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The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane recounts events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma; the formative childhood years of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.
Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. Readers of Emma will be familiar with the conclusion of Jane and Frank’s story, but Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over its remainder.
My review -
This is the third in the Highbury trilogy. It meshes well with Emma, the book on which its characters are based. The author gives us a credible background that goes deeper than the original book and I’ve enjoyed them all. It’s good to see the final melding where people and events we know from Emma are brought into play. If you enjoy Jane Austen, or other books set in this period, you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended – but read the other two first.
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