Sensational and stirring – The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen has definitely piqued my curiosity and aroused my suspicions...Now, more so than ever, I'm dying to know the mysterious cause ofJane Austen's death?!? And what about her relations...what really caused their deaths... I recommend this novel for inquisitive minds that want to delve into a presumably fictitious and thought-provoking tale of murder most sinister!
Tucked away in the final quarter of Women’s Hour this morning (Monday 24th February) was the first 15-minute episode of a five-part drama that supposed something that, if ever proven correct, would send shockwaves through the literary and cultural worlds – that one of Britain’s favourite and most enduring novelists, Jane Austen, died at the hands of a murderer. That’s the conceit that best-selling crime writer Lindsay Ashford based her 2012 novel, The Mysterious Death Of Jane Austen, on. Now it’s been made into a radio drama, airing out every morning this week on Radio 4.
The narrative encompasses almost a forty year span from 1805 when Anne and Jane are introduced at Godmersham Park, Kent and continues through 1843 with the result of the test that concludes her suspicions. What unfolds is a fascinating journey into the Austen family dynamics that will raise more than a few eyebrows. At times I was shocked, repulsed and appalled, but, I read on, and on, so mesmerized by the story that Miss Sharp reveals of her employer Edward Knight, his brothers James and Henry, their wives and their children. Like Catherine Morland obsessed with Gothic fiction I could not stop. However, unlike NORTHANGER ABBEY, THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF MISS JANE AUSTEN is not a high burlesque parody. It is a serious mystery novel based on historical fact.