Jane and the Damned: A Novel
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Jane and the Damned: A Novel

4.3 6
by Janet Mullany
     
 

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Jane Austen
Novelist . . . gentlewoman . . .Damned, Fanged, and Dangerous to know.

Aspiring writer Jane Austen knows that respectable young ladies like herself are supposed to shun the Damned—the beautiful, fashionable, exquisitely seductive vampires who are all the rage in Georgian England in 1797. So when an innocent (she

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Overview

Jane Austen
Novelist . . . gentlewoman . . .Damned, Fanged, and Dangerous to know.

Aspiring writer Jane Austen knows that respectable young ladies like herself are supposed to shun the Damned—the beautiful, fashionable, exquisitely seductive vampires who are all the rage in Georgian England in 1797. So when an innocent (she believes) flirtation results in her being turned—by an absolute cad of a bloodsucker—she acquiesces to her family’s wishes and departs for Bath to take the waters, the only known cure.

But what she encounters there is completely unexpected: perilous jealousies and further betrayals, a new friendship and a possible love. Yet all that must be put aside when the warring French invade unsuspecting Bath—and the streets run red with good English blood. Suddenly only the staunchly British Damned can defend the nation they love . . . with Jane Austen leading the charge at the battle’s forefront.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mullany (Improper Relations) pens an impressively compelling Jane Austen mashup full of humor ("You damned Damned!") and poignant irony. At a Basingstoke dance, the Austen sisters encounter some fashionable Londoners with a taste for blood. Jane is drawn to meet one of the Damned, enigmatic William, who turns her into a vampire against her will. Reverend Austen takes the family to Bath to seek a cure, but when the French invade England, Jane joins the other vampires in putting their superhuman strength and speed to the service of their country. Purists might regret Cassandra's relegation to soppy sister, but the bond between Jane and her father, the small scenes that reflect Austen's novels, the sly humor of a vampire Prince Regent, and an abundance of moral dilemmas and vivid action make this a very satisfying page-turner for vamp-lovers and Austen fans alike. (Oct.)
Library Journal
After her manuscript is rejected for publication, Jane Austen is determined to find enjoyment at the Basingstoke Assembly. A trio of Damned are in attendance, and Jane accepts an invitation to dance with one of the gentleman vampires. The next day she realizes falling ill at the dance was the beginning of her existence as one of the Damned. Reverend Austen takes the family to Bath so Jane can be cured by the waters. Before her first glass, she is "adopted" by Damned leader Luke Venning, and the French Revolutionary Army invades Bath. Now, Jane is grateful for the active role she can take in the war against the French. VERDICT Historical romance author Mullany (Improper Relations) joins the literary mashup craze with this tepid novel. Her spotty explanations of etiquette in Damned society, not fully developing Prince George's temporary vampire status to preserve the line of succession, and the open-ended nature of the conclusion (hinting at a possible series) make this a less than satisfying read for either Austenites or vampire fanciers. A far wittier take on Jane Austen as vampire is Michael Thomas Ford's Jane Bites Back.—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews

Jane Austen joins the undead to counter a French invasion of Britain, in the latest from Mullany (The Rules of Gentility, 2007).

Stung by the rejection of her first novel, Miss Austen attends a tea-dance with her sister Cassandra, hoping for a diverting if dull afternoon. But wait...who are those louche-looking roués accompanied by some extremely svelte and soignée ladies who make Jane feel even dowdier than usual by comparison? Although she suspects the strangers are vampires, Jane lets one get her alone. She awakens a few quarts low, hungry for blood. Jane confides her new status to her father, who suggests that the family travel to Bath, so that Jane can take the cure. Also touring Bath are her vampire acquaintances, collectively known as the Damned, including Luke, who offers to become her Bearleader or vampire mentor. Luke shows her the vampire ropes (how to retract tell-tale canines in public, how to heal with a drop of her blood, etc.) and explodes myths—garlic, crucifixes and daylight are annoying, not deadly, to the undead. Jane is loath to choose immortality over her family, and worse, although her senses are more acute and she's telepathic, she finds that vampire life induces writer's block. She's ready to ingest the healing waters, which cause terrible pain to vampires trying to reverse their condition, when Napoleon's army invades Great Britain. Soldiers take over Bath, imposing French bureaucracy, making everyone carry identity papers and address each other as "Citizen." When Jane, now endowed with superhuman strength, kills a French invader, she resolves to stay Damned—the vampires are Britain's only hope against the French. As she earns her stripes in the fanged militia, she begins falling in love with Luke, making his former mistress dangerously jealous.

Not as articulate as a Jane Austen parody needs to be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061958304
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.94(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.74(d)

Meet the Author

The author of Jane and the Damned, Janet Mullany was reared in England on a diet of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and now lives near Washington, D.C. She has worked as an archaeologist, waitress, draftsperson, radio announcer, performing arts administrator, proof-reader, and bookseller.

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Jane and the Damned 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
In the fall of 1797 the Austen family is preparing for the winter and making the final rounds of social events still trying to procure a proper match for Jane. But at one such event Jane encounters a man that turns out to be everything she should fear and no one she should associate with. Before the end of the evening Jane has found herself turned into one of the feared vampires called The Damned and the quiet, modest life Jane led is over and choices she makes from here on out will impact everyone surrounding her. Jane confides in her father what has happened and he takes the family to Bath to find a cure for this condition. There are powerful, healing waters he believes can save her but the condition the entire family needs saving from is the invasion of France onto the English shores. The French overtake one city after another and the Austen family finds itself not only staying in strange surrounding but also must share this home with the French military. Jane has spent her life writing and seeking to compose the perfect piece of literature but now even that does not bring her solace. Writing has been the core of her existence and now that she fails commit one word to paper she feels even more lost. What Jane does encounter is the residence where the other Damned are staying and discovered there is a mentor called a Bearleader who can take the novice vampire Jane and help her through the transition from woman to vampire. The Damned are also a service to England's military and use their special gifts of persuasion to help win back the country they may not love but call home. But does Jane want immortality, can she leave her family and embrace the Damned as her closest allies, is the vampire relationships she is forming her destiny? So many decisions to be made in these the worst of times that will alter Jane and whatever family she choices as her future. Jane does learn to live life as a vampire and fight like a man but the choice of who her true family is has to be made. So what will Jane do to still keep the passion for her writing and what place can give her love and reassurance to pursue her true self? There have been so many formats written about Jane Austen, her life and the books she wrote. But did I ever expect Jane to be a vampire and find that a credible, interesting story - honestly no. But it is and I think Janet Mullany is the only one that could pull this off because she has the eloquent writing style and wit to make a Jane Austen as a vampire believable. She takes what could have been a light subject and transforms it into showcasing what could happen if the unthinkable has happened to the amazing Jane Austen.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1797, Jane Austen is depressed when her manuscript is returned obviously unopened and rejected. Her father the Reverend tells her to keep trying as like him, her mom and her siblings, believe she is very talented. Jane, her sister Cassandra and Catherine Bigg attend a dance at the Basingstoke Assembly Room. At the gala, Jane meets Sybil Smith who repairs the wannabe writer's sleeve. Soon after her encounter with Sybil, she meets Miss Smith's brother who tastes her blood and turns her into a vampire. Jane becomes ill and her father takes her and the rest of the family to Bath to find the cure for vampirism. When the forces of the French Revolutionary Army cross the Channel, Jane joins the English vampire corps led by Luke Venning to repel the invaders. This is an entertaining Jane Austen vampire tale that readers of historical fantasy will enjoy although the recasting of the famous author in a variety of roles has been so frequent, it feels like its own sub-genre (see Bespelling Jane Austin, which includes a Janet Mullany novella). The story line is fast-paced as the heroine adapts to her new status, but insight into the Damned society is somewhat lacking. Still Jane and the Damned is an enjoyable early regency fantasy. Harriet Klausner
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LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
Both Jane Austen inspired books and vampire themed books could be considered an oversaturated genre but Jane and the Damned makes it mark and stands out among the competition. I found the overall premise of Jane Austen, pre-author fame, being turned into a vampire novel (no pun intended) and refreshingly original. This Jane is humorous and witty but she also has a bloodlust - - she is certainly no chaste Cullen vampire. Author Janet Mullany created wonderful conflict within the pages of this exciting read. Becoming a vampire and associating with other vampires and their heady, indulgent (non)lifestyle is stimulating for Jane, but goes against her upbringing. Not only does it conflict with her religious family's thinking (Jane's father is a minister) but it also depletes her desire to write and takes her away from her beloved sister Cassandra. While Jane is torn at the loss of familial relationships and devastated at not putting pen to paper, she thrills at assisting in ambushing the French, fighting as a male and rubbing shoulders with royalty. What's a beloved Regency gal to do? Jane and the Damned wasn't what I was expecting; it far exceeded my expectations. I loved the action, I loved the vampire elements and I loved that Ms. Mullany kept many quirks and characteristics of the original Jane intact. The fictional characters Ms. Mullany introduced were vibrant, flamboyant , excessive and seductive - - Jane was made more remarkable by her alliance with them. It was fascinating to think of our beloved Jane, a proper lady of the times, a minister's daughter, who was perhaps most honest when penning tales, participating in feeding frenzies, throat ripping and yes, even romance. I liked this Jane, I would even go so far as to say I loved this Jane - - this determined, fearless and extremely resolute Jane - - and was sad to see this exhilirating vampire tale come to an end. Jane and the Damned is a vampire story for those discriminating readers who enjoy a more cerebral type of supernatural yarn. For the diehard Austen purist, Jane and the Damned may be a little too much creative license. I am most certainly adding Ms. Mullany to my list of "must read" authors and look forward with anticipation to what literary delicacy she can offer us next.