This novella is part of my Touches of Austen Collection of Austenesque stories. These stories feature original characters and plots that have been touched in some way by the influence of Jane Austen and her novels. The story you hold in your hand, His Beautiful Bea, has elements in it that harken back to Mansfield Park (one of this author’s favourite Austen novels).
To help you on your way in seeing the influence of Jane Austen’s writing on this novella, I will tell you two of the items that pay homage to the original work.
First, we have Beatrice Tierney, who shares some similarities in character to Fanny Price. She is quiet and shrinks from notice, but perhaps not to the extent that Fanny does because, unlike Fanny, Bea lives with her mother and brother, both of whom she loves dearly. Having this loving foundation has helped the naturally reserved Beatrice to be less anxious.
Secondly, there is Stratsbury Park and its residents. Stratsbury is owned by Sir Herbert Clayton, who has two sons — the elder, Graeme is a rather free-spirited sort of gentleman, while his younger brother, Everett, is on the more reserved side. These two brothers are based in part on the Bertram brothers. Beatrice is, of course, infatuated with the younger Clayton son. However, this is not Mansfield Park, and I have chosen to arrange the romantic results differently.
There are other nods to Austen in this story — some were purposefully done, others just serendipitously happened. Which ones will you notice?
If you would like to share your observations about which elements you thought were Austen-inspired, you can do that in my Touches of Austen Readers Group on Facebook.