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Youngest Miss Ward [Hardcover]

Aiken Aiken
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Jane Austen herself might be pleased with Aiken's sequel to Mansfield Park, focusing on the life of a newly created younger sister to the three Ward women. Lacking beauty or a dowry, and therefore without social prospects, Hatty Ward is forced to work as an unpaid governess for difficult charges amid depressing surroundings. As the durable Hatty moves from one unhappy living arrangement to the next, Aiken effectively portrays England in the late 18th century, when social class strictly dictated the norms of behavior and an independent, clever young lady was often scorned by her elders. As in her previous Austen sequels (Jane Fairfax, etc.), Aiken captures the language, customs and style of an era when young women's lives were at the mercy of their parents, older siblings and highly connected relatives. Hatty is an admirable heroine, resolutely facing the challenges thrown her way, finding solace in poetry and the accomplishments of her arduous work. References to the distant French Revolution and to the indentured servant route to America bring period authenticity to the story. Intelligent, warmhearted Hatty and the hardships she must endure before she can find true happiness will please Aiken's loyal readers and satisfy Austen fans.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In her latest Jane Austen read-alike, Aiken profiles Hattie Ward, the youngest of the Ward sisters of Austen's Mansfield Park. Hattie is a talented child, a writer, whose tribulations sometimes seem more Dickensian than Austen-like, as first she is torn from her mother through the machinations of the vicious Lady Ursula and then from the woman she has come to regard as a second mother. Even Austen would balk at the complications that befall Hattie. Though the prolific Aiken has a slew of fans, this latest copycat novel is too far off the mark, lacking the gentle mockery and acuity of Austen as well as her wit. Austen fans may wish to check out some of the novels by Emma Tennant and Julia Barrett from the early 1990s or Stephanie Barron's current Austen mysteries. For Aiken devotees only.?Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Praise for Joan Aiken:

"Joan Aiken writes with the genius of a born storyteller, with mother wit expanded and embellished by civilized learning, and with the brilliance of an avenging angel." --The New Yorker

"Romantics could do nothing better than to read her." --London Times

"Would Austen approve Emma Watson? Lord knows, but she surely would enjoy her heroine's redemption." --The Los Angeles Times, of Emma Watson (SMP, 1996)

"As always...simply charming." --Kirkus Reviews, of Emma Watson

From the Inside Flap

Harriet Ward, known as Hatty by her sisters Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, does not at the age of twelve seem destined for a career of infamy. However, treated with utter contempt by all except her mother, who is near death, she is sent to her uncle's estate in Portsmouth, where she must do her best to fit in with her troublesome male cousins and their sickly sisters.

Nevertheless, Hatty has not seen the last of her frightful family. Indeed, events contrive to bring back into her life the haughty Lady Ursula, a friend of her mother's, and Hatty's main source of grief at home. But why should this forbidding woman be traveling so far to attend the funeral of a distant cousin? Rumors run riot and, in an unexpected twist of fortune, Harry soon finds herself in competition with Lady Ursula for the attentions of a certain lord....

About the Author

Joan Aiken is an award-winning author of novels, plays, short stories, and children's books. Her most recent Jane Austen novel is Emma Watson. She divides her time between London and New York.
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