Thursday, 24 March 2016


When I visited Stoneleigh Abbey about five years ago I discovered a story just waiting to be written. So many people think Jane Austen was middle-class but in fact she was only a generation away from a Baronetcy and her ancestors had been very wealthy.

So the story I discovered was that in June 1816 Jane moved from a property in Trim St, Bath, the poorest residence she lived in, which she never mentioned again, to then stay in the dramatically ornate, vast, residence of her ancestors, where she came face to face with their portraits and no longer needed to imagine the way they had lived.

Jane actually describes aspects of the area around Stoneleigh Abbey and rooms within Stoneleigh Abbey in Pride and Prejudice and in Mansfield Park.
When I stood in the entrance hall in Stoneleigh Abbey five years ago it did not take much to picture Jane Austen standing in that room, looking everywhere, and from that to imagine her character Fanny’s voice coming from such a visit. And then I learnt about the portrait of one of Jane’s relations whose real story was ridiculously close to that of Persuasion, and her surname is Wentworth.

I visit lots of historical properties, it’s how I generate ideas for my historical books - to learn true stories and scenes and then apply them to my fiction to make my fiction feel more realistic. So it became very obvious to me that Jane Austen had used fact to help create her fiction…

But how much of her work had her stay influenced? That was the question in my head, and this became an  even stronger query when I heard about the people Jane met at Stoneleigh Abbey.

The only factual record we have of Jane’s stay is one letter written by her mother during the period of their visit. Yet in just that one letter is a wealth of information. It made my imagination run rife. The similarity to characters in Pride and Prejudice was amazing. So I am really happy to be able to share the story that was inspired by Jane Austen’s visit to Stoneleigh Abbey, just as Stoneleigh Abbey inspired some of the elements in Jane’s books.
Jane Lark 

Jane  Lark's new book: The Authoress

A story of Jane Austen's life you will not know... 

Jane’s father dies and a dark cloud smothers her desire to write. She becomes dependent on her brothers, and is reduced to living among vagabonds and prostitutes. Her life has become the gothic horror she had imagined for Susan. But everything begins anew when a distant cousin dies and the unimaginable forces of fate takeover. 

Fate leads Jane to step through the door of Stoneleigh Abbey, into the life of riches lived by her ancestors. It sets her imagination alight once more when she is drawn into the setting of her cousin's fight to inherit the beautiful property which Jane falls in love with. During her stay moments of reality inspire fiction, creating a collage of ideas and written images which become the foundations for her stories…

'Once again Jane Lark spellbound me' - 

'Jane Lark writes so beautifully' - Sorcha O'Dowd Amazon reviewer 

'Jane’s portrayal of the Battle of Waterloo and the feelings both Ellen and Paul had to go through are described excellently. As mentioned above, this book is a lot more heart-wrenching' - Heidi (The Lost Love of a Soldier) 

'Goodness, this lady can write emotion!' - avidreader Amazon reviewer 

Purchase your copy at Amazon 
Visit Jane's Facebook Page and Jane’s Website  for further info

Author bio

Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel, 'The Illicit Love of a Courtesan', as well as a Kindle overall top 25, bestselling author in the United States of America. 

When Jane completed her first novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

You might think Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was 'Katherine' a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots.
Now she is writing both historical and contemporary romance.

Win a signed paperback copy of The Lost Love of a Soldier 

 The giveaway contest is open internationally!


Vesper Meikle said...

is this an international giveaway?

Patty Edmisson said...

I like the way you use real interspersed throughout the story for your inspirations.

Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read.

dstoutholcomb said...

love the history

BookLuver88 said...

Both of your books sounds interesting!

NovElla said...

Stoneleigh Abbey looks amazing! I never knew Jane Austen stayed there.

Vesper Meikle said...

I have always enjoyed reading about history, and both books sound very interesting - I have added The Authoress to my wish list

Sonja said...

The cover is amazing. Makes you absolutely want to read this!!!

Kirsten said...

I was one of those who believed Jane to be middleclass. You learn something new everyday :-) The books seem amazing though, so please count me in. Thanks!

Nicole Wetherington said...

Looks great!

Anonymous said...

Stoneleigh Abbey looks amazing !! Thank you for the giveaway !


Mags Chanteuse said...

This story sounds like it is a raw and emotional side of Jane that is really intriguing. Keeping my fingers crossed!

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NovElla said...

Thank you so much! I’m really excited to read The Lost Love of a Soldier :)