Books: austenland
  The Firth letter

Here’s the letter I wrote to Colin Firth, sent along with an ARC of austenland and the Italian translation of princess academy (his wife is Italian). It was clearly a shot in the dark. The poor man surely doesn’t have time to read his fan mail, let alone read my book or blurb it. But at the very least I wanted to send him a copy because I hoped he’d get a kick out of the dedication ("For Colin Firth: You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends.") I also wanted to send it as a thank you. I’d send a copy to Jane Austen as well, if I could. Hm, that poses an interesting question--what would a blurb from Ms. Austen look like?

“I loved this book! It greatly aided me in my own Mr. Darcy recovery.” –Jane Austen
“A droll little portrait of a nearly insane woman. Slightly amusing and not over-long.” –Jane Austen
Or maybe,
“Not so pleasing as Pride and Prejudice but more entertaining than Richardson’s Pamela. I rate it three quills and an inkpot.” –Jane Austen

Anyhoo, here’s the letter I sent to Mr. Firth:



December 18, 2006

Dear Colin Firth,

You may notice that this book, Austenland, is dedicated to you. Please don’t be alarmed! I am a great fan of your acting (the muffin scene in The Importance of Being Earnest is truly hilarious). I’m also a recovering BBC Pride and Prejudice addict, clean for five years, happily married, and now only watch the movies on rare occasions. For research. You understand.

In memory of those darker, obsessive times, I wrote this novel. Too many women are crazed with the idea of Darcy, and I’m hoping this book will help them recover. Or at least, I’m hoping it’ll make them laugh.

Would you be willing to take a look at it and perhaps give it a blurb? As your time is precious, I’ve pre-written a few helpful ideas for you:

  1. Austenland is brilliant! If it doesn’t get the National Book Award, some heads are going to roll.”
  2. “I’ll have you know, I am much more than a wet shirt.”
  3. “I haven’t read this book and don’t endorse it in the least.”
All my best to your family,

Shannon Hale



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