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Jane and the Damned: A Novel Paperback – September 28, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061958301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061958304
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,548,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mullany (Improper Relations) pens an impressively compelling Jane Austen mashup full of humor ("You damned Damned!") and poignant irony. At a Basingstoke dance, the Austen sisters encounter some fashionable Londoners with a taste for blood. Jane is drawn to meet one of the Damned, enigmatic William, who turns her into a vampire against her will. Reverend Austen takes the family to Bath to seek a cure, but when the French invade England, Jane joins the other vampires in putting their superhuman strength and speed to the service of their country. Purists might regret Cassandra's relegation to soppy sister, but the bond between Jane and her father, the small scenes that reflect Austen's novels, the sly humor of a vampire Prince Regent, and an abundance of moral dilemmas and vivid action make this a very satisfying page-turner for vamp-lovers and Austen fans alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Mullany rewrites history in more ways than one in this novel, which sets up Jane Austen as a vampire. In 1797, Jane is attending a ball when she’s bedazzled by a seductive young man named Mr. Smith who happens to be one of the Damned, a genteel group of vampires who operate on the edges of polite society. A stolen moment with the dashing Mr. Smith has grave consequences for Jane, who wakes to find she has been transformed into one of the Damned. Her family takes her to Bath, where the waters are reported to be the only cure for vampirism. But soon after the Austens arrive in Bath, the French militia takes over the city. The only ones who stand a chance of defeating the invaders are the Damned, and a powerful, handsome vampire offers to take Jane under his wing and show her how to use her new abilities to help fight the French. A fast-paced adventure for those who don’t mind the vampire craze impinging upon historical events and beloved authors. --Kristine Huntley

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Janet Mullany has been touted as the witty love child of Jane Austen and Lord Byron for good reason.
Laurel Ann
I am most certainly adding Ms. Mullany to my list of "must read" authors and look forward with anticipation to what literary delicacy she can offer us next.
Lori Johnston
So what will Jane do to still keep the passion for her writing and what place can give her love and reassurance to pursue her true self?
Mary Gramlich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gramlich VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
In the fall of 1797 the Austen family is preparing for the winter and making the final rounds of social events still trying to procure a proper match for Jane. But at one such event Jane encounters a man that turns out to be everything she should fear and no one she should associate with. Before the end of the evening Jane has found herself turned into one of the feared vampires called The Damned and the quiet, modest life Jane led is over and choices she makes from here on out will impact everyone surrounding her.

Jane confides in her father what has happened and he takes the family to Bath to find a cure for this condition. There are powerful, healing waters he believes can save her but the condition the entire family needs saving from is the invasion of France onto the English shores. The French overtake one city after another and the Austen family finds itself not only staying in strange surrounding but also must share this home with the French military. Jane has spent her life writing and seeking to compose the perfect piece of literature but now even that does not bring her solace. Writing has been the core of her existence and now that she fails commit one word to paper she feels even more lost.

What Jane does encounter is the residence where the other Damned are staying and discovered there is a mentor called a Bearleader who can take the novice vampire Jane and help her through the transition from woman to vampire. The Damned are also a service to England's military and use their special gifts of persuasion to help win back the country they may not love but call home.

But does Jane want immortality, can she leave her family and embrace the Damned as her closest allies, is the vampire relationships she is forming her destiny?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ria Darling VINE VOICE on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a fan of both Austen and vampire fiction so I decided to try this, along with Jane Bites Back. While Janes Bites Back is set in the present, this one is not does a very amusing job of speculating about Jane's time at Bath. While it takes liberties (hello?! Vampires! not for Austen purists!)it's an interesting examination of the character, historical events and moral grapplings, all with an amusing story and vampires. It was a bit slow to start but took off 1/4 of the way through. I'm looking forward to the next one! If you like Austen, don't mind liberties taken with her characters/historical events and enjoy vampires, it's a good mix. If you prefer witty and comtemporary, go with Jane Bites Back.Jane Bites Back: A Novel
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Format: Paperback
I was a little apprehensive to read JANE AND THE DAMNED after my failed attempt at EMMA AND THE VAMPIRES. One, I hadn't read the blurb in a while so I was under the impression that it was a JANE EYRE remake and two, I haven't been thrilled with the writing style of books set in this era so it was setting itself up to fail for me. It ultimately didn't and I enjoyed the plot but it had its faults and a lot of that hinged on the writing itself.

I didn't know why this story was about Jane Austen. You'd think there'd be some kind of relevance to it but it rightly could have been some made-up character created strictly for the book and it wouldn't have made a bit of different. So I was haunted by the question, "Why the hell is this Jane Austen?" throughout, making it a touch distracting.

That's not to say I didn't like Jane. I did. She was a very strong woman that, although reluctantly, embraced her vampirism and used it to fight the French when they invaded (a point to be dealt with in a moment). She stood her own as a fighter and even as her fellow Damned looked down upon her as not only a fledgling but an orphaned one (her maker having abandoned her and she was adopted by another) she stood tall, pulling off feats that eventually made them proud.

The writing didn't really lend itself to telling the story well, though. I felt the progression was jerky and I often found myself shoved out of the story due to a ragged transition from one scene to the next. The language was trying a bit too hard and while I never found it stilted it lent to the crappy transitions that kept pulling me out of the story.

That's not to mention that as I was reading I had a niggling feeling that Napoleon's army invading Britain just didn't sound right.
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Format: Paperback
These days, centering a plot around Jane Austen as a vampire is as common as pre-packed sliced cheese, and so I approached Jane and the Damned from a jaundiced point of view. I must make a confession, however. I have been addicted to vampire novels and films about these bloodsuckers since my early 20's, starting with Bram Stoker's Dracula; Ann Rice's Vampire Lestat series; Gary Oldman as the ancient bloodsucker; the cheeky tv series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and more recently True Blood and to a lesser extent, Twilight.

If an author or film director asks me to enter their vampire world, all I want in return is a rollicking good ride. In Jane and the Damned, author Janet Mullany does just that. Jane Austen, budding young writer, is turned into a vampire on a whim by William, a mature vampire and her dance partner at a local assembly ball. She begins to feel strange immediately.

Jane shares her awful knowledge with her father, who, while horrified at the news of his daughter having been bitten by one of the Damned, keeps a calm head. He trundles his family (wife Cassandra and daughter Cassandra and Jane) off to Bath so that Jane can take "the cure." This treatment of taking the Bath waters is not guaranteed, for it might well kill Jane (and has killed many human seeking to rid themselves of the Vampiric poison inside them), but it is the only solution. They must rush against time before Jane's human side disappears forever, for the longer they wait, the less successful and more painful and deadly the cure.

Rev Austen and Jane decide to keep Jane's "condition" a secret from her mother and sister, saying only that Jane's uncertain health requires that the family must remove to Bath immediately.
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More About the Author

A long time ago I was born in England but for the past few decades I've lived in the US. I'm not one of those people who dreamed of writing; instead I found a few years ago that I had the happy combination of time on my hands, a use for my troublesome imagination, and a computer. What I did do, in preparation for becoming a writer, was to read. I still love to read although I find I do so now with a niggling editorial eye, and I read very widely.

I fell into writing romance because I liked romance writers and was fascinated by the genre although I seem to have spent much of my time breaking or subverting the rules everyone claims doesn't exist. I chose initially to write historicals for reasons of laziness, having devoured all of Heyer's books as a teenager and with an innate knowledge of Georgian England from having lived there and been something of a history freak (I still am). I've now become one of those writers who does terrible things to Jane Austen.

My dayjobs? Many, weird, varied, including archaeologist, editor/proofreader, classical music radio announcer, box office manager.

What I do the rest of the time? Drink tea, volunteer at a local historic house museum, read, frivol away time on the internet.

Thanks for visiting! My website is www.janetmullany.com and you're invited to drop by and join my mail list. My e-newsletters are infrequent yet dazzling.

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Jane and the Damned: A Novel
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