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Publisher's Summary

"In a cultured, melodious voice, narrator Juliet Stevenson becomes Miss Cassandra Austen, older sister to Jane and keeper of her memory." (AudioFile magazine, Earphones Award winner)

For fans of Jo Baker’s Longbourn, a witty, poignant audiobook about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.

Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?

England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone and unwed, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her 60s and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames?

Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra’s vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane’s brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane’s life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

"A deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts." (Karen Joy Fowler)

"A delightfully astute reimagining of Jane Austen’s life that offers a shrewd take on Regency gender roles.... Ms. Hornby enlivens the exhumation with inspired touches of social comedy and a cast of appealing eccentrics." (Wall Street Journal)

©2020 Gill Hornby (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hornby’s gift to the world of Austen lovers is to return to Cassandra her rightful recognition as Jane’s most intimate and sustaining relationship, her greatest love. This is a deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts." (Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)

"Unputdownable. So good, so intelligent, so clever, so entertaining - I adored it." (Claire Tomalin, author of Jane Austen: A Life)

"Extraordinary and heart-wrenching, Miss Austen transported me from page one. A remarkable novel that is wholly original, deeply moving, and emotionally complex. A gift to all Austen lovers." (Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept)

What listeners say about Miss Austen

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Miss Austen

Well written! Great book! Jane and Cassandra are so interesting! Great job! I recommend it to anyone!

4 people found this helpful

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Lovely!

This book was so well written and performed, I didn’t want it to end. I loved it!

4 people found this helpful

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Good storytelling

What an interesting way to tell Cassandra’s story! The use of old letters as gateways to the flashbacks is captivating. It also allows the perspective of others to be introduced. That said, the story drags in places, but is worth persevering through to the end.

The narration could be better. You hear a lot of her mouth and breath sounds and the pauses can be long enough that I thought the audio had stalled. The voices she does for some characters are a little ridiculous. I was a little confused at one point because Mary Ann sounded very much like a man!

3 people found this helpful

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Juliet Stevenson is perfection as always

Juliet Stevenson is perfection as always. Wonderful story. I've a Print Copy for my Forever Shelf.

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Wonderful

Loved this beautiful story. Anyone who adores the work of Jane Austen will enjoy this. It is semi-biography, the focus of the story being the devoted relationship between Jane and her sister Cassandra. I'd even discribe it as a love story; these two sisters were the closest of friends and companions. The writing style is very much like that of JA, quite witty, and captures the social etiquette of the time. And the narration by Juliet Stevenson is sublime !

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amazing

beautifully written, beautifully performed! this book embraces the tradition of Jane Austen! well worth the time!

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Everything it should be

Everything it should be, from beginning to end! Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Jane Austen’s works and life story. Wonderful narration as always by Juliet Stevenson.

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Disappointed

Love Jane Austen and also several Austen-inspired books, but I just didn't enjoy this story and did not attempt to finish it.

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can't even finish it

boring, on and on with the angst over Jane. definitely could have been better. Sorry I wasted a credit on it.

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Marvelous!

This was a wonderful account of the Austens, through the eyes of Cassandra. The narration was wonderful! Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful