Jun 172015
 

AE

Hello dear readers, today Austenesque Reviews is paid a visit from a lovely new author, Sophie Turner, who just published a new Pride and Prejudice sequel titled A Constant Love.  Sophie has thoughtfully prepared a little preview and excerpt to share with you today,which I found fascinating!   I hope you enjoy learning a little more about her new Pride and Prejudice sequel! 

I did not set out to write a series continuing on after Pride and Prejudice. When I began A Constant Love, I had the plot for one story, but didn’t see how there could be enough to sustain more beyond that, and so it was meant to be a standalone. Then history proved me wrong – the more I researched, the more I found great fodder for my plots, and so the series grew.

Sophie_Turner

In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy has a large and successful estate. He has ten thousand a year (and very likely more). These things seem as though they will be firm and unchanging, and at the time Jane Austen wrote the novel, they may have seemed so to her, as well.

With the benefit of two centuries of hindsight, we can see this is not actually the case. These characters are living in an era on the precipice of major change – the Industrial Revolution has already begun, and their children will be Victorians. I often wonder what Austen’s later novels would have been like, if she had lived to see some of this change. How would her characters have been affected by the advent of the railways, and the changes in travel and communication they brought? Would some of her romantic leads have been wealthy industrialists, rather than landowners?

Even during Austen’s lifetime, conflict was brewing between these landowners and industrialists. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Corn Bill of 1815, where the end of a very long war means that Parliament must come down on the side of one or the other of these groups. It’s much more fun to let Mr. Darcy do the explaining, however, so here is an excerpt from A Constant Love :

A Constant LoveThe party in the drawing room broke up not long after he left, and Elizabeth, after listening to Mary struggle with a new song on the pianoforte for a little while, gave her sister some encouraging words and then made her way to Darcy’s study. He was inside, reading what looked to be the same paper he had been studying during breakfast.

“Did you not read that already?” she asked. “Or have you taken up a new hobby-horse, to memorise the newspapers?”

“I have not,” he said, not even so much as smiling at her teasing. “The Chronicle had a very good article this morning about the Corn Bill. I wished to read it again when I might focus better on its contents.”

“And now I have come in and interrupted your focus,” Elizabeth said, although her interruption was not quite so substantial as the happy chatter Kitty and Georgiana had kept up through the entirety of breakfast, as they recalled all that had happened at the ball. “Let me select a book and then I believe I shall go to the conservatory and read.”

“I did not mean to make you leave,” he said, making an attempt to smile. “Your presence might be a distraction, but it does not follow that it is ever an unwelcome one.”

Elizabeth thought back to what he had said the newspaper article was about, for clearly something was worrying him, and she suspected that to be it. The Corn Bill, he had said. She knew from growing up on the Longbourn estate that “Corn” referred to all grains, including wheat, barley, and oats, and recalled that it had something to do with the price of those grains. She had only skimmed the headlines about it, however, and now wished she had read more.

“You seem worried,” she said, taking her seat. “Is it the Corn Bill?”

“It is,” he said. “I do not wish to alarm you, but it is of the utmost importance to Pemberley’s future. All of the inflation we experienced during the war required me to raise rents on the estate, which was fine so long as the war continued, for it is not as though we were importing grain from France. Now that the peace is here, we will be flooded with cheap grains from abroad, and we will not be able to compete unless Parliament fixes the prices at which all grains are sold.”

He had not wished to alarm her, but he certainly had done so. Pemberley had always seemed to her to be an indomitable estate, always assured of success, and that Darcy was worried about what the Corn Bill would to do it meant she should likely be doubly worried for Longbourn.

“Why would they not set the prices?” she asked. “It is not as though the owners of the estates asked for war. It was you who kept the country fed when America and the continent were closed to us.”

“Raising the cost of grains will raise the cost of bread, and these new industrialists argue against that. They wish to pay cheap wages for their manufactory workers and they cannot do that without cheap bread. Fortunately, they are not so well-represented in Parliament as those who own land, but still, they make a great deal of noise.”

“What will happen if it does not pass?”

“My tenants will have to sell their grains at market cost, and I will have to lower rents so that they can continue to make a living. Our income would be reduced. Some of that will be alleviated by what I have put aside – some of my investments profited from the inflation, and even moreso the peace, as you know.”

“Our income could be halved and we would still live very well,” she said.

“I am glad you say that, Elizabeth – it is quite a relief to me. I must admit there is a deep feeling of inadequacy, for a man to not be able to provide that which he promised his wife when they were married.”

“Darcy, you know that if I had married you for your income, I would have accepted your first proposal, instead of acting like a spiteful creature. Now, the other things you promised – to love and to cherish, for example – those you must continue to provide, and you are not allowed any reduction in that quarter.”

He smiled, more genuinely this time, and got up from his chair so that he could come over and kiss her thoroughly. “I do not think you are at any risk of a reduction in this quarter,” he said, and was about to kiss her again when there came a knock at the door.

Isn’t it interesting to think of the Darcys facing such problems?  I love it when I learn bits of history and glean understanding of these characters’ lives!  Don’t you?

~~~

 Connect with Sophie

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~~~

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Today Sophie brings with her ONE ebook copy of A Constant Love for me to give away to ONE lucky winner!

A Constant Love

To enter this giveaway, leave a question, a comment, or some love for Sophie below!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Sophie!
  • This giveaway ends June 24th!

 

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  71 Responses to “Excerpt + Giveaway with Author Sophie Turner!!”

  1.  

    Fascinating history. Is Sophie British?
    I do like her introduction of the Bill and related consequential issues into her story – well done!

  2.  

    Well who would of thought that studying the economic and social history of England at university would be useful in reading a JAFF book!

  3.  

    Beautifully done, Sophie. Your story is well-crafted and rich with detail. It’s wonderful to visit you here at Meredith’s. Such good company.

  4.  

    Historical novels are my favorite way to learn about history. I just learned about the Corn Bill from this excerpt. What an interesting idea for a P&P sequel.

    •  

      Thank you! I didn’t know about it either, until I started focusing in on the year 1815, and realized the Corn Bill could impact the characters in various ways.

    •  

      Me too! I find it fascinating but reading scholarly works or doing my own research doesn’t seem to interest me the same way.

      •  

        I’ll admit, it interests me a lot more now that I’m working on this series, because as I’m reading along in my research, I get little plot bunnies (and occasionally big ones!) of how various things can impact the characters. Occasionally I’ve come across some non-fiction works that make their points by telling the stories of real people, and I LOVE those, but unfortunately they’re few and far between.

  5.  

    How interesting! What an interesting idea to bring in current history and how that would have played out in their later lives.
    Thanks
    Becky

  6.  

    I read this book and loved it and then found the sequel on fanfiction which I am trying to catch up on as it, too, is very long. Great writing. I, too, like reading about history in various novels. History comes alive when we read how it affects people we care about. So nice to meet you here and “thank you” Meredith, for the introduction and the excerpt.

  7.  

    Nice to see a story that incorporates the political events of the day, and isn’t just set in the social sphere. And I loved the cover!

  8.  

    What a lovely story filled with history and characters that are filled with hope .

  9.  

    Part of why I love JAFF is the history I learn while reading! The idea of the corn bill and the juncture GB is at in the transition from farming to manufacturing is fascinating! Thank you for the story and the giveaway!

  10.  

    Sounds like a wonderful book, hope to read it!

  11.  

    That is an interesting bit to consider. You’re absolutely right, Sophie, and I’m so intrigued to read your follow-up story more than ever.

  12.  

    I can’t imagine the time you spent researching only for this part of your book. I would love to read the whole novel as soon as my budget allows…

  13.  

    what fun summer plans do you have, Sophie??
    congrats on the new book!!!

    •  

      Thank you! I am off to Cornwall in mid-August, which I am very excited about — even moreso since I’ve mainlined most of the Poldark books in rapid succession. How about you?

      •  

        How fun!!! I’ve seen some pictures of Cornwall and it looks lovely! Can’t wait to hear all about your experiences there! I’ve not read the Poldark books yet, but I plan to check them out soon and catch the mini-series!

  14.  

    Sophie, I believe I will love your story as it includes history on it. I also like the idea of seeing more of Darcy as the owner of Pemberly. We knew from the original that he was caring and just but now you are showing that side of him.
    Obviously, I love how he is not going to reduce the “to love and to cherish” part 😉

    •  

      Thank you! And yes, that part certainly can’t be reduced. 🙂 To me (and I think to Elizabeth), how Darcy treats his tenants and how he manages his estate is a key part of who he is, and it’s very much been an element of the series.

  15.  

    Is this the first book in a series? If so, how many books will there be?

    •  

      It is indeed the first book in a series of what’s planned to be seven total. Nothing is left in cliffhangers, but there are themes and some greater storylines that carry across the books. Thank you for your interest!

  16.  

    Sounds really interesting Sophie, I love history and didn’t even think about incorporating this into a P & P book. Well done.

    •  

      Thank you! I didn’t set out to include the Corn Bill, but it came as part of the package of choosing to set the story in 1815 for other reasons, and once I read more on it, I could see what potential it had for the plot.

  17.  

    Very interesting idea with the corn bill and seven total books is quite the undertaking! Loved the excerpt 🙂 Definitely added to my TBR list!

  18.  

    Oh this sounds like a lovely story, thank you for sharing the excerpt.

  19.  

    I love when history makes an appearance or weaves the groundwork for a story. It makes it so very real. This is going to have to go on my list. Thanks for the excerpt. If it weren’t for Meredith, I wouldn’t know about half of the books I wind up putting on my TBR. LOL

    •  

      Thank you! I’ve very much been trying to make my work as true to the original and realistic from a historical perspective as I can.

      And I agree Meredith is absolutely lovely for all she does for JAFF. I’ve felt so welcomed here as a new author!

    •  

      So very happy to introduce you to new authors, Stephanie! I hope you enjoy A Constant Love – I can’t wait to start reading it soon!

      And I’m so happy you feel welcomed at AR, Sophie! The readers who comment and participate here are so amazingly supportive and kind!

  20.  

    Thank you for the excerpt and the excellent explanation of the Corn Bill. I can only begin to imagine what Pemberly is like with Kitty and Mary there and Georgiana emerging from her shell. Thank you for the giveaway – the book sounds intriguing.

    •  

      You’re welcome, and thank you for your interest! One of the fun things for me about writing the book was growing Kitty, Mary, and Georgiana from their characters in P&P.

  21.  

    Oh how wonderful. I am intrigued by this excerpt. Congratulations! Thank you for the giveaway.

  22.  

    Wondeful and very intriguin excerpt. The book sound really interesting so now it have a place in my (very very long) TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway

  23.  

    I had never considered the prospect of Darcy maybe losing some of his wealth and love the excerpt. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    •  

      Thank you! I hadn’t either until I read about the Corn Bill. Before that I think I had filtered 10,000 a year through my modern mind and thought it more like a salary, when in truth it was very dependent on whether his tenants could make their rents, and that was dependent on the harvest and the market price of grains. Darcy is fortunate to have married Elizabeth for many reasons, but among them is that she’s not going to be bothered if he doesn’t meet that figure every year.

  24.  

    I like that you are continuing the storyline forward and using historical events in context.

  25.  

    I love books when they are happy together and face an outside problem!

    •  

      Thank you! I will say, though, that in a story this long it’s not just external problems they face. This is Lizzy and Darcy we’re talking about, so it’s not going to be completely smooth sailing in early married life. But I will say that I’m a firm believer in happily ever after. 🙂

  26.  

    This sounds like a very refreshing twist to the tale of Mr. & Mrs. Darcy! I love that he is worried that their circumstances might be reduced and how Elizabeth might feel about that.
    I can’t wait to read this one!
    Thank you for the excerpt! I have added this to my want to read shelf on goodreads!
    Angela

    •  

      Thank you! I hope readers will find it refreshing…it seems there are a lot more variations than continuations out there, and I was aiming to write something that was true to history and stayed as close to the original as was within my capabilities.

  27.  

    Nothing is more exciting for a Janeite than a new series written by a new author!! Thanks for this giveaway and good luck with your book, Sophie! 😉

  28.  

    Sounds great! I can’t wait to read.

  29.  

    I like it when author inserts some historical facts in their story. Thanks for enlightening me on this subject, Sophie. Congrats on the new release too!

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