Perfect Happiness

Perfect Happiness

(1996) Sceptre

‘Delicious. Ms Billington is both witty and wilful and in love with her heroine. It is exhilarating fun’ Fay Weldon

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This a sequel to Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma – portrayed on screen by Gwyneth Paltrow, among others. I was approached by a publisher to write it and began by being extremely doubtful. After all, why should I pinch someone else’s characters when I’ve never had a problem in making up my own? However I felt challenged and in the event thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Jane Austen’s spirit seemed distinctly encouraging – that famous satirical humour gently amused rather than outraged. One night, deep in my new plot, I needed a character and at four co clock in the morning I was woken by a voice whispering in my ear, ‘the Reverend Dugobair Tidmarsh.’ I won’t insist the great author came down to earth but I was interested to learn subsequently that there were Tidmarshes living not far from the Austens.

Perfect Happiness is published by US publishers, Source Books, under the title Emma & Knightley.

‘I forgot about Austen forgot about Billington and just allowed the characters to hold me and lead me forward.’ Maureen Lipman

‘Faithful, gratifyingly orderly, delicately thrilling… It is great fun to read’ The Spectator

‘Delicious—- Ms Billington is both witty and wilful and in love with her heroine… It is exhilarating fun’ Fay Weldon

Suggested reading: Jane Austen’s Emma first of all. Perfect Happiness is published in the US by Source Books, under the title Emma & Knightley.