Monday, 18 June 2012


Alexa Schnee is a young, very young, talented writer. She has recently re-discovered Jane Austen and wants to share her new enthusiasm. Alexa has always wanted to be a writer. She loves the smell of the bookstore, because nothing in the world smells exactly like it. When she isn’t writing, she’s murdering some musical instrument or hitting the road. She will never, ever like maths and will always love dancing in the Montana rain. She is currently attending Sarah Lawrence College near New York City.

I took a Jane Austen course at my school, Sarah Lawrence College, this last semester. I loved diving into Austen’s work—mostly Sense and SensibilityPersuasion, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. But when we came to the Minor Works, I found I was a bit unprepared to discuss these writings. We get a glimpse at a young Austen—an Austen uncolored by life experience and publication. We can almost imagine her standing in front of her family in her parlor acting out scenes and skits she had written. We can see her parents laughing at her satirical wit, her early observances of the ridiculous, her
early commentary on society from an adolescent point of view . These writings are brief, often wrapped up in a couple of sentences. But there is no doubt we can see Austen’s early genius. As a writer, her evolution from a young author (a bitingly witty one at that) to one of the greatest writers of all time is fascinating. We can see that the attributes we have all come to admire were always there. Though she might have refined them and developed them into what we see in Pride and Prejudice and Emma (an early work, The Watsons, is said to be the beginnings of Emma), there is no doubt that Austen had talent from the very beginning.
Though I perhaps would not have chosen to read the Minor Works if it wouldn’t have been required, I am so glad I did. Seeing this new side of Austen made her more real to me, and I adored getting to know her better—almost as a person rather than a writer.
Alexa Schnee

To discover more about Alexa and her latest release, read my interview with her at Fly High! or visit her website.

About the book

Alexa's latest release is Shakespeare's Lady. The protagonist, Emilia Bassano is one of the most dazzling ladies at court when she meets the little-known playwright William Shakespeare. Shakespeare sees the world like no one ever has before, and despite everything -- his wife in Stratford-Avon, Emilia's husband and young son, and the will of the fiery and unpredictable queen -- they fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the Virgin Queen does not take lightly to her ladies straying. These star-crossed lovers must fight for their love -- and, eventually, their lives. Meanwhile, William, courting the queen's favor for his new theater, pens some of the most memorable stories ever written, and encourages Emilia to write; he helps her compose, and eventually steals, a little bedtime story she calls A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In the tradition of Jane Austen Ruined My Life and The Other Boleyn Girl, it is a breathtaking, emotionally rich story spun out of historical fact. From the plague-ridden streets of London to the throne room of Greenwich Court to the stage of The Globe Theater, this is a meticulously researched and gorgeously written story about grace, forgiveness, and the forbidden love between the greatest poet the world has ever known and the woman who inspired him.

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