Abigail Bok

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Abigail is a lifelong fan of Jane Austen, an editor, and a writer. In addition to the novel An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, she has published “A Dictionary of Jane Austen's Life and Works” in The Jane Austen Companion and “A Summer in Sanditon” in the Meryton Press short-story collection Sun-Kissed.

To learn more about her recent novel, An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, visit LitLovers at http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guid... or read excerpts at http://www.obstinateheadstronggirl.com

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Abigail Bok One novel set in the modern day was enough for me; I'm retreating to the nineteenth century! In the course of researching Jane Austen's unfinished…moreOne novel set in the modern day was enough for me; I'm retreating to the nineteenth century! In the course of researching Jane Austen's unfinished novel The Watsons, I discovered the small market town of Dorking in Surrey. In the year 1800, it had the most fascinating array of characters and stories--starting with a tragicomic figure known as the Walking Dunghill. I am working on a series of novels based on these stories, called Darking Hundred (Darking was what the residents called the town in 1800). The first one, Coldharbour Gentlemen, will tell the tale of the area's smugglers, from the point of view of an eleven-year-old boy.(less)
Abigail Bok Interesting question, Gary! I like to imagine not, but I suspect there are snippets of me—perhaps whole chunks—in my characters. I made Elizabeth a…moreInteresting question, Gary! I like to imagine not, but I suspect there are snippets of me—perhaps whole chunks—in my characters. I made Elizabeth a gardener because I love gardening and find it grounding when my life is in turmoil. When I was younger, I used to take up causes in the earnest way she does, without fully understanding the ramifications for myself and others; like her, I had to learn to stop and listen to others. And I drew some of the snobbery of the other characters from the self-satisfied, superior attitudes of my college-era peers, attitudes I had to unlearn pretty quickly in the wider world.

Perhaps the answer is that I was retracing my own path to growth in the arc of the story. The details were different but the themes were the same.(less)
Average rating: 3.9 · 96 ratings · 42 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl

3.50 avg rating — 30 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Su...

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4.07 avg rating — 60 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings2 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Over the weekend I had the honor of speaking on a panel of Austenesque authors before the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Northern California chapter.

It was a bit of a tough crowd: polite, but the majority were unconvinced of the value of spinoffs, variations, and reimaginings of the Goddess’s novels. Surely rereading the novels is enough! Still, we all—Emmy Madrigal, Jeanette Watts, Re... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on December 11, 2017 14:42 • 61 views • Tags: austenesque, jane-austen, writers, writing-life

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Coldharbour Gentlemen (History)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: Volume 1 of the series Darking Hundred begins here
Coldharbour Gentlemen (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: Second installment of a novel
Reading Group Questions for An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Nov 11, 2014 03:33PM
Description: Some reading groups have chosen to read both <i>Pride and Prejudice</i> and my book in the same period and discuss them together.
George III: A Per...
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Journals and Letters
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Abigail’s Recent Updates

" I’m fond of the beloved governesses with silly nicknames—for example, isn’t the one in Sylvester called Batty or something? I love how she looks so fi ...more "
Abigail Bok made a comment in the group Historical FictionistasWhy is WWI so neglected? topic
" Antoinette, Jeffrey may be shy or the rules of the group may prevent his posting links to his titles. So may I? The first one is None of Us the Same a ...more "
" Great minds, Margaret! We posted the same idea at the same moment. "
" I can't claim to have followed the logic of the crime, it was simply a matter of economy of characters--there were a limited number of options to iden ...more "
Abigail Bok rated a book liked it
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
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Angela Thirkell novels come in two main flavors--light but with an undercurrent of sadness to give them a bit of emotional heft; and so light they float away on the breeze. Wild Strawberries falls into the latter category, so it is not a favorite of ...more
" What a wonderful review! Thanks for sharing it, Belinda. I had never thought about Black Sheep in that light. And the reviewer's writing had me laughi ...more "
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
"All the stars!! Seriously, go read this book right now! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

It’s not often that I end a novel in awe of characters, the world-building, and the depth and complexity of the themes, while still being absolutely..." Read more of this review »
Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane
"So much about this series delights me from the historical university setting, the authentic historical cultural references displayed by characters, dialogue, and setting, and to the engaging characters particularly the amateur sleuthing pair who a..." Read more of this review »
Abigail Bok and 122 other people liked Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽'s review of Circe:
Circe by Madeline Miller
"4.5 stars. An epic retelling of the life and times of the minor Greek goddess Circe, she who is famed for turning Odysseus’s men and other hapless sailors into swine (as it turns out, she had good reasons). Circe is despised and bullied by stronge..." Read more of this review »
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Lament for a Maker by Michael Innes
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I have read other mysteries told from multiple points of view, but none as perfect, and perfectly riveting, as this one. The author, Michael Innes (in real life the don J. I. M. Stewart), has more brilliance in his little finger than any writer of po ...more
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Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
How "Summer at Sanditon" came to be...plus giveaway 1 4 Jun 19, 2015 08:40AM  
Feature with Abigail Bok 1 2 Jun 27, 2015 06:23PM  
Austenesque Lover...: Someone Else Pick It For Me- August 122 41 Sep 18, 2016 06:57AM  
Austenesque Lover...: Catherine Morland Level 21-50 Books 456 87 Dec 27, 2016 07:17AM  
Austenesque Lover...: Anji's TBR mountain climb 110 49 Dec 31, 2016 12:13PM  
Austenesque Lover...: Charlotte Heywood Level 1-5 Books 342 78 Aug 10, 2018 08:07PM  
“Mothers,fathers,our kind,tell me again that death doesn't matter.Tell me it's just a limitation of vision ,a fold of landscape,a deep flax-and-poppy-filled gully hidden on the hill, pleat in our perception a somersault of existence,natural,even beneficent even a gift,the only key to the red-lacquered door at the end of the hall,"water within water," those old stories.”
Pattiann Rogers
tags: death

George Bernard Shaw
“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

George Eliot
“Obligation may be stretched till it is no better than a brand of slavery stamped on us when we were too young to know its meaning.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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Comments (showing 1-4)    post a comment »
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Sophia Howdy, Abigail!

I didn't realize we weren't already friended right and tight. :) Good catch on your part.

Enjoy your insightful comments in the group and on reviews. See you around GR!


Abigail Bok I'm pretty new to Goodreads as well, and am finding it occasionally baffling. Isn't it wonderful, though? All these people who wish to chat about Jane Austen!

It sounds as if you have ambitions to be a real Jane Austen scholar! I found a link for you to an online version of the text of her nephew's memoir: http://labrocca.com/ja/

For more about me, you can visit my profile by clicking on the image of me that should come with this message. Look forward to chatting with you again, both on the discussion boards and offline, like this!


message 2: by Mrs

Mrs Benyishai I am glad to be your friend but I am not quite sure how this works. A bit about myself I have been a JA reader for many years but I have not had with whom to dicuss my insights and thoughts with. My friends think I am nuts. I have tried to initiate study groups and book club sessions but to no avail last fall I went to a JA seminar at the WI with Hazel Jones and it was a great experience.I would like to read Chapmans articles and the biography by her nephew but cannot locate them Most of the books mentioned on Goodreads are not available here and of course it is very expensive to order and send from Amazon. the next time I will write and start asking some questions which novel should I start with your friend (MRS) Miryam Ben Yishai


message 1: by Mrs

Mrs Benyishai I am glad to be your friend but I am not quite sure how this works. A bit about myself I have been a JA reader for many years but I have not had with whom to dicuss my insights and thoughts with. My friends think I am nuts. I have tried to initiate study groups and book club sessions but to no avail last fall I went to a JA seminar at the WI with Hazel Jones and it was a great experience.I would like to read Chapmans articles and the biography by her nephew but cannot locate them Most of the books mentioned on Goodreads are not available here and of course it is very expensive to order and send from Amazon. the next time I will write and start asking some questions which novel should I start with your friend (MRS) Miryam Ben Yishai


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