"Violet Desmond has just learned from her dying grandmother that the life she’s been living is a lie.
Left with only a locket, a newspaper clipping, and a name–Atherton–Violet sets off to discover her hidden personal history. Simultaneously, the London academic begins to have vivid dreams in which a woman from the past narrates her life story involving the same locket, a secret marriage, and a child. A story intimately connected to Jane Austen.
Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier treasure hunter, Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’d receive for digging up something good on Austen; the locket alone is unique enough to be worth plenty to the right collector. It would be enough to get his foot back in the door.The unlikely pair begin a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal, before an unknown enemy silences her as well."
Rachel has written us a post about Jane Austen locations you can visit.
7 Real-life Jane Austen Locations You Can Visit
In my novel, Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen, Violet Desmond and Peter Knighton go on a treasure hunt of sorts to uncover Jane Austen’s hidden past. Along the way they stop at many monuments that were near and dear to Austen’s heart. Today I’m highlighting the ones that you can actually visit on your next trip to the UK (if you’re already there, first of all I’m jealous, second, these sites are just a train ride away)!
1. Winchester Cathedral
Austen’s grave is inside the grand Cathedral. If you’ve never been it’s a pretty moving experience for fans of her writing and her life.
2. Chawton House
The Austen family moved to this home eight years before Jane’s death. It’s where she wrote her final three novels. Her room and many of her things have been preserved here.
3. Bath Assembly Rooms
Many pivotal scenes from Persuasion and Northanger Abbey play out in Bath, and specifically these rooms, which you can still visit—you can’t take the waters (and frankly, they’re probably not the healthiest)—but you can tour the Roman spa, just as Austen herself did.
4. The Vyne
Jane Austen attended dances at this stately sixteenth-century house that once belonged to the Chute family.
5. Lyme Regis
While Austen enjoyed this seaside village, her character, Anne Elliot, did not have a great time at the Cobb staircase. Watch your step!
6. Steventon Church
Austen was born in Steventon, and it’s where we first meet her in my novel. The church is 600 years old and the Austen’s lived in the rectory.
7. Stoneleigh Abbey
With origins in the twelfth century as a monastic house, Stoneleigh belonged to Austen’s mother’s family and played host to Jane—as well as multiple monarchs. In my book, Violet and Peter tour the house and get more than they bargained for in the process.
These are just some of the many places where you can walk in Austen’s footsteps. What are some other places you’ve visited that are associated with Austen?
Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles, which naturally resulted in a deep love of the UK from an early age. Reading and writing have been favorite pastimes for as long as she can remember. Rachel has a BA in English Literature from Scripps College and an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. Her focus is 19th century British Literature. She enjoys hiking, musical theatre, fancy water, pilates, vegan baking, good tv and movies, and researching new book ideas!
Jane Austen has always been an author near and dear to Rachel's heart for her ability to tell a story so compelling, it remains relevant hundreds of years later. And for creating Henry Tilney.
My thanks again goes to Rachel Berman for this post and to Jakki for setting up this tour!
I wish Rachel all the best with this release as well as any stories in the future!
Your affectionate friend,