Antiquarian bookseller P J Allen was browsing the shelves at a book auction when a cursory glance at the opening paragraphs of one rather grubby and unprepossessing volume brought him up short. His instant thought was – “ Austen?” His second was "don't be so silly". He acquired the book anyway, if only to show himself how mistaken he was. Reading it however, revealed, as he himself puts it, so many correspondences of though, interest, detail, experience and sometimes even expression between the novel and Jane’s juvenilia, letters and other published works, he found himself veering towards belief.
This work is the culmination of his research and reading and makes a compelling and fascinating case that that novel – Two Girls of Eighteen – is in fact a missing work by Jane Austen. This is a must for all fans of Jane Austen.
by M Morgan
From the title I thought it would be a spoof like the Canadian one some years ago but actually it's not. It's very serious and well researched. It doesn't deal with the Great Novels at all but only with her development as a writer. Confused by the belief that 'To please we must comply withthe reigning taste' she spends much of her early years trying to imitate the popular fiction of the time. But she wanted to teach and Gothic fiction or Romance did not enable this and would not do. The story tells of a loss of confidence and her eventual discovery of what she should be doing.
by Lesley J. Arrowsmith