Whit Stillman pens Jane Austen-inspired novel

Whit Stillman pens Jane Austen-inspired novel

Two Roads is publishing a novel by film writer-director Whit Stillman, inspired by a short work by Jane Austen which was never published in her lifetime. 

Love and Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated contains an annotated transcript of Austen’s original work and tells the story of Lady Susan Vernon, "the most accomplished coquette in England". After being widowed, Lady Susan is tasked to use her ingenuity to secure a marriage for herself - and one for her reluctant daughter. 

Stillman’s film of the same title starring Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry and Chloe Sevigny was screened at this year’s Sundance and Rotterdam Film Festivals and is due for release mid-2016.

Two Roads publisher Lisa Highton bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Little, Brown US. The book will be published in May in hardback and e-book.

Highton said: "I’m delighted to welcome Whit Stillman, novelist, to the list with such a witty comedy of manners – a treat for Jane Austen fans and Whit Stillman fans alike.”

The book's writer-director author is the creator of four previous films (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco, Damsels in Distress) and a novel, The Last Days of Disco, with Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc). He added: "As Rufus Martin-Colonna, who narrates the story, and I greatly admire John Murray's success in putting across Jane Austen's last novels two hundred years ago we hope that lightning might again strike for our derivative work."