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Twelve Hours

By Phil Howe

A play about Jane Austen's twelve hour engagement

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It’s December 1802. It is a big decision to say, “Yes,” to a marriage proposal. It is even a bigger decision to refuse the offer after twelve hours. Especially if you are Jane Austen.
Wealthy estate owner Harris Bigg-Wither proposed to Jane Austen.
This is the story of those twelve hours.
Born in December 1775 she lived in the small village of Steventon near Basingstoke in Hampshire. It was in her father’s rectory where she wrote the drafts of her first three novels, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. It was in this quiet valley, described as the cradle of her genius, where she spent her formative years.
Her father has recently resigned as rector and has moved with his wife, Jane, and her sister Cassandra to Bath.
Jane Austen is now twenty-six, is back in Hampshire visiting her friends Catherine and Alethea, members of the wealthy Wither family on the Manydown estate.
Phil Howe has a story that is often overlooked about Jane Austen’s life.
In “Twelve Hours” he recreates an intense event in Jane Austen’s life that is often overlooked. It can be read as a story, a dramatic monologue or performed in theatre or non-theatre spaces. It is a sensitive subject which he has approached with sentiment, humour and respect. This book is a must-read for all fans of Jane Austen, her real-life, her novels, the films and TV dramas based on her books, and all book-lovers who thrive on stories of romance.

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