• The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

  • By: Syrie James
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen  By  cover art

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

By: Syrie James
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
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Publisher's Summary

The minute I saw the letter, I knew it was hers. There was no mistaking it: the salutation, the tiny, precise handwriting, the date, the content itself, all confirmed its ancient status and authorship....

Samantha McDonough cannot believe her eyes - or her luck. Tucked in an uncut page of a 200-year-old poetry book is a letter she believes was written by Jane Austen, mentioning with regret a manuscript that "went missing at Greenbriar in Devonshire". Could there really be an undiscovered Jane Austen novel waiting to be found? Could anyone resist the temptation to go looking for it?

Making her way to the beautiful, centuries-old Greenbriar estate, Samantha finds it no easy task to sell its owner, the handsome yet uncompromising Anthony Whitaker, on her wild idea of searching for a lost Austen work - until she mentions its possible million-dollar value.

After discovering the unattributed manuscript, Samantha and Anthony are immediately absorbed in the story of Rebecca Stanhope, daughter of a small town rector, who is about to encounter some bittersweet truths about life and love. As they continue to read the newly discovered tale from the past, a new one unfolds in the present - a story that just might change both of their lives forever.

©2012 Syrie James (P)2012 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"This richly imagined Jane Austen 'road novel' is...a page turner.... A standout addition to the crowded archive of Austen homages." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"A literary feast for Anglophiles...[with] an Austen-worthy ending." (Publishers Weekly)

"James expertly blends Austen archetypes - bumbling suitors, lady friends both silly and sympathetic, bemused fathers - with her own narrative wit.... A sweet, enjoyable read for any Austen fan." (Shelf Awareness)

What listeners say about The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite book in a long, long time!

I absolutely LOVED this book! Both storylines were captivating, and Justine Eyre did a magnificent job, as always. I almost listened to it all the way straight through (interrupted only by a necessary night's sleep). The ending was satisfying, and I'm recommending it to everyone. SO fun for any Jane Austen fan!

9 people found this helpful

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An insult to Jane Austen

I've listened to and read a lot of Regency romances in the last 20 years and there are few that literally caused me to swear out loud but this was one of them. The hubris of this author to even suggest that the "missing manuscript" of the title is even remotely like something from Jane Austen is astounding. If you love Jane Austen and respect her works do yourself a favor and steer clear of this drivel

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lukewarm and annoying, but a decent story.

Any additional comments?

The reading was excellent in parts, extremely annoying in others. The narrator has the habit of finishing sentences with a long drawn out syllable in the throat. It's really annoying. But the voices during the Austen part of the story were excellent, and I found myself enjoying the book about halfway through. I think I would have enjoyed it more with a different narrator. I did notice some modern colloquialisms that would not have been in a true Austen novel, but I think one has to look past those little things. It's not actually written by Austen, after all. It felt sort of like a mashup of all of Austen's novels and it was actually fairly satisfying in that way. I found the modern part of the story quite lacking and undeveloped though. I nearly would have rather had just the Austen story and not bothered with the surrounding modern tale.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Jane did it better

What did you like best about The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen? What did you like least?

Like The Pink Carnation series, this story jumps back and forth between the present where researchers have found a lost manuscript and the past that has been written down. I enjoy this double point of view.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The "found" manuscript is written very much in the Jane Austen style, full of the minutiae of daily life in the 18th Century. This author, however, doesn't make that minutiae as interesting as Jane did.

What didn’t you like about Justine Eyre’s performance?

I really disliked the English accent she used. It sounds haughty and pretentious. You can actually hear the British stiff upper lip.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. I love Jane Austen and would go to see this movie on the basis hof her name only. Also, the story wouldn't suffer from being edited down to two and a half hours or so.

2 people found this helpful

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Not a fan of the voice over

Would you try another book from Syrie James and/or Justine Eyre?

I have listened to other books by Syrie James and Justines Eyre's voice was distracting and bizarre. She draws out her words in a strange way, I found it distracting and annoying. I will avoid her from now on.

2 people found this helpful

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Love a novel based on historical facts!

Two stories for the price of one! Austen lovers will enjoy this book that I think does Jane's legacy justice.

2 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable!

I’m not sure how accurate the author’s depiction of Austen’s writing is, but the story was enjoyable! Both the embedded story in the manuscript and the modern-day story were enjoyable. The only beef I might have is the representation of librarians being mere resources and not actual academics. I’ve been around university librarians. They are innovative, curious. And prolific researchers and writers in their own right. After all, it is called library *science.*

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Good Book, not very convincing, miss

The story was very interesting and I got hooked right away. The way the author describes her story is very similar to how she describes things in the Austen manuscript. The only thing similar to Austen is some quotes that she takes from every book and some of the context is not.. well I can forgive that it is just a spin off. I liked the book over all and very interesting read.

Now the performer of this book either is not British or knows nothing about music because there was a constant miss-pronounciation of words. The most relevant and that appeared over and over again was 'Piano Forte'. Please lady, for next time, it is Pea-ah-noh For-teh. Not piano fort. The accent/enfasis is in the 'for' in forte, but you can really accent it where ever you want. My gosh, that was painful.

Other than that, her accents were nice and the way she did the voices was ok too. I will give her more stars now than I anticipated. I started with 2, but since it is not all her fault about the ponunciation since anyone in the editing of this audiobook could have told her, I will give her ... nope. 2 stars is what all the performance for me warrants. I'm sorry, good try though.

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A story within a story

This book was just a delight. It’s light & fun and well worth the credit if you are a Jane Austin fan.

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Jane Austen fans unite!

love this story line, narrator & entire thought process that gives me my Jane Austen fix!

highly recommend!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • 01-13-13

Unconvincing



The missing manuscript of the title and, without giving too much away, an interwoven story about its discovery; buy one get one free. All I can say is it did justice to neither. The reader has a flat colourless voice that drains the whole thing of any incipient charm, or humour or emotion and if there was ever a book that needed assistance, this is it. Please don't be put off, if this is your sort of thing. Just not mine, sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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  • K. McBride
  • 10-16-13

Great book for lovers of Jane Austen and Novices

If you could sum up The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen in three words, what would they be?

A Must Listen

What did you like best about this story?

The reading of the Manuscript

What does Justine Eyre bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A sense of being right there with the characters in the book. She brings the story and characters to life.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I wanted to defend the characters in the manuscript for how they were treated. Wanted to cry along with them at times.

Any additional comments?

Having never read Jane Austen. this book has inspired me to do so. Also I look forward to more from the author Syrie James and the narrator Justine Eyre.

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  • Kathie
  • 02-01-14

It is not Jane Austen it is American

Would you try another book written by Syrie James or narrated by Justine Eyre?

Not if she is trying to imitate Jane Austen

What could Syrie James have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Her idea of Jane Austen's old English does not equal Jane Austen's

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did not finish it