On this day in 1817, Jane Austen died at the age of 41. But what if you could change that? What if you could diagnose the mysterious illness that killed her? What if you could just meet her?
Jane Austen fans who are willing to entertain the idea of time travel may be interested in The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn. Dr. Rachel Katzman and her colleague haven’t gone back in time to save Ms. Austen. Actually, they aren’t supposed to change anything about the past. Their task is to make the acquaintance of the Austen family and find a way to steal a copy of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel as well as her letters. Of course, this is far more difficult than one might think, and all sorts of complications arise both from keeping their secret and from their attempts not to change the course of history. While it’s not necessarily in the same style of Austen’s works, it is certainly a well-researched opportunity to indulge in the fantasy of getting a chance to be BFFs with one of your favorite writers.
Or, if you happen to be in Minneapolis, you could always stop in the Jane Austen rooms open at the Minneapolis Central Library for the month of July to immerse yourself in her world.