Good evening everyone,
I am very happy to bring you these weekly posts with reviews and news about JAFF literature, but I usually talk about books featuring the characters from Pride and Prejudice and it is very rare of me to talk about variations of Austens other novels. Well, today is the exception 🙂
Lona Manning as released the sequel to A Contrary Wind which was her first variation of Mansfield Park, and she is visiting today with an excerpt of that sequel. I am very happy to receive Lona, one of the few authors to write about Mansfield Park and a very pleaseant guess who is always incredibly sweet towards me 🙂
I hope you enjoy the excerpt, but first, take a look at the blurbs, they may help you situate yourselves 🙂
A Marriage of Attachment: A Marriage of Attachment continues the story of Fanny Price as she struggles to build her own life after leaving her rich uncle’s home. Fanny teaches sewing to poor working-class girls in London, while trying to forget her first love, Edmund Bertram, who is trapped in a disastrous marriage with Mary Crawford. Together with her brother John and her friend, the writer William Gibson, she discovers a plot that threatens someone at the highest levels of government. Meanwhile, Fanny’s brother William fights slavery on the high seas while longing for the girl he loves.
Filled with romance, suspense and even danger, A Marriage of Attachment takes the familiar characters from Mansfield Park on a new journey.
You can find A Marriage of Attachment at:
And because this is a sequel to A Contrary Wind, I think you should read the blurb too…
A Contrary Wind: Fanny Price, an intelligent but timid girl from a poor family, lives at Mansfield Park with her wealthy cousins. But the cruelty of her Aunt Norris, together with a broken heart, compel Fanny to run away and take a job as a governess. Far away from everything she ever knew and the man she secretly loves, will Fanny grow in strength and confidence? Will a new suitor help her to forget her past? Or will a reckless decision ruin her life and the lives of those she holds most dear?
This variation of Jane Austen’s novel includes all the familiar characters from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, and some new acquaintances as well. There are some mature scenes and situations not suitable for all readers.
You can find A Contrary Wind at:
THE MONTH OF MAY brought Fanny’s friend William Gibson to London for the publication of his book, over which he had laboured in self-imposed exile in the countryside. His writing had appeared in print before, of course, in the pages of the Gentlemen’s Magazine and in the abolitionist newsletter, but nothing compared to the pride and wonder of visiting his publisher in the Strand and holding his first book in his hands. Even better was to read his name on the title page. Indeed, he would not have wanted his closest friends to know how frequently he opened the volume to admire those few words: Amongst the Slavers, being a narrative of a voyage with the West African Squadron, with additional remarks upon the customs, governments, and political economies of the African tribes, by William Gibson.
Mrs. Butters, already a warm advocate for the young writer, was eager to assume the rôle of literary patroness, and to help spread his fame. She held a reception at her home and bestowed invitations throughout her considerable acquaintance amongst London’s abolitionist set, including her friend and neighbour James Stephen. The fiery old man was a particular favourite of Fanny’s. As well, Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield promised to attend, Mr. Wilbraham Bootle and many other directors of the African Society accepted with pleasure; and there were a half-dozen clergyman from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
Fanny felt the most delightful sensations of pride and nervous anticipation as she sat in Mrs. Butters’ parlour, surrounded by so many eminent persons, as Mr. Gibson stood in the middle of the room and began to read aloud from his account of the adventures of the West African Squadron.
Mr. Gibson’s prose was direct and forceful, without excessive ornamentation or discursion, for he had the happy ability to invoke a scene with a few well-chosen words. Moreover, he read aloud exceedingly well, and although Fanny always kept a piece of fancy work in her hands, she was glad to have the excuse of listening as an excuse for looking at her friend without interruption. His figure was tall and slender, and his hands expressive and graceful. As an impecunious poet, he had not the means or the inclination to attend to dress or finery, but his posture, his movements, and his air, were all perfectly gentleman-like. For that matter, gaudy dress and an affected air of fashion was no recommendation to the people of this particular gathering. James Stephen’s wife, a sister of the saintly Wilberforce himself, refused to wear anything better than washer-woman’s rags; and gave all her monies to the poor, instead.
There was something peculiarly charming about Mr. Gibson’s countenance. His long face with its high forehead announced intelligence, but without pomposity or severity. His features were individually good. There was sometimes a tinge of sadness about his dark blue eyes, but his mouth, in repose, was always curved in a gentle smile. As he read his own words to the assembled party, his expression was one of diffidence mingled with quiet pride.
Mrs. Stephen, and all of Mrs. Butters’ guests, along with Fanny, were captivated by the power of Mr. Gibson’s recital. There were no fidgettings, no throat-clearings, no whisperings—a most profound silence was observed by all. When Mr. Gibson came to describe the interception of a heavily-laden slave ship, and the rescue of hundreds of shackled men, women and children from the miserable mid-Atlantic crossing and a lifetime of bondage, his hearers, including Fanny of course, were moved to tears by the power of his narrative.
Sometimes the doings of her own brother William were described and at such times, Mr. Gibson would glance over to the far corner where Fanny sat—his eyes, peering over his spectacles, met hers for a moment of silent acknowledgement of their shared affection for her brother. “Lieutenant Price” never appeared in the tale but to great advantage, and Fanny, in a glow of high spirits, imagined Mr. Gibson’s book being read with fascination by all of the Lords of the Admiralty, resulting in a resolution, taken at the highest levels, to promote that exemplary young officer to the rank of captain so soon as a good ship was available. She was also privately delighted that, in a room filled with so many eminent, accomplished, and powerful people—politicians, abolitionists, captains of industry—her friend had made especial note of where she was, of where she sat, so that his eyes could seek her out.
Lona Manning loves reading, choral singing, gardening and travel. Over the years, she has been a home care aide, legal secretary, political speech writer, office manager, vocational instructor and non-profit manager until deciding (in her late 50’s) to get an ESL teaching certificate and teach in China. Manning and her husband divide their time between China and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. She has written true crime articles for http://www.CrimeMagazine.com. “A Contrary Wind” is her first novel and she has now released its sequel, “A Marriage of Attachment”.
Lona Manning would like to offer to my readers the chance to win these books, leave a comment to be entered into a draw for both ebooks.
This offer is open internationally and it will end on the 19th of July.
Good Luck everyone!