I rediscovered Jane Austen when I lived in the Netherlands from 2002-2005. This same assignment gave me the opportunity to cruise the Nile River with several teachers. Naturally I jumped at the change to review PRIDE AND PYRAMIDS by Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb. Today, Amanda joins me for a cozy chat. From her bio,
Amanda Grange was born in Yorkshire and spent her teenage years reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer whilst also finding time to study music at Nottingham University. She has had eighteen novels published, including six Jane Austen retellings which look at events from the heroes' points of view. H
Her books are on sale in the Jane Austen Centre, Bath, and the Jane Austen House Museum, Chawton, as well as regular book outlets. Amanda Grange now lives in Cheshire.
|Jane Austen and the Hawaiian Flag|
Kim: We are Anglophiles here at SOS Aloha. Can you share your favorite sight, sound, and smell of Cheshire?
Amanda: I’m spoilt for choice. Cheshire has a lot of stately homes and I love spending days there, looking at all the magnificent furniture or exploring the grounds. Lyme Park is close to where I live, and of course it’s famous for being used as Pemberley in the Colin Firth adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. There is another stately home close by, Capesthorne Hall , which is great for days out. Alderley Edge is also close by. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty with fabulous views over the English countryside. I often walk in the woods there – I can think and get some exercise at the same time!
My favourite sound is the river, and my favourite smell is the scent of roses in the rose garden at Tatton Park - another nearby stately home – in the summer.
Kim: What sparked an interest in taking the Darcys to Egypt? What did you learn about Egypt while writing this book?
Amanda: Jacqueline and I were chatting by email one day – we’ve known each other for years and met at a local chapter meeting of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – and the conversation turned to Egypt. Jackie’s first book, The Scarlet Queen, was set there, and somehow the conversation moved round to Egyptology in the Regency period and this sparked the idea for Pride and Pyramids.
Some of the greatest Egyptian finds spring from the Regency period. The Rosetta Stone was found as Jane Austen was writing Pride and Prejudice. It was discovered by a French soldier but it was later passed over to the British under the terms of one of the peace treaties – this was the era of the Napoleonic Wars and the various battles turned the tide in favour of one power or the other. The Stone was sent to the British Museum, where it became one of the most important exhibits. Anyone interested in Egypt during the Regency period might like Travels in Egypt and Nubia by Giovanni Battista Belzoni. Belzoni was a collector of antiquities, and he was paid by various people to discover new artifacts, but he was hampered in his search by the politics of the day. He was often obstructed by officials, and his account of his triumphs and obstacles is fascinating.
I also learnt a lot about Ancient Egyptian tomb building, for example the habit of building false tombs which were designed to confuse grave robbers. All in all, it was a fascinating book to research.
Amanda: Jacqueline and I are currently writing another book together. It’s a contemporary romance about a group of Jane Austen fans who all have tangled love lives, and the book follows them as they sort out their problems and achieve their own happy endings.
1. Leave a comment about Egypt - what is intriguing to you?
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, July 28, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 29.
Kim in Hawaii
To learn more about Amanda Grange and her books, check out her website at www.amandagrange.com.
Join me tomorrow at the Reading Reviewer (at this link) for Jacqueline's interview!