12 Noon : Gill Hornby

Sunday 18th 12.00noon

Miss Austen

A wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel that delves into why Cassandra burned a treasure trove of letters written by her sister, Jane Austen – an act of destruction that has troubled academics for centuries.

1840: twenty three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury, and the home of her family’s friends, the Fowles.

She knows that, in some dusty corner of the sprawling vicarage, there is a cache of family letters which hold secrets she is desperate should not be revealed.

‘The perfect book to wrap yourself around on a dark night’ STYLIST

‘The great joy of Miss Austen is that the reader feels immersed in a world that is convincingly Jane’s from the first page. Miss Austen is a novel of great kindness, often unexpectedly moving, with much to say about the status of “invisible” older women. Above all, it’s concerned with the triumph of small acts of goodness; you can’t help feeling that Jane would have approved.’ OBSERVER

‘Without romanticising its period setting or underplaying the precariousness of any woman’s position in this society, it celebrates unexamined lives, sisterhood and virtues such as kindness and loyalty.’ SUNDAY TIMES

Miss Austen is an ingenious imaginary explanationof how so many of Jane’s letters came to be destroyed… With flashbacks and wonderful domestic detail, Hornby brings to life the Austen family, using the known to speculate on what might have been.’ THE TIMES  Audio Book of the Week

Gill Hornby is a writer and journalist, and sister of the novelist Nick Hornby. Gill’s debut novel The Hive was published in 2013 to great acclaim and became a world-wide success. She is also the author of All Together Now and a biography of Jane Austen for young readers. She lives in Kintbury, with her husband the writer Robert Harris and their four children

Gill will be in conversation with journalist and author Charlie Lee-Potter