I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

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When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?
In this delicious dance between truth and fiction, Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies, and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved Jane.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Cora Harrison

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Cora Harrison lives in the Burren in the west of Ireland, an area whose landscape and history form the background to a medieval series of which this is the third novel. She has published twenty-six books for children, mainly dealing with Irish history and mythology. Please visit her Web site at www.coraharrison.com.
Published September 28, 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 353 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

Kirkus Reviews

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From a promising beginning—Jane Austen’s best friend Jenny sneaks out of their austere boarding school at midnight to post a letter to the budding author’s mother warning of Jane’s terrible fever--this effort winds down to pages of syrupy-sweet, diary-format narrative.

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The Guardian

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It was particularly hard for the author because obviously both Jane Austen and her cousin Jenny Cooper (whose real name has been Jane Cooper but the author decided not to have two Jane's to make it less confusing) were both real people, but that nobody knew that much about them in their teenage y...

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend


However, the relationship between Jenny/Jane and her best friend, Cousin Jane Austen, is so prominent, the reader may actually forget that the Jane Austen story is somewhat secondary to the Jenny/Jane saga.

Dec 01 2010 | Read Full Review of I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

Historical Novel Society

This is a very readable “journal” which covers the period from February to April 1791 as written by Jane Austen’s cousin, Jane Cooper.

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Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

In this Regency romance that blends fact and fiction, Jenny Cooper is a teenaged Jane Austen’s best friend and cousin.

Mar 16 2013 | Read Full Review of I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

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