The Youngest Miss Ward

Joan Aiken

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19 April 2018
304 pages

Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park famously narrates the story of poor little Fanny Price sent to live with her mother's grander sisters - the Ward family. Written almost two centuries later, Joan Aiken’s powerful sequel reverses the story and introduces us to The Youngest Miss Ward, Hatty, sent to fend for herself with the poor relations.

Although creative, charismatic and witty, Hatty Ward lacks the beauty that her older sisters inherited and is left without a dowry to care for their ill mother once her sisters are married off. Sent to Portsmouth to live with her rumbustious uncle and cousins, Hatty turns her creative flair to poetry and believes she must become a governess, that is until handsome Lord Camber passes through town . . .

With imagination and authenticity Joan Aiken captures the customs and language of Austen’s England in this one of a kind sequel, revealing a subversive and unique heroine.

Aiken forces us to see what Austen made her own heroines see: themselves from another perspective

Lizzie Skurnick, New York Times Book Review

Shows a confident hand in reworking the various plots and philosophies for which Jane Austen is so admired

Sarah Francis, Times Literary Supplement

Jane Austen herself might be pleased with Aiken's sequel to Mansfield Park . . . Intelligent, warm-hearted Hatty and the hardships she must endure before she can find true happiness will please Aiken’s loyal readers and satisfy Austen fans

Publisher's Weekly