Wednesday, 4 December 2019



For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice--and legions of historical fiction lovers--an inspired debut novel set in Austen's world.

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford's vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..

In Mr. Travis' company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart--and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman's life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman's wife.


It took about a year of once-weekly writing sprints to finish my first novel, The Clergyman’s Wife, but the idea had been slowly germinating for a long time. I have, in fact, been thinking about Charlotte Lucas and herchoice for more than twenty years, eversince Ifirstread Pride and Prejudice. Back then Iwasten years-old, and with a child’s understanding ofwhatIread, my first and strongestreactionwhen Charlotte chose to marry Mr. Collins was complete revulsion. Mr. Collins was gross, andworse, hewas a little bit stupid. Someone like Charlotte, who was friends with Elizabeth Bennet and therefore must be intelligent,would be miserable married to him. I agreed completely with Elizabeth’s first reaction to the news of her friend’s engagement: Charlotte had made a terrible mistake. But time, and many subsequent readings, softened my take on Charlotte’s decision, and as I grew up, she became the character in Pride and Prejudice who fascinated me most, her choice to marry Mr. Collins less horrifying than the circumstances that led to it. 

Sunday, 1 December 2019


The first-ever television adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel SANDITON will air on PBS Masterpiece from 12 January 2020.  Written by award winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserable, Mr. Selfridge), the first TV trailer for the 8-part series has just been released. (Watch it HERE)

Today December 1, 2019 a new and easily accessible edition of Sanditon is published by Fentum Press. It includes an innovative introductory essay by Janet Todd, a leading Austen scholar, plus the text of the novel.

Jane Austen's Sanditon

Written as a comedy, Sanditon continues the strain of burlesque and caricature Austen wrote as a teenager and in private throughout her life. She examines the moral and social problems of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and whether wealth trickles down to benefit the place where it is made. She explores the early 19th century culture of self: the exploitation of hypochondria, health fads, seaside resorts, and the passion for salt-water cures. Written only months before Austen's death in 1817 the book was never fully completed by the author.