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A Visit to Highbury: A...
 
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Joan Austen-Leigh
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A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Charming, intelligent, and imperious, Miss Emma Woodhouse, the eponymous heroine of Emma, is one of Jane Austen's best-loved creations - as is the village of Highbury turned upside down by Emma's well-intentioned but misguided matchmaking. Joan Austen-Leigh, Austen's own great-great-grandniece, takes readers back to this world with a novel of such style, wit, and wisdom th ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by St. Martin's Press
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
This is the same book as "A Visit to Highbury: Another view of Emma," just a different title. This is the earlier edition.

This book is the story of Jane Austen's "Emma" through the eyes of Mrs. Goddard Mistress of the school. It is not a sequel or prequel. It is a retelling of the original story. In Jane Austen's Emma, Mrs. Goddard is a very minor character that has no lines at all. This lovely novel shows more about her, her life, and how the surrounding events of Highbury effect her and she e
...more
Kelly
I made the mistake of reading this when I was in the throes of my first Austen love. It was not a mistake because it was bad. Actually, it was rather good. It just lead me to believe that sequels to Austen novels could be a good idea. Which has been proven wrong pretty much every single time since then.

This is a sequel to Emma, told through letters between Mrs. Goddard, the schoolteacher, and her sister. We get to see, from a new perspective, and one that was largely silent in the books, what be
...more
Mullgirl
I’m a small person sometimes. Maybe I’m a small person most of the time; I’m not sure. But I went into this book predisposed to not liking it. Why, might you ask? Well for starters, I generally don’t like follow-on books about peripheral characters. I mean, they’re peripheral. You’re not supposed to care what they do or why. Second, I generally don’t care for books that are a series of letters. It’s just too difficult to develop characters well and keep me interested. And third, and this is wher ...more
refgoddess
See review of "an assembly such as this." This is a re-write of Emma, and as such, does okay because it does not really attempt to re-tell the story. Instead, it's an epistolary novel, which even Jane Austen couldn't manage well. So I can't be too huffy about how contrived it is. The main characters are partly made up, and partly ancillary characters who never speak in the the original book. It would work better if they didn't show themselves so very much wiser and more observant than Austen's m ...more
Deborah
Loved it! This book and the second one (and sadly there are only two)Later Days at Highbury, have one of the best Jane Austen "esque" voices I have come across. The book consists of letters back and forth between Mrs. Goddard in Highbury and her sister Mrs. Pinkney in London. Mrs. Goddard is the headmistress of the school that Harriet attends in Jane Austen's Emma. In that book Mrs. Goddard does not have a speaking role, but is mentioned.
So A Visit to Highbury is the story of Emma, told peripher
...more
Jennifer Garcia
The cover is quite perfect for what I picture to be Frank Churchill singing with Jane Fairfax at the pianoforte. It's fitting.

This was a cute addition to the story of Emma and another side of things we did not see in Jane Austen's Emma. It is written in an epistolary fashion and is very cute. Mrs. Goddard writes back and forth with her sister from Highbury to London with news about each other's lives.

Love and romance all around and in typical Austen style her great-great-niece? (the great-grand
...more
Leslie
How on God's green Earth did this little gem slip by me? And how did I miss an Austen sequel written by an actual descendant of Jane herself? I am all astonishment. ( sorry, I had to put that in there). Well anyway, this rather short novel is written as letters between Mrs Goddard and her newly married sister. I didn't expect much but what a delight it was to read. It was funny and charming and classy. So many writers today forget how important the gentleness of manners are to Jane Austen enthus ...more
Shala Howell
I make a minor hobby of collecting Jane Austen spin-offs and this is one of the best I've read in a while. The writing style was extremely pleasant and evocative of Austen's own. And it was fun to watch Mrs. Goddard & her sister speculate on the events in the Emma storyline from an appropriately limited point of view. My main quibble is that the story seemed unfinished at the end (the author exhausted the Emma plotline and left her non-Emma characters with implied happy endings, but not real ...more
Sharon
This book was just delightful. Yeah, these bit players knew more about the main action of Emma than was likely. But honestly, the characters in the story--the sisters writing the letters, poor Charlotte, and Mr. Pinkney--were more interesting to me, in fact, than the Emma parts. Just a sweet little set of letters.
Kirk
A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma by Joan Austen-Leigh 3.5 Regency Teacups out of 5. Started very slow but the 2nd half was a delight. The stars of this book are Mrs Goddard and her sister.
Teresa
I first read this book about 10 years ago, during one of my "Emma" phases. I fell in love with it. It was the first Austen segual I had ever read and it set the bar exceedingly high. So far very few have come close to equalling it much less surpassing it.It as stated was written by Austen's own great-great-great grand neice, but whether she was able to hone in on JA's tecnique by shared family blood or just her own talent(Maybe both) may never be known.But this is a delightful compaign book to E ...more
Kevin
This was very enjoyable. A good read - she's certainly not Jane Austen, but who is? She takes a minor character, Mrs. Goddard, and fleshes her out. In my opinion, this was a much better addition to an Austen story than writing a sequel - the writer's view of the characters never quite match your own! With 'Emma' as a backdrop, you enter the lives of two sisters. You get an interesting view of how a minor character may have seen the events of the book, but get a new story as well - one that's sur ...more
Dwallace
This book written by Jane Austen's great-great-grandniece, is as pleasurable to read as Jane's original Emma. It evokes the same atmosphere of Highbury as you read in the book or viewed in the movies. Through Mrs. Goddard's letters to her sister, Mrs. Pinkney living in London, you get a peek at what might have gone on behind the scenes in Emma and to become better acquainted with Mrs. Goddard, the mistress of the boarding school where Harriet Smith resides. I shall purchase this book to add to m ...more
Leslie Hickman
I was leary at first about reading this book by a relative of Jane Austen....especially doing a sequel to one of her books. Surprisingly it was very well done. All in the style of letters between two sisters who had a bit of information from different aspects on the same stories. Very intriguing. I am actually more than willing to read more from this author other than this "Austen Sequel". It was a very enjoyable read written in truely a style like Jane herself.
Suzanne
Written as letters from Mrs. Goddard to her sister in London about the goings-on in Highbury. The author is the great-niece of Austen, herself. At first I was bored with the letter format and with already familiar characters and plot. About half-way I began to enjoy a new character and plot-line through Mrs. Goddard's sister and was glad I read it in the end.
Lulliannie
Jul 25, 2008 Lulliannie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who read Emma
Shelves: romance, girlish, to-buy
If you read Emma and loved it, then you'll enjoy these letters from Mrs. Goddard to her sister telling her all about Highbury. You get to read about the same events but from someone else's point of view, and it really does make it interesting.
Vanessa
My favorite in the Jane Austen fan fiction genre. I actually have re-read this one a few times (thought not as frequently as I've re-read Emma.) The author is a great-niece of Jane Austen and she is duly respectful of her ancestor's characters.
Phebe
This was really well-done, and by Jane Austens actual G-G-G-neice! It's format of letters between two sisters (one of whom is a lesser character in Emma) discussing events in the town of Highbury where Emma lives is great and subtle!
Denise Smith
Another attempt to add to the works of Jane Austen. Based on Emma, this story is told by letters between Mrs. Goddard and her sister who resides in London. A gentle read.

Alexa Adams
Dec 14, 2009 Alexa Adams rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Austen Fans
Recommended to Alexa by: Meredith Esperanza
Leah
The best copycat Jane Austen book I ever read. Read like Jane Austen wrote it!
Debye
An interesting take on Emma and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Joan Austen-Leigh, born in Victoria, Canada, is a collateral descendant of Jane Austen. Under the name Joan Mason Hurley, she is the author of over twenty plays which have been produced all over North America.
More about Joan Austen-Leigh...
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