“My suspicion is that had P.D. James been an unknown author peddling her manuscript for the first time to publishers and agents, Death Comes to Pemberley would have been tossed on the slush pile and she would have received a slew of the rejection letters,” writes Vic Sanborn of Jane Austen’s World. Meanwhile, Liesl Schillinger, reviewing James’s sequel to Pride and Prejudice for The New York Times, concludes that “Not infrequently, while reading Death Comes to Pemberley, one succumbs to the impression that it is Austen herself at the keyboard.”
Is P.D. James channelling the spirit of Jane Austen, or has Death Comes to Pemberley received attention because of the powerful combination of Austen’s fame and James’s own fame, more than because of its literary merits? The critics are divided, and we want to know what you think.
Please join members of JASNA Nova Scotia on Sunday, April15th at 2pm for tea and a discussion of Death Comes to Pemberley. Let me know if you’re interested and I can send you directions. If you can’t make it (or even if you can), please feel free to comment here with your assessment of the novel.