In 1945, the tiny village of Chawton is coping with the after effects of WWII. Its most famous resident, Jane Austen, who lived in an estate cottage belonging to her brother Edward Knight, is a faint and increasingly diminishing presence.
Recognizing the important of the Austen legacy and offering a way to cope with their own individual tragedies, a disparate group of Austen fans from the village and beyond— the local doctor, a farmer, the presumed heir to the Knight estate, a precocious house-maid, a Hollywood star, and an employee of Sotheby’s–find common connection and purpose in their admiration for the Austen novels.
A charming portrait of post-war village life, and Austen fans will enjoy the characters’ debating Emma vs Elizabeth Bennet or the merits of Mansfield Park.
Jane Austen spent the final eight years of her life in the village of Chawton in Hampshire. She, her mother, and sister lived in an estate cottage a five-minute walk from Chawton House, a/k/a “The Great House,” home of her brother Edward Knight.
Today Chawton is a popular pilgrimage for Austen fans. Both Chawton House and the Cottage are open to the public.
What Other Reviewers Say
Pan Jenoff, Author of The Lost Girls of Paris: “Fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society will adore The Jane Austen Society. A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.”
Who Wrote It
Natalie Jenner graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English literature and law. She worked for decades in the legal industry and also founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives. The Jane Austen Society her first novel.