Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy Release: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen narrated by Alison Larkin

Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen
narrated by Alison Larkin
-Audiobook, Classic, Romance
Released: February 2017

Award-winning narrator and internationally acclaimed writer/comedienne, Alison Larkin brings her signature wit to this hugely entertaining audio production of Jane Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey, followed by The History of England, a short, delightfully satirical piece that Austen wrote when she was just 15 years old.

In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, a clergyman's daughter, longs for the kind of romantic adventures she has read about in her favorite Gothic novels. After spending a season mingling with fashionable high society in Bath, she is invited to stay at Northanger Abbey where nothing is what it seems.

In The History of England, the teenage Jane Austen pokes fun at the historians of the day who pretended to be objective when they clearly were not, and wrote about the kings and queens of England with less respect (and more wit) than a British newspaper.

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by Alison Larkin
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Although I live, write and narrate audiobooks in the part of New England that Norman Rockwell made famous, I go back to see my family in Old England as often as I can.

Mum and Dad live in a small village in Sussex, less than hour away from where Jane Austen lived and wrote. While fashions may change and technology gallops on apace, human nature remains the same.

I went to school with girls who were very like Catherine Morland, Isabella Thorpe and Lydia Bennett. During the holidays I endured the company of many a Mrs Bennett and Mr Collins. And although I’ve been pursued by my share of Mr Wickhams and once fell in love with someone a bit like Mr Darcy, I know I’d be much better suited to Mr Knightley, who has yet to show up. But I digress.

Narrating the novels of Jane Austen for a new American audience has been a delight. Like going back to the England I left 25 years ago - without having to stand in line at security.

In addition to Emma- the 200th anniversary audio edition, we had released Persuasion and Poems and Pride and Prejudice and Songs from Regency England and I wanted to find some previously unrecorded writing to add to the end of Northanger Abbey. Here’s how it happened.

On a lightning visit to England last year, my English parents and I were visiting Chawton House Museum, where Jane Austen lived and wrote.

After walking around for a very happy hour, dressed in period costume, while taking a ‘turn’ in the garden, Mum and I were marveling at the size of Jane Austen’s writing desk when my Dad, came dashing out of the book shop with high enthusiasm. 

“Got it!” Dad says.

“Got what?”

“Why don't you add The History of England to the end of Northanger Abbey! Jane Austen wrote it when she was 15 and it’s terribly funny!”

And so I did.


© 2017. All rights reserved.

About the narrator:

“I understood what Larkin was doing. Raised in England by adoptive parents, Alison Larkin was actually born in America. She herself is a comic writer and performer – and she approaches Austen as a satirist – she has genuine theatrical skill – sustained comic creations. The voice reveals all.” —David Denby, The New Yorker

Alison Larkin is an internationally acclaimed comedienne, an award winning audiobook narrator and the bestselling author of The English American, an autobiographical novel about an adopted English woman who finds her birth parents in the United States. Other award-winning audio productions from Alison Larkin Presents include Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with a short excerpt from the Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, Peter Pan and The Inconsiderate Waiter and the first two-actor production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Find out more about this book and author:
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by Alison Larkin
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  1. How fun to read Alison's guest post. Loved listening to her narrate this one. :)


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