Monday 21 October 2019

Jane Austen's Ghost by Jennifer Kloester - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Jane Austen's Ghost by Jennifer Kloester
Today I'm welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm, Jennifer Kloester.  I've read Jennifer's work previously - she  has written books relating to my second favourite writer, Georgette Heyer, one of which I read in my pre-blogging days. Obviously, a person who admires Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer is a person of good taste, so I was very pleased to take part in the blog tour for her new book, Jane Austen's Ghost. Jennifer joins us today with a guest post and giveaway. So let's start with the blurb and then I'll hand over to Jennifer.

Book Description

A masterpiece of wit, ingenuity and impeccable style, Regency maven Jennifer Kloester brings the great Jane Austen into the modern world in this enchanting, exhilarating adventure of love, literature and life everlasting...

With her life a mess, Cassandra Austin seeks refuge in Winchester with her eccentric great-aunt – but Aunty B has problems of her own. Ghost problems.

Cassie doesn’t believe in ghosts but she’ll do anything to help the only person who’s ever loved her. Besides, a simple spell in the cathedral crypt couldn’t do any harm, could it? Well, except for the two-hundred-year-old curse on Jane Austen, that is.

Overnight, life is suddenly a whole lot weirder and it’s up to Cassie to save the day with the help of a dour Bishop, two literary geniuses, a couple of wise-cracking geriatrics and the enigmatic Oliver Carling.

Magic and mystery abound in this genre-bending contemporary-historical paranormal romance with a Regency twist.


“Jane Austen's Ghost is a fabulous, fun read full of fantastical twists - mind-candy for anyone who has heard of Jane Austen. Meticulously researched, this work is nevertheless a tour de force of the imagination. Although steeped in all things Austen, due to its imaginative presentation, this work will appeal to readers everywhere – from Austen scholars to the man in the street. This is a work that transcends genres, incorporating a contemporary-historical paranormal adventure, a sweet romance, and a female protagonist in a coming-of-age arc. A truly not-to-be-missed read destined to become a classic.”

“Jennifer Kloester’s meticulous research frameworks an intriguing, complex fantasy, as well as a gorgeously intimate insight into a concept of the Jane Austen we’d love to have at our dinner table. The characters are marvelous, the friendships warm and deep, and the plot holds us spellbound until the end. A truly fabulous read.”

“Jane Austen meets Bridget Jones meets Harry Potter in this fast-paced romp from Georgette Heyer expert Jennifer Kloester. There are laugh out loud moments but genuinely scary moments, too, in this diverting tale. Supernatural elements mix with Regency manners as Jane Austen finds herself grappling with the twenty-first century in Jane Austen’s Ghost.”

Guest Post from Jennifer Kloester - INSPIRED BY JANE – IS THIS JANE AUSTEN?

My new novel, Jane Austen’s Ghost was inspired by several people including Georgette Heyer, Anne Gracie and, of course, Jane Austen herself. Her novels and letters have long been a source of wisdom, entertainment and genuine pleasure for me and it’s been an amazing journey writing this book which brings the great Jane Austen into our world. When I began it, I had little more than the title to begin with and that had come to me unexpectedly during an Austen conference which I attended with the fabulous Regency romance author, Anne Gracie. That night I dreamed part of the story and the next day I wrote the first half dozen sentences. Over the next year, I researched many aspects of Austen’s life and the times in which she lived and gradually the story grew.

James Stanier Clarke
James Stanier Clarke
One day, I stumbled across another very surprising inspiration. Many Austenites will have heard of James Stanier Clarke – a man who attained a fame because of his connection to Jane Austen. I knew that James Stanier Clarke had been Chaplain and Librarian to the Prince Regent (later King George IV) and the author of several (rather dull) mostly forgotten works. I also knew that he had actually met Jane Austen and corresponded with her. The Prince Regent was an enthusiastic Austen fan and he had asked that she be invited to visit Carlton House, his small but beautiful London palace (sadly demolished in 1826). She paid the visit on 13 November 1815 and it was James Stanier Clarke who showed her the library and the rest of the exquisite interior. During the visit (as one of her subsequent letters to Clarke tells us) he suggested she might dedicate her next novel to the Prince Regent. But Austen was not a fan of the Prince and she disapproved of his poor treatment of his wife, Princess Caroline. Consequently, she was not keen on the idea of a dedication.

After their meeting, Austen wrote to James Stanier Clarke seeking clarification as to whether the suggestion for a dedication was genuinely meant. She received a positive answer and the following year Emma was published with a rather pompous dedication (probably written or enhanced by her publisher) to the Prince Regent. James Stanier Clarke wrote to Austen again and actually suggested that she might “delineate in some future Work the Habits of Life and Character and enthusiasm of a Clergyman—who should pass his time between the metropolis & the Country . . . Fond of, & entirely engaged in Literature—no man’s Enemy but his own”. It seems incredible to me that anyone could have had the temerity to make suggestions to Jane Austen about books that she might write – let alone a book about himself – but James Stanier Clarke clearly had a good-sized ego! He also offered her several ideas for plots and characters which she might use in her novels. Jane Austen was obviously amused (and possibly annoyed) by his suggestions because she later wrote a short satirical piece entitled, Plan of a Novel, according to Hints from Various Quarters which lampoons Clarke’s ideas.

James Stanier Clarke's Book
So it seemed to me that James Stanier Clarke had a bit of a crush on Jane Austen but it was his book of ephemera that really inspired me to include him in Jane Austen’s Ghost. This remarkable book was discovered in 1955 by Richard James Wheeler in a bookshop in Canterbury, England. It is described as having a green morocco leather cover and with the words: Sacred to Friendship on its spine in gilt letters and the initials JSC. It can be seen here: )

Picture of Unknown Lady
Part scrapbook, part autograph book, among the book’s contents are several watercolour portraits, two of which are of unnamed women. With the help of the Tate Gallery, Wheeler was able to identify one of these as Princess Caroline of Brunswick. The other unnamed portrait is of an elegantly dressed female wearing a black hat and carrying a brown fur muff. Since the portrait’s discovery many people have surmised or even concluded that the painting is of Jane Austen. To date, however, the National Portrait Gallery has refused to confirm this. True or not, Jane or not, it is an intriguing picture and it inspired the opening of Jane Austen’s Ghost. I loved the idea of Clarke being so taken with Jane after meeting her in 1815 that he instantly painted her portrait – fixing in his memory the woman he so admired in his mind and preserving her image forever.

Author Jennifer Kloester
Author Bio

Jennifer Kloester first read Georgette Heyer’s novels while living in the jungle in Papua New Guinea and re-read them while living in the desert in Bahrain. In 2004, she completed a Doctorate on Georgette Heyer and her Regency Novels. Since then she has written extensively about Heyer and the Regency and has given writing workshops and public presentations in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. She is the author of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World and Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller. Jennifer also writes fiction; her novel Jane Austen’s Ghost is out October 29, 2019.

Twitter: @JenKloester
Instagram: @jenkloester
Goodreads: JenniferKloester

Book cover: Jane Austen's Ghost by Jennifer Kloester
Buy Links

Jane Austen's Ghost is available to pre-order now in ebook and paperback. The release date is 29 October, just in time for Hallow'een! - Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Amazon AUS / Add to Goodreads Shelf

Giveaway Time!

The publisher is kindly giving away an ebook of Jane Austen's Ghost to one of you! To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day on Sunday 27 October. Please ensure you leave your name as anonymous entries won't be included.

I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

Blog Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on the blog tour to learn more about the book :)

From Pemberley to Milton - October 17 (with an excerpt featuring James Stanier Clarke!)
So Little Tme - October 18 (Guest Post)
Roses are Blue – October 23
Just Contemporary Romance – October 24
Austenprose – October 25
For Love of Austen – October 26
ARRA – October 29

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  1. Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the piece, Vesper. I learned from it!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book from a well educated author. I would like to be entered in the contest.

    1. Doesn't it sound fantastic, foreverHis!

  3. Never read georgette heyer books but she seems to be highly recommended

    1. Georgette Heyer is sooooooo good. She wrote about various periods, but mostly Georgian and Regency and they are more definitely romances than Austen's stories. Her books are entertaining and well-researched and I would highly recommend them!

  4. I love paranormal stories so this sounds interesting.

    1. It sounds like something outside the ordinary, doesn't it! I'm looking forward to reading this one too.


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