Alexa's Reviews > By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England

By a Lady by Amanda Elyot
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's review
Mar 03, 2012

did not like it

This was truly god-awful! About half-way through it occurred to me that the author thought she was writing a farce, but since nothing had yet struck me as funny, I must be excused for not having previously noticed. The absolute stupidity of a character transported through time responding not with horror, or awe, or fear, but only mild curiosity is absurd (and not in any way funny!) When she finds herself in another century, our heroine makes no attempt to return, spares no time to wonder how or where she will eat or sleep or even relieve herself, but simply proceeds to play the tourist for the rest of the day. Her only worries were whether she was fashionably enough dressed. When it does finally occur to our heroine to wonder how indeed she will relieve herself, or deal with such realities as her period, the author does not bother to give us an answer after asking the question, an intolerable cheat. On two different occasions our heroine assures another poor unfortunate that she will take care of her and never forget her, only to abandon them both without another thought when her own circumstances change. The cut and paste effect of the Austen dialogue is amazingly awkward, without ever being funny. Yuck! I can’t believe I was such a fool (again) as to hope that somewhere out there was someone able to “play” with Jane Austen in an amusing way!
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