Macklin & Aunt Emma

Kelly McDonald spoke to us yesterday about her research project and the mystery of Emma Austen’s Aunt Emma [Emma Austen married Jane Austen’s nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh]. It was a great presentation taking us into the various avenues of her research into Emma’s family, and with terrific participation from all in the audience, we are now hooked on this not-yet-solved mystery and will await updates – there is a novel in here somewhere I know! Here are Kelly’s thoughts on it all… reblogged from her blog Two Teens in the Time of Austen, with thanks.

Two Teens in the Time of Austen

I want to thank JASNA-Vermont for inviting me to speak at their June gathering yesterday – and for dipping with me in the waters of RESEARCH into the family of the Austens. So little time, so MUCH information! My illustrated talk entitled “The Mystery of Emma Austen’s Aunt Emma” was an “interactive” presentation – and people really spoke up, made observations, added comments, asked questions. It was GREAT! Later, one audience member even told me my “research reads like a thrilling mystery!” Heartening words, indeed. No one can ever guess the “desert” a writer *feels* to be stranded in, when the research is this intensive and taking years to produce something substantive.

pen and letters

I figure I’m closing in on a THOUSAND letters and several HUNDRED diaries – and more turns up. I just returned (after midnight, last friday…) from a research jaunt to New York City.

Very helpful staff at NYU…

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