Tuesday, 5 August 2014

ACRBA Tour A Jane Austen Encounter by Donna Fletcher Crow with Interview

4th - 8th August 2014
A Jane Austen Encounter
(Stone House Ink February 2014)


Donna Fletcher Crow

About the Book

Join Elizabeth and Richard on the Jane Austen trail. Visit all the sites so redolent of Jane and her characters in the beautiful city of Bath, stay in the Chawton House Library and visit the charming cottage where Jane's writing flowered and the nearby Steventon church where her father was rector and her own faith established, stand by her grave in Winchester Cathedral, and enjoy your time at the lovely country estate of Godmersham. But don't let your guard down. Evil lurks even in the genteel world of Jane Austen.

About the Author

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 13 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna's books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to:
You can follow her on Facebook at:
1.         Can you tell us something interesting readers may not know about you?
Many people know that I have 13 grandchildren but few know that as a child I wanted to have 12 children when I grew up. Since I was an only child living on a farm I was alone a great deal of the time. Sometimes I would look at pictures of big families, usually a rather chaotic Christmas scene, and think what fun that would be. I determined that was what I wanted my life to be like. And seeing the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen” encouraged my madness. Fortunately, my husband had a little more sense and we stopped after four. I had to wait a whole generation to get my dozen— plus one!
2.         Where did you get the inspiration for your novel?
Jane Austen has always been my favorite author. I started reading her in the tenth grade and never quit. She still amazes me with her originality, wit and subtlety. And I still daydream of living in her world. Since my Elizabeth and Richard literary suspense series has a writer in the background of each novel it’s no surprise that I chose Jane Austen, having done Dorothy L Sayers and William Shakespeare in the first two of the series.
For A Jane Austen Encounter I visited each of the places Jane lived in England and share my experience with my readers through the eyes of Elizabeth and Richard. I was fortunate, though, in that I didn’t encounter any murderous villains on my time following the Jane Austen Trail.
3.         In your research did you find any interesting titbits that surprised you?
Perhaps the thing that surprised me most— and thoroughly delighted me— was the fact that after 200 years so much is still there. Chawton Cottage where Jane and her mother lived while she wrote Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion, is a delightfully restored museum. Steventon Church where The Reverend George Austen was rector for many years and where Jane worshipped for the first twenty-six years of her life is still a living parish church. As are the churches she worshipped in in Chawton and Godmersham. Most of the places Jane stayed and enjoyed in Bath are still there. Her brother Edward’s home Chawton House has been turned into a world-renown library for the study of women writers and Godmersham, the estate he inherited near Canterbury, is now a private school, but can be visited by appointment. The little house where she died across the street from Winchester Cathedral is marked with a blue plaque and her grave in the cathedral is overlooked by a stained glass window in her honour. It is possible to follow Jane’s life still today.
4.         What would you like readers to take out of reading your novel?
The underlying theme of A Jane Austen Encounter is the reality of Jane’s Christian belief which truly comes alive when one visits the churches she worshipped in and looks carefully at her life.  I hope those who love her works as I do will realize that without her Christian faith Jane would not have been the same writer.
5.         A fun question to end, if you could visit anywhere in Australia or New Zealand where would it be?
Our son spent a summer in New Zealand as an exchange student on the North Island. Next to the wonderful people he met the thing he loved most was the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. I think that would be a fascinating place to visit.
6.         Where can we find you on the web? 
Thank you for asking, Jenny, and thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I love the opportunity to meet new readers.  To read more about all of my books and see pictures from my garden and research trips, go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/  and I would love to have you follow me on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY


  1. Hats off to you, Donna for such wonderful research! Oh, that we Aussies lived so much closer to these amazing historical sites. Thank you for writing all those details about Jane's life that we mightn't have known.

    And thanks Jenny for bringing Donna and her lovely book to our attention.

    1. Thank you, Rita. Oh, yes--isn't that one of the best things about books--getting to travel to places we could never get to otherwise.

  2. Your post has reinforced my ambition to visit Jane Austen country one day, Donna. Your book sounds extremely interesting. Thanks Jenny for the interview.

    1. I do hope you can make it one day, Andrea. Following the Jane Austen trail takes one to some of the very loveliest parts of England.

  3. What a fascinating journey. I fell in love with Jane Austen's books in Grade 11 too and now my teenage daughter is a fan as well. Your book sounds intriguing Donna. Thanks for the interview Jenny.

    1. How wonderful that you've passed your love of Jane on to your daughter! I've just started on my granddaughter with the Little Miss Austen boardbooks--can't start too soon.

  4. Great interview, Jenny and Donna. :)
    I always sit up and pay attention when I see 'Jane Austen.'

  5. Donna and Jenny, lovely interview :)

  6. Thank you so much for for the fun iterview, Jenny and for sharing it with your readers.