Joan Aiken picks up the pen of her forerunner, Jane Austen, in this charming sequel to Pride and Prejudice.
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy have finally found matrimonial bliss, and now our attention turns to Rosings Park, the estate of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh. When an unfortunate carriage accident means that siblings Ralph and Priscilla Delaval must reside with Lady Catherine, the stage is set for a scandal. Life in the sleepy Kent village is turned upside down by a series of unexpected events, and dark family secrets are finally brought to light . . .
Featuring a cast of characters from Austen's classic, including Anne de Bourgh, Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Collins (nee Lucas), Colonel Fitzwilliam and, of course, the redoubtable Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Joan Aiken was born in Sussex in 1924. She was the daughter of the American poet, Conrad Aiken; her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge, is also a novelist. Before joining the 'family business' herself, Joan had a variety of jobs, including working for the BBC, the United Nations Information Centre and then as features editor for a short story magazine. Her first children's novel, The Kingdom of the Cave, was published in 1960. Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books for young readers and adults and is recognized as one of the classic authors of the twentieth century. Amanda Craig, writing in The Times, said, 'She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew.' Her best-known books are those in the James III saga, of which The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was the first title, published in 1962 and awarded the Lewis Carroll prize. Both that and Black Hearts in Battersea have been filmed. Her books are internationally acclaimed and she received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction in this country for The Whispering Mountain. Joan Aiken was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books. She died in 2004.