Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jane and the Wandering Eye

1998, paperback Bantam edition from later that year
Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Bought new for $5.99
Worn paperback

This would be the best in the Jane Austen Mystery so far, if it weren't for the fact that Jane doesn't solve the mystery herself.  Instead, she plays Watson to Lord Harold, the Gentleman Rogue whom she associates with, despite the disapproval of some of her family.  We get much more of the Austens in this book than before, and Barron does a nice job with them, even when they sound a bit too Bennet-ish.  (And there's a direct quote from the 1995 Sense & Sensibility movie, involving an ankle, but with a twist on the line if not the ankle.)  The setting this time is Bath, which is interesting.  

I don't think the real Austen would be so casual about others' adultery, or others would discuss scandal with her so openly, no matter how much freer the Regency period was compared to the Victorian.  (The "wandering eye" is actually a portrait though.)  A mixed bag overall, but with more potential than before.  Understandably, I went on to get 1999's Jane and the Genius of the Place.

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