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Jane Fairfax

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,365 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Jane Fairfax war musikalisch, vielseitig begabt und elegant. Soviel wissen wir aus Jane Austens "Emma". Aber wie verliefen ihre Jugendjahre als Waise, was war mit ihrer Kinderfreundschaft zu Emma Woodhouse, und - was noch wichtiger ist - was passierte bei ihrem Sommeraufenthalt in Weymouth?
Janes Rückkehr als wohlerzogene Gouvernante nach Highbury nährt Emmas müßige Neugie
Paperback, 330 pages
Published 1995 by Diogenes (first published 1990)
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In honor of the 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen's Emma, I have been reading stories set in that world. I love it when an author tackles a secondary character and gives them their own story. In this case, it is the enigmatic Jane Fairfax. Jane was the woman that Emma set up as her own rival and was engaged to a man that was an iffy choice for hero. I was so curious to see what the author would do with Jane's story.

I found the treatment of Jane's character, her background, and her circumstances a
Jul 27, 2008 Garnette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those tired of the incompete sequels
Recommended to Garnette by: Elizabeth
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant style, Jane Fairfax is written with full compliance with Emma yet with undertones that enhance rather than diminish Jane Austen. What I learned from this book was more than what I learned about Emma, with grace, without heavy handedness, the book is fully accomplished craft. To my wondering eyes, the author unfolds depths of understanding of motivation and characterization Jane left for the reader to discern. I even see Emma herself with new eyes - 'the hundred pounds', Frank Churchill ...more
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
What a wonderful book. No, it is not in the style of Jane Austen, but if that is not important to you then it is a great book for you to read. It takes you back into the beginning when Emma and Jane were little playmates. If you read Emma and wondered what her childhood was like, then you will love this book. You can discover the real reason why Emma dislikes Jane.

What is so terrific about this book is that you fall in love with Jane, she really is the second heroine of the novel. It is wonderf
Aug 18, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Becky, Katie
I felt like the author was doing well developing some characters that weren't as well developed in Emma then all of a sudden she had a deadline to make so she wrapped the book up early. I enjoyed the book up to the point where (I don't think this is a spoiler, since it's in Emma) Frank Churchill proposed the secret engagement. The whole last section in Highbury seemed rushed and it never seemed like Jane liked Frank enough. So it made me sad that she seemed to be settling. It's a shame, because ...more
Aug 28, 2007 Cori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Austen
From my blog:

I've never been one to read fan fiction because I've always equated it with science fiction (Star Trek, BSG, etc.) or Harry Potter. Then I realized I've read a slew of fan fiction based on Jane Austen in the last few years, although I've never really thought about it like that. The books have ranged from good (Bridget Jones's Diary) to not so good (Mr. Darcy's Daughters -- like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth would ever allow those things to go on under their roof!). I thought that Joan Aik
Hilary Moon Murphy
I had mixed feelings about this one. I loved Joan Aiken's Wolves of Willoughby Chase, and I felt that the concept of this book was brilliant. The subtitle of this book alludes to it being the "secret story of the second heroine of Emma," the very private and reserved Jane Fairfax. In Emma, Jane Fairfax initially appears to exist only as a foil for the main character: she is a deserving and gifted beauty that is doomed to a life of drudgery as a governess because she has no diary. But as Austen's ...more
Jennifer Nelson
Aug 23, 2016 Jennifer Nelson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013-books
Someone needs to hand this book to a soap opera TV show would make a perfect script for one of their shows.

Wow. I was in turns incredulous at and disgusted by this extremely shallow, sensational, insipid Jane Austen copy. There were times that I felt like laughing at the absurdity of it all.

I will say that the first few chapters were very promising and I was settling in to what I thought would be a first-rate story. Then it quickly disintegrated into insanity. At the end I could
 Gigi Ann
Mar 18, 2015 Gigi Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts...

I recently found this book while meandering around in Barnes & Noble one day. I love many of the sequels of the Jane Austen books. Since Emma is my favorite book by Jane Austen, and when I noticed the title of this book I knew I just had to have it to read. I found that it was a worthy companion to the original book Emma. It will have a special place on my bookshelf right beside the book Emma.

I loved this book and awarded it 5 stars. However, I think you will only enjoy the bo
Oct 29, 2008 Karla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A die-hard Austen fan, I looked forward to reading the "backstory" of Jane Fairfax. But I found this to be somewhat of a disappointment. While convincingly written in the style of Jane Austen and meticulously faithful to her book, Emma, I felt it lacked the humor of the original and, obviously, the surprises. One of the fabulous things about Austen's writing is that her characters are human. They make mistakes, have character flaws; and that makes it so easy to identify with them. Joan Aiken's J ...more
Fabiana Udolpho
The first half of the book is delightful, with fine character development, great drama and an engaging heroine. Emma is a little too evil, but that’s Emma from Jane’s point of view, so it makes sense. Also, it’s a good thing that Aiken tells Jane’s story outside Highbury, instead of just rewriting Austen’s novel. Unfortunately, the second half is atrocious. Jane is messed up and everything is ruined. The relationship between Jane and Frank is never developed, and her reason for marrying him is v ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: frustrated readers of Emma
Shelves: chick-lit
This companion novel to Jane Austen's Emma is, I think, a much more satisfying story than the original! I've never enjoyed Emma, simply because the "heroine" is to me, unlikable. Aiken's story fills in the gaps about the mysterious Jane Fairfax and creates a character that I sympathized with and befriended.
Dec 05, 2009 Jenny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Joan Aiken's story did something that I long believed impossible. She made Emma Woodhouse into a sympathetic character. Jane Fairfax of this story becomes proud and judgmental, especially when it comes to Emma.
Margaret Sullivan
It's very well-written and a good story, but I would not have made the same choices for back story.
Rachela Muracka
Aug 05, 2015 Rachela Muracka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Remember that intriguing, original story that Jane Austen wrote about the redemption of a spoiled snob? Some one who won the sympathies of many readers--even in the modern audience--and decided to use her resources to be a better person? Well, let's take all that's interesting in that story and suck it out to make something cliched, judgementally dull, and too revisionist for *this* Austen fangirl.

First, (view spoiler)
Deborah Ideiosepius  omnivorous reader
The character after which this novel is named, Jane Fairfax, is a bit character in one of Jane Austin's beloved books: In 'Emma' Jane Fairfax is a character who is used to help build Emma's youthful story, reveal her selfishness and help create a picture of her for the reader. It is important to explain who Emma is from early on, because as an adult she is not likable and one has to have her background established in order to bear with her later on. Jane Fairfax later appears in the story as the ...more
This book is a rendition of Jane Austen's, Emma, seen from the viewpoint of Jane Fairfax. I had every intention of loving it, but can only say that I liked it. Aiken tried very hard to stick with the style of writing that Jane Austen used. For the most part she did well, but there were moments of irritation. I feel that her focus was off quite a bit as well. She spent far too much time narrating Jane's childhood and not enough time on the romance between Jane and Frank Churchill. I found it stra ...more
Dec 12, 2012 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept for this book is a great one - tell Jane Fairfax's story, all that we missed in Emma. The beginning, while she's a child in Highbury is charming, and seeing Emma and the other characters through different eyes is very interesting. The prose is well done, it's nicely Austenesque, and reads well. We really feel for Jane in her mixed status as one of the Campbell family, but not fully one of them, with – to paraphrase Dickens – no great expectations, despite all her accomplishments, int ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jane-austen
If you're an Austen fan, you know that Jane Fairfax ends up with Frank Churchhill. So in reading this you might expect to understand the how or why of that relationship. This story doesn't really make your root for the 2 of them to be together. There is no sense of rightness to the relationship like you might get with Emma and Mr. Knightly or Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. The only really redeeming part of the relationship is that it saves Jane from a life as a governess. This isn't to say that Jane is no ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is my first time reading an Austen fan novel. I did not expect much but was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. Reading Jane Fairfax was like traveling back in time to places and events you know well, but watching everything unfold again from a different angle. This is a great book for those who just can't get enough of Jane Austen but have no patience with the plethora of cheesy derivatives out there.
Jan 08, 2008 nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans
Shelves: fiction
Perhaps I've just read Jane Austen's Emma so many times as to become restless with it, but I really enjoyed seeing another point of view on Miss Woodhouse. Learning the story of Miss Fairfax, as well as a different view of the story of Mr. Churchill was nice. It was a bit tedious at times, since it was required to repeat a lot of Emma, but still a rather decent attempt.
Mar 12, 2009 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is Emma from Jane's point of view. At times there was way too much (boring) detail that I just skimmed over. Up until the last two chapters I was going to give it a negative review but the author pulled it together nicely in the end. Overall it was fairly entertaining but one that I will probably not read again.
I've read quite a few "spin-offs" of Jane Austen's works and Aiken's book is one of the best. She sticks to Austen's plot and characterizations and she keeps her stylistic embellishments to a minimum. All in all and really lovely book.
Mar 16, 2009 Briony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Joan Aiken, but unfortunately, as with all sequels to Jane Austin books that I have read, I found this one rather bad. It is supposed to be Emma, from Jane Fairfax's point of view, but I had a hard time feeling sympathetic to the heroine, and it seriously drags in the middle.
Aug 22, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really fun book if you are a fan of Jane Austen. I think Aiken did an incredible job! If I could I would have given this book 4 1/2 stars. :)
Mar 20, 2016 Brianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really good! It felt like I was reading Austen. Definitely recommend it! :D
I struggled to get myself totally interested in this book, Jane Fairfax, and have also struggled to figure out why. This is a well written book, and the character of Jane Fairfax is fairly complex and interesting. I enjoyed the writing and the character. So, why did I keep putting off reading this book when it has been on my TBR pile for years?

Emma is one of my favorite Jane Austen stories and I always found the character of Emma to be so agreeably flawed. You just see her rushing pell-mell into
Dec 31, 2016 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austen-inspired
I don't know why I let this sit on my bookshelf for so long-I loved it! Is it sacrilegious to say I liked it even more than Austen's Emma, the book on which this book is based? It took all of Austen's wonderful characters and placed them into the perspective of Jane Fairfax. So, we get a wonderful story without the grating character of Emma Woodhouse (for me, Emma has always been my least favorite Austen character). I felt the tone was true to Austen and only wished that the romance between Jane ...more
Oct 13, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable read, I loved learning more about Jane and her backstory. The majority of the book is set prior to the main story line of Emma, and you are introduced to a large number of new characters. Jane's perspective is fascinating. The only thing I wish is that the book ended a little differently - obviously, not that it reaches a different conclusion, but that it just ends so abruptly that it's a bit jarring. Other than that, it is a wonderful novel.
Lauren Ewing
Sep 29, 2016 Lauren Ewing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Jane Austen you will probably enjoy the book, especially if you read Emma.
This book, Jane Fairfax, follows one of the secondary characters in Austen's Emma.

The eponymous heroine is actually one of my more loved of the secondary characters. She's quiet, and in pain, and trapped, and no one ever really knows it. The man she's secretly engaged to spends most of the book gossiping about her so nobody guesses that they're engaged. If she ditches him, she'll be a governess for the rest of her life-- not a happy ending. And on top of all that she has to deal with Mrs. Elton
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Joan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has been in print for over 50 years with a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and unforgettable short stories.
NEW COLLECTION 2016 - The People in The Castle https://www.goodread
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