Ely author pens a book on a Regency real life character- the real Jane Austen’s Persuasion
- Credit: Archant
An Ely author has penned a book about Regency life to tie in with the 200th anniversary of a book by one of England’s most treasured writers.
James Bowman has written a novel that coincides with two centuries since the first publication of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
It also ties in with the new Austen ten pound note by the Bank of England that some critics say has used a bad choice of quote and uses an unpopular airbrushed image .
Mr Bowman’s book draws on the enduring popularity of Austen’s work and contains previously unpublished letters which he says give a fascinating insight into family life during the era.
He said: “The reality of history and the deeper truth of literature together yield a detailed picture of the age.”
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His book weaves a tale of a father who is a vain, a fretful sister and a leading lady who falls in love with a handsome naval officer.
“Her proud family consider his status and prospects inadequate.
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“Heartbroken, the lovers part: he goes to sea while she leads a forlorn life at home.
“Years later he returns with a fortune in prize money, and after further misunderstandings he claims her as his bride.”
James said: “This is the story of Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
“It is also the story – true this time – of Katherine Bisshopp, the clever, beautiful daughter of an old Sussex family.
“Drawing on Katherine’s letters and journals and other family papers, this relates the joys and anxieties of her youth, her harrowing eleven-year courtship with George Pechell, and their happy and prosperous union, which produced two daughters and a son.
“Splinter chapters draw parallels with Jane Austen’s portrait of society and reveal the extraordinary coincidences of character and circumstance between Katherine Bisshopp and Anne Elliot, while the real woman’s experiences after her marriage are seen as a possible future for the fictional heroine.”
Mr Bowman is an independent scholar and translator living in Ely. He studied Modern Languages at Oxford University and completed a PhD in German at Cambridge University. He has published many periodical articles on literary subjects.