A mistletoe kiss conjures up thoughts of romance and secrets. Jane Austen wooed her audiences in her 19th-century, period-piece novels, and Jo Beverly brings to life the fun and frolic of Regency England. Beverly's "Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss" was commissioned by the Times Colonist, a Victoria, British Columbia newspaper. Published on December 27, 2004, the story became an instant success, serving as homage to one of England's finest romance novelists -- Jane Austen.
The Setting of the Scene
In replication of Jane Austen's style, the characters featured in "Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss" are preoccupied with the small details and unable to see the bigger picture. Steeped in tradition and etiquette, the story's characters fail to see love is right at their doorstep, or are chasing a love who is forever running away. Elinor Carsholt, with her three daughters, stays rent-free in Sir Nicolas Danvers' cottage following the death of her husband on the hunting field. Elinor considers Davners a good match for her eldest daughter, Amy, yet is unaware of her own growing feelings for Davners.
Who Would Marry a Widow?
Jane Austen always offered her audience a dilemma to solve, and Jo Beverley has given her readers the same treat. Elinor Carsholt's dilemma involves her age, as she ponders who will marry an older woman who is a widow, and what will become of her daughters? However, romance begins to stir when Captain Charles Danvers arrives on the scene as sparks begin to show between the Captain and Amy.
Developing the Hero
Although Captain Danvers is charming and heroic, Elinor still feels Sir Nicolas Danvers is more appropriate for Amy. He is a magistrate and involved with Parliament. If one of her daughters marries well, then the rest of the family will be saved from poverty.
The Mistletoe Kiss
As is tradition, Sir Nicholas Danvers will soon call on Elinor and her daughters in celebration of the holiday season. Elinor warms to Amy's idea of putting up mistletoe, for one kiss under the mistletoe could secure a match. Jane Austin's novels often have a twist at the end, and so does Jo Beverley's story. While picking mistletoe, Elinor discovers her true feelings for Sir Nicolas Danvers and is glad that Amy has found favor with Captain Danvers instead.
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