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.

Suggested reading: Jane Austen’s Emma first of all.

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