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The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,703 ratings  ·  358 reviews
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 two-hundred-year old poetry book is a letter she believes was written by Jane Austen, me
Paperback, 422 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published December 1st 2012)
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3.81  · 
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 ·  1,703 ratings  ·  358 reviews

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Eh. There wasn't much to this book, so there won't be much to this review.

Basically: modern day woman buys old book, finds what might be a letter from Jane Austen referencing a lost manuscript, engages in lots of awkward exposition with various other characters, goes searching for said manuscript, meets fine-looking gentleman, finds manuscript, reads manuscript, small drama to justify modern-day framework, neatly wrapped-up bad-rom-com ending.

The only reason this book got more than one star out
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Why did this book have to end? Rather, why did the book within the book have to end? Could have read these forever. Perhaps, if we are all very lucky,they will find another manuscript hidden within the walls of Greenbrier. I will be ready to read it.
Sara Palacios
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James in exchange for an honest review.

The book begins as Samantha McDonough stumbles upon a letter tucked away in an uncut page of a two-hundred-year old poetry book. She instantly recognizes the salutation, the handwriting, and the content as an old piece from the infamous Jane Austen. Although the discovery is quite amazing, Samantha finally reads the letter and the content is even better – it claims that there is a missing m
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
4.5 stars really =) lol

BUT .. awesome read for Austen fans!
I had not read any of Syrie James' work before, but after reading her newest novel she has me sold on her writing skills. This novel comprises of a novel within a novel as we are treated to the contemporary story of Samantha who hunts down and discovers that there is an unpublished story written by Jane Austen. She then has to beg the sexy owner to do the right thing and allow the work to be published. (While fighting her attraction to
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Jane Austen must have had some secrets. With information about her life being “famously scarce”1 and a large majority of her correspondence being destroyed and censored, one can understandably make the conjecture that there are some things the Austen family did not want the world to know about dear Jane. But the unanswered question remains: what did they not want the world to know? Love affairs? Painful hardships? Illness? What are the secrets of Jane Austen's life?

Critically acclaimed and best-

This is a typical "book-within-a-book" novel, and as such I found myself liking one section of the story far more than the other. In this case, I really enjoyed the missing/stollen story of Rebecca Stanhope far more than I liked the telling of how modern day Austen schooler Samantha discovered it.

I think the novel would have been much stronger if the author had committed fully to the manuscript angle and added a forward/afterward via a fictional character explaining the novels discovery and sub
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was not what I expected at all. I thought most of the book would be a mystery involving finding the missing manuscript of Jane Austen, I was very surprised to find that the manuscript is found relatively early in the book and that most of the book involved the reading of the manuscript.

Even though it was not the story I thought I would be reading I thoroughly enjoyed it. James does an excellent job with the manuscript and it really felt like a Jane Austen story. I found myself flying t
This was the second book I have read to date by Syrie James, and it will definitely not be my last. James's Nocturne is one of my favorites, and although a completely different type of book, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen did not disappoint. This was exceptionally good, and solidified this author as one for me to read all of her works.

The title both intrigued me and made me hesitate, because taking on a story actually involving Jane Austen and her newly discovered manuscript is a great i
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, real-books
15 SEP 2015 - What would you do if you discovered a missing manuscript authored by Jane Austen? I would pee! Anyway, it will be fun to read about Samantha's "discovery."
Felicia (Little Prairie Library)
I kind of picked this up on a whim, and I had no idea it was a book-in-a-book. I had quite a lot of fun reading this "lost Jane Austen" book. I could almost believe at times that it was actually written by Austen, the themes and characters felt so familiar. Towards the end, I was getting those happy giddy feelings that I usually get at the end of an Austen novel. I really enjoyed it!

The audiobook was narrated by Justine Eyre and I quite enjoyed it.
Dani C. (Paulette's Papers)
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I loved The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I am a huge Jane Austen fan so I was just hoping that this would be an enjoyable book. What I did not expect was a captivating story that I had trouble putting down!

Samantha is revisiting England while her boyfriend is in medical conferences all day. As an American librarian who once attended Oxford it is no wonder she went shopping in a bookstore where she came across an old book of poetry. As she looks a
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
So not as good as The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, but still pretty good. James decidedly understands the workings of a Jane Austen novel.

Samantha is living in LA, and working as a college librarian after she abandoned her dissertation to get her PhD in English Lit from Oxford to take care of her sick mother. She is now dating one of her mother's doctors, and when he has a medical conference in London she tags along to check out some of her old stomping grounds. While there she buys an old book
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Complete reversal of opinion, in the midst of this book. The story of a woman who discovers a letter written by Jane Austen that eventually leads to uncovering a missing manuscript, I started out enjoying the modern portion more, even though I thought it was a bit flat. The "story within a story" didn't sound like authentic Austen, to me, at least linguistically.

As I kept reading, though, the plot of the Austen manuscript discovered in this novel sounded more and more like an Austen plot. And,
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fantastic read-a real page turner.
Initially, we have the modern story based on the lady who realises there may be a lost Austen manuscript who then enlists the owner of the manor to help her look for it.
However, for me, the story that unfolds in that manuscript is what kept me hooked!! I loved it!! It kept me up late at night, in anticipation of what would happen next.
This love story, within the story was beautifully written and took precedence over the modern version as I real
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In such days as this, of on-line Jane Austen fan fiction, self-publishing, and perusing the stacks in traditional brick and mortar bookstores, it is incomprehensible to neglect reading the manifold of Jane Austen spin-offs, what-ifs and other such Austen inspired musings. Those of us Austen addicts simply cannot get enough of her—and oftentimes inhale all we can in self-indulgent reading binges… in search of that same rush, that wonderful, satisfying moment we experienced upon discovering her f ...more
The book weaves two stories set in late 18th century and present time.

The present time story is of a young woman, who comes across a letter suggesting a possibility of a missing manuscript of Jane Austen. This story in the first chapter has a slow start. However, it picks up in the following chapter, when she meets a young man whose father’s house could be a place where the lost manuscript was written. The search for it begins.

The second story is of the lost manuscript written by Jane Austen; he
Léa Becomeadinosaur
Voilà voilà je l’annonce, je n’ai jamais lu de Jane Austen.
Mais le résumé de ce livre, une amoureuse de littérature qui se lance dans la quête d’un manuscrit perdu, je ne pouvais qu’aimer !

Sans vraiment connaitre de détails sur notre héroïne je me suis attachée à elle au court de sa quête. Samantha est à la fois à la recherche des feuillets perdu de Jane Austen mais aussi à la recherche d’elle même.

En lisant le résumé je ne m’attendais pas à ce que nous soyons plongés dans le « manuscrit » de
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was like opening a gift and peeling away the tissue paper layer by layer - it just kept getting better and better. And in the same way Sam and Anthony couldn't keep from reading booklet after booklet, I kept turning page after page and found each one better than the one before.

"The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen" is a book within a book, time travel from the current day to Jane Austen's early 1800's. Somehow, Syrie James is able to make the reader comfortable in both centuri
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fan fiction for Jane Austen fans. It made you think about what would happen if a lost manuscript by Jane Austen was found. Imagine the bidding war for the rights.
Jan 01, 2013 added it
Shelves: austenesque
While on a trip to England with her boyfriend, Samantha McDonough buys a poetry book at a used bookstore in Oxford unaware that it will take her on a life-changing journey and give her the opportunity to live out the dream of many Jane Austen fans. Although forced to abandon the PhD program at Oxford four years before to care for her ailing mother, forcing her to give up on her dream of becoming a college English professor, Samantha understands the importance of the unfinished letter she finds i ...more
Maria Grazia
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that with this new novel Syrie James has surpassed herself and moved forward even respect to a successful achievement like The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. She did a brilliant job both at delivering a well-designed plot echoing Jane Austen’s voice - but modernizing it for a present-day audience - and at enclosing it in an intriguing frame of quest and romance.

Samantha is an American librarian who had to give up her Ph D in English Literature while preparing a dissertation on Jane Au
Claire Saim
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Une petite merveille que j'ai eu la chance de lire en avant-première !

Syrie James, grande admiratrice de l’oeuvre de Jane Austen, auteur à succès et qui plus est, excellent écrivain, s’est déjà illustrée dans le genre avec The Lost memories of Jane Austen (2008), où elle nous livrait les mémoires imaginaires de la grande romancière anglaise.

Dans cette nouvelle oeuvre, que l’on peut tout à fait lire indépendamment de la première, même si un lien ténu existe entre elles, par le truchement d’un des
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT OF JANE AUSTEN is a novel within a novel, much like the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, so if you like Willig's books, it's likely that you may like this one as well. The book starts out with Samantha McDonough, a special collections librarian, discovering a handwritten letter by Jane Austen stuck inside a book of poetry she bought at a used book store while on vacation in London. Even though she's supposed to be flying out in a couple of days, she goes on a quest ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Austen fans
Hmmm. I don't ordinarily write up a review, but I feel somewhat compelled to do so. The book is very well-written. I like her style--I especially like how you can feel the flavor of the book within a book. I can almost believe that Jane wrote the Stanhopes instead of Syrie. In fact, my favorite part of the book is the Stanhopes story. It's delightful--I like the change of fortunes/circumstances so well. Of course, you can see from miles away who will ultimately be Miss Stanhope's life partner, b ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James was an absolutely delightful novel. I am impressed with how well-executed this concept was with regards to her writing style. I was so drawn in that I had trouble putting the book down when I had to. It took me no time to fly through the 410 pages!

This novel is a book-within-a-book format. Perhaps around 300-350 pages are actually dedicated to the manuscript itself that the main modern-day character Samantha searches for and discovers. I wasn'
I finished this book in the very early morning hours... and thoroughly LOVED it! It's a story within a story, starting in present day London and moving into very early 1800's Devonshire. There were so many similarities in the characters of this book compared to those of Austen's novels. Right off the bat, some of these similarities jumped off the pages at me: Mrs. Harcourt reminds me of Mrs. Jennings (humorous; talks about everything/everyone!); Mr. Spangle as Mr. Collins (obviously!!); Miss Dav ...more
Lyn Liza
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved Syrie James' works, although I only had a chance in reading the Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and a chapter in that book about Charlotte Bronte. This book had started me in high hopes that I will find this one equally interesting and gripping and I haven't been mistaken.

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a novel within a novel. Samantha, a librarian in a university in L.A., bought a book where she found a missing letter of Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra while on a hol
Christine Rebbert
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
The jacket makes it sound like the whole book is going to be the story of searching for the missing manuscript, but actually, the manuscript is found early on, and most of the rest of the book IS the manuscript of an earlier, totally unknown work by Jane Austen. Syrie James really has Austen down pat; you could easily believe it was in fact written by Austen back in the early 1800's. The story-within-the-story is perhaps more melodramatic and broader than Austen's actual works, but that it shoul ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
One of the perks of working at a library is that you find new title and authors that you have never heard of before. While perusing our new fiction shelf, I came across this one.......Now anything remotely smelling of Jane Austen gets my attention.

It's a great story--it is of a young woman who finds a hidden letter that points to their being an unfinished work of Austen lying around. Her search takes her to a country estate in England where she meets the owner....who at first strikes her as unfr

My very first thought after finishing this book was that I was so sad that it had to come to an end. Syrie James transported me back in time with her lovely book, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, and I have to say that she did it again with this story. I adored the Stanhopes and was absolutely captivated by Rebecca. I absolutely loved the way James set the plot and how she introduces this lost manuscript of Jane's into the current time. The story never lags and at times I honestly thought
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Syrie James is the bestselling author of a dozen critically acclaimed novels of historical fiction, historical romance, contemporary romance, & YA. Syrie is passionate about strong women, sexy heroes, and books that keep you turning pages long into the night! Her books have been translated into eighteen languages.

Syrie's name, which was her mother's invention, is pronounced just like the iPhon
“Change often brings unimagined opportunity...If there is no struggle, there is no progress. To live in a safe cocoon- I believe that is not truly living. It is stagnation.” 16 likes
“Some of the most thrilling things in life are done on impulse.” 11 likes
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