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

3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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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.
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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
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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,053,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jane Austen is attending a dance with her sister and friends when she meets... not Mr. Darcy but a vampire. This sets off a chain of events that leads to a very alternative history of England, including a French invasion of Bath. Despite the fantasy involved, this is very well written and I enjoyed it. Although I think the Jane Austen purists might object to the paranormal aspects and romance which is a bit more bitting (literally) . Very nice is that most of her actual family, father, mother and sister are included in the action. And the author has maintained the style and historical context of the time.
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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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Format: Paperback
Jane Austen is an aspiring writer and a respectable young woman. She knows that ladies like herself should shun the Damned – beautiful, fashionable, and exotic vampires who live on the fringe of Georgian English society. And yet when she is turned in to one of the Damned, she agrees to her family’s wishes and leaves for Bath to take the waters, the only known cure.

What was to be a quiet trip however, becomes an eye-opening experience for Jane. The vampires she had encountered before are in Bath as well. Exposure to them brings jealousy and betrayal; friendship and love, to Jane’s small world. All these new experiences must be set aside though for England is at war with France and the French have taken to invading Bath.

Jane and the Damned is a kind of alternate reality type novel. While Jane Austen and her family did travel to Bath, it was several years after this novel takes place. The French did not overtake the city and a clan of vampires certainly didn’t drive them out. Though to be honest, that would have been very interesting!

Glimpses of famous Jane Austen characters are seen scattered throughout the book, something that is quite amusing and proof that Ms. Mullany knows her Austen. Light and very tongue in cheek at times, near heartbreaking at others, I found it very entertaining. The book itself has mixed reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon. Personally I thought it quite enjoyable.

True Austen fans might have trouble with characterization, but that shouldn’t deter any one from reading this. Jane and the Damned is a delightful romp and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As an Austen purist, I've been turned off by other novels of this ilk (No, thank you, P, P & Zombies.) and have not attempted to read a single title until I came across this author. I admit I found her subject, Jane Austen herself, intriguing whereas I don't appreciate rewrites of her characters which simply seems to muddy the beautiful Regency world I've come to love. When someone tries to re-imagine the Bennets or the Dashwoods I just can't turn my mind to any other form of enjoyment beyond my adoration of Austen's original works.

Mullany, however doesn't attempt to redo our beloved novels but to give us a little Jane and the writing is quite good. She stays true to what I imagine the young gentlewoman would have been like (with one barely mentioned night of passion between Jane and a certain gentleman) and we get hints of her inspiration for "future" novels. Jane is presented as a woman of class and morality and gets to kick some bad-guy butt. I like the way Mullany has drawn Miss Austen for us and enjoyed this book very much. I am now onto the following title, "Blood Persuasion".
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