The Man Who Loved Jane Austen – Book Review


by Sally Smith O’Rourke

ISBN-13: 9780758210388

(Re-Print) Published: January 2009

First Published: April 2006

I was feeling pretty ordinary this week, so decided to self-medicate with a nice romance novel and to kill two birds with one stone, I chose a Jane Austen inspired book for the Everything Austen Challenge.  I’m so glad I picked this book up from the library, it was like soaking in a warm bath and was just what I needed.  Sally Smith O’Rourke has written a lovely, uncomplicated fantasy romance.

Eliza Knight is an artist from New York and is looking to add a standard lamp to her unit decor.  Her shopping trip results, like so many good shopping trips do, with no lamp but her bringing home a beautiful 200 year old antique vanity for her bedroom.   While inspecting some damage on the vanity, she moves the wood backing and two letters fall out.

One letter was sealed but the other was open and reads:

“May 12th 1810.  Dearest Jane, the Captain has found me out.  I am being forced to go into hiding immediately.  But if I am able, I shall still be waiting at the same spot tonight.  Then you will know everything you wish to know. F. Darcy.”

The unopened letter was addressed “Jane Austen – Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Chawton Great House.”

Could the letters be real?  Was Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice a real man?

The letters are found to be authentic, so Eliza is now the owner of, not only two Jane Austen letters but also her bedroom vanity.  Being the owner of these items is not enough for Eliza, she has to discover more about the real Fitzwilliam Darcy.  Why is he a mystery? Why is there no mention of him in history?  Were he and Jane Austen lovers? Why did Jane Austen’s family destroy so many of her personal letters after her death? Eliza determines to find answers to these questions and her life is forever changed by the attempt.

Let this book pamper you and take you on a lovely journey into Jane Austen’s time.  The story moves along at a pleasant pace and I never felt the need to skip ahead.  It is not a book that I would want to pick apart and look at the details too closely.  I simply accepted the characters as presented and was comfortable with the way Jane and Darcy were depicted.  The Man Who Loved Jane Austen is a peaceful book and was just the presciption I needed for my maladies.

Posted on 13 August '09 by , under Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance.

One Comment to “The Man Who Loved Jane Austen – Book Review”

#1 Posted by Heather (15.08.09 at 07:26 )

This looks great! I really want to read this now!