More About the Author
Reviews of all four [Kindle] eBooks sequels to Jane Austen's novels will be found at this website. Just click on each cover item.
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Julia Barrett is the author of four continuations to the great novels of Jane Austen, as well as a completion of her final work. As a novelist, she has addressed herself to picking up Austen's wonderful creations -- people so lively and so vivid for us all -- to see if she could extend our encounters with them, increase our pleasures in them -- while yet keeping within the author's own themes, speaking in her language, and remaining true to her remarkable wit.
Her first was PRESUMPTION: AN ENTERTAINMENT, a sequel to Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (undertaken with English novelist, Gabrielle Donnelly, who for that book only joined with the pseudonymous JULIA BARRETT).
This work was called by THE LONDON TELEGRAPH "the next best thing to discovering a hitherto lost novel by Jane Austen"; and THE NEW YORK TIMES wrote of it: " ... energetically and often delightfully handled, evoking the spirit of PRIDE & PREJUDICE." BRITISH HERITAGE said it was "a glittering gem" of which he title alone gave fair warning of (Barrett's) approach: respect, common sense, and both altogether a strong dose of humor."
Her next continuation was a continuation of Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, this time as JULIA BARRETT, completely on her own.
The work was entitled THE THIRD SISTER. Of it, THE NEW YORK TIMES said, "... a good story, tight writing and a heroine with brains and charm. BRITISH HERITAGE MAGAZINE declared, "Both Barrett and Austen excel at what should be the primary goal of novelists, yet one that so few authors seem to be able to achieve: capturing our imaginations, holding us spellbound, and -- even after the story's resolution -- leaving us wanting to know more."
Still another triumph followed for Barrett when she elected to answer one of those unresolved fictional questions left by Jane Austen's short writing career: Where might she have gone next as a novelist?
This novel was entitled JANE AUSTEN'S CHARLOTTE: HER FRAGMENT OF A LAST NOVEL, COMPLETED. That truncated manuscript left by the author at her too-early death as a mere seventy-odd notebook sheets is taken up in mid-sentence by Barrett and carried through to its surprising and bold conclusion.
Of that work, THE WASHINGTON POST said, "Barrett's vision is sound and she bring this very entertaining book to a proper Austen-like conclusion, in which foolishness is chastened, strength of character rewarded and society...hums in equilibrium once more." The LIBRARY JOURNAL tells us that, "Barrett knows the style and themes of her predecessor thoroughly...it is difficult to know when Austen leaves off and Barrett begins ...."
JULIA BARRETT'S LATEST NOVEL: MARY CRAWFORD: REVISITING AT MANSFIELD PARK
Of Austen's MANSFIELD PARK the great critic, Lionel Trilling observed: "Jane Austen's character was conceived as "all pungency and wit" to win the admiration of almost any reader." "Her mind is lively and competent as her body; she can bring not only a horse but a conversation to a gallop...." Yet he laments, in the end "we are asked to believe that she is not to be admired...." Here Barrett frees Mary Crawford to become herself at last.
CAREER AS JOURNALIST AND NON-FICTION WRITER:
Under her own name, Julia Braun Kessler, she has had an extensive career in writing, editing and journalism, serving as Features Editor for SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE, Research Editor for ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA, and Publications Director for the University of Michigan's INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH.
She taught the Humanities at UCLA, and served with the University of Southern California's Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center as Editorial Consultant. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts from Columbia University.
Her articles and newspaper features have appeared in magazines and papers all over the country; among them: SEVENTEEN, FAMILY CIRCLE, TRAVEL & LEISURE, GEO, HUMAN BEHAVIOR, MODERN MATURITY, EAST-WEST NETWORK PERIODICALS, LOS ANGELES TIMES, LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, and countless others more.
Her first book was non-fiction: GETTING EVEN WITH GETTING OLD, a study of aging in various cultures.