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Living at Hartfield, her Surrey home, Emma Woodhouse is an inveterate matchmaker. Her latest project is Harriet Smith, a school friend of the Misses Martin, the tenants of Mr. Knightley, the local magistrate and owner of Donwell Abbey estate. Living on neighboring property, Knightley has known Emma her whole life, and now Knightley's brother, John, has married Emma's sister, Isabelle. But he cannot fathom Emma's obtuseness as she tries to maneuver Harriet into the position of wife of the vicar, Mr. Elton, never noticing that Elton has eyes only for Emma herself. Knightley's diary entries reveal the daily life of a rural village, with its personages, activities, social strata, and local color. His first-person commentary puts him at the center of the action in this charming reframing of Jane Austen's Emma, and knowing the outcome of the story doesn't lessen the romantic tension and expectation for the reader. Grange (Mr. Darcy's Diary) hits the Regency language and tone on the head. Recommended for all public libraries. [To enhance the Austen aura, a new musical of Emma, written by Jane Eyrecomposer Paul Gordon, is having its world premiere at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, CA, from August 22 to September 16.-Ed.]After nearly two centuries of speculation, a hidden memoir by the adored Austen reveals the existence of a romance that was most likely fodder for her novels and the basis for her romantic heroes. Or so novelist James, also a screenwriter, would have us believe. Following the death of her father, Jane and her mother and her sister are relegated to the position of "poor relations," staying intermittently with her brothers and theirfamilies. On a trip to Lyme with her brother Henry, Jane meets Mr. Frederick Ashford, heir to Pembroke Hall in Derby. There is an instant connection, but their acquaintance is cut short when he is suddenly called home. It is quite some time before they meet again, in Southampton, where Jane is now living. And for three weeks, the pair are inseparable, leaving the spinsterish Jane with hopes of marriage to someone who appreciates and encourages her writing. Things don't go as expected, and once again Jane is left hurt and disillusioned. But her feelings roil within her and feed into her characters. This fascinating novel will make readers swear there was such a man as Mr. Ashford and that there is such a memoir. The text includes footnotes and even an editor's foreword and afterword, though, in truth, there is no editor. Tantalizing, tender, and true to the Austen mythos, James's book is highly recommended.