen sequel. First of all, it is based on the actual letters that Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra. The letters in My Dear Charlotte quote Austens letters, using them as the foundation for th eplot. What this means is that the novel is a genuine Regency romance. The details about houses, balls, dresses, etc. are not made up but are historically genuine, and many of the perceptions and descriptions are those of Jane Austen herself. Second, it's a murder mystery! The novel really works. It's unique--you won't find another book like it anywhere. I love books like this--the author has truly done something new and important.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Unique and enjoyable! 31. März 2010
Von A reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
It seems as if there has been quite a bit of Jane Austen-related and Jane Austen-inspired writing out there of late, but this clever epistolary novel is really a stand-out. The author has cleverly interspersed bits and pieces from the real correspondence of Jane Austen into this novel of letters from one sister (Elinor) to another (Charlotte) who is away visiting family. One certainly does not have to have read any of Miss Austen's letters to be able to enjoy this book but it is fun to try to pick out the bits put in by Hazel Holt. And I did find the insertions to fit in pretty seamlessly so as not to appear out of place or as an interruption to the narrative.

There is a good amount of Regency period detail included in the letters as well, but it is included conversationally and does not weigh the story down unnecessarily. There are tidbits about fashion, food, manners, literature of the day, etc so anyone with an interest in that time period would probably enjoy this work as well.

The plot itself is a bit of a murder mystery. A prominent lady in the Lyme social circle dies somewhat unexpectedly in spite of being a bit of a hypochondriac. Several characters are introduced who could have a motive for wanting her removed so the local justice of the peace is called upon by the deceased's brother to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. The developments in the case are described to Charlotte by Elinor along with the details of everyday life during the Regency.

I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in Jane Austen, her letters, the Regency, and/or mysteries. It may also inspire those who haven't read her letters to do so.

I also found the painting of the two sisters used for the cover to be a lovely and fitting addition to this very cool book. Happy reading!
15 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Tedious minutiae overwhelms any story 14. April 2012
Von MamaSylvia - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. A much-disliked woman dies unexpectedly and her physician brother suspects foul play.

Set in the Regency England of Jane Austen, the story is told completely in letters from a young woman living in Lyme to her sister Charlotte, who is visiting Bath. Unfortunately, Holt simply does not share Austen's genius at making the minutiae of the sisters' lives not only intriguing but relevant to the story. The first quarter of the book is tedious lead-in and it didn't become any more interesting after the woman's death. I quit a third of the way through the book. Kindle formatting was fine and there were minimal spelling/grammar errors.

I was puzzled as to why there were so many positive reviews of this uninteresting book. It looks like most of the glowing reviews referred to the difficulty of incorporating actual letters of Jane Austen into newly-written material, and I will readily concede that it would have been quite a challenge, technically. But that still doesn't make it readable; these were letters that Austen did NOT intend to be part of a book. Austen herself wrote one book as a series of letters, Lady Susan, which held my attention even though the narrator is thoroughly unlikable. But Austen focused on the storyline in Lady Susan, as Holt did not in this book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Author knew Jane Austen's style 5. Januar 2014
Von SArledge - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This is obviously a romance that lacks the cutting edge of Austen's wit, but it does well with Austen's characters. Everything is wrapped up a little too neatly at the end, which is part of the genre. I'm glad she focused on a minor character that we don't know very well because there were fewer expectations.
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