• Colin

Many of us have, or had, an imaginary friend. What if yours was… Jane Austen?

This month sees publication of Janet Todd’s delightfully inventive, Jane-Austen inspired novel, Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden published in paperback by Fentum press…



Eccentric Fran wants a second chance. Thanks to her intimacy with Jane Austen, and Shelley, she finds one.


Jane Austen is such a presence in Fran's life that she seems to share her cottage and garden, becoming an imaginary friend. Fran’s conversations with Jane Austen guide and chide her – but Fran is ready for change. An encounter with a long-standing friend, and a new one, a writer, lead to something new. The three women unite in their love of books and in a quest for the idealist poet Shelley…


Don’t miss this glorious meditation on age, literature, friendship, hope, and the joy of new opportunities.

Janet Todd’s pain-filled interweaving of life and literature is a good book written against the odds – it is frank, wry and unexpectedly heartening” Hilary Mantel

“Todd has a good ear for tone and a deep understanding” Emma Donoghue

"Intriguing and entertaining; clever, beguiling" Salley Vickers




Janet Todd is a novelist and internationally renowned scholar, known especially for her biographies of women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Aphra Behn. After working as an academic around the world, Janet now lives in Cambridge.


Jan will be speaking at an online event at Chawton House on 20 September – you can book tickets here:


Online Talk: Janet Todd, Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden ~ Chawton House

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