Aunt Celia
by Jane Gillespie

amazon.co.uk  (out of print)



        Review by Linda Waldemar,  1997
The main characters are Celia Weston, 18, who is the only daughter of Mr. Weston and "poor Miss Taylor" (her name was Anna in Emma), and her niece, Stella Churchill, 16, eldest daughter of Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax. The other characters from Emma that are present are: Mr. Weston (Mrs. Weston has died), Frank Churchill, Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax Churchill (mentioned occasionally and appears less).

The Churchills have moved, temporarily, to Donwell Abbey because Enscombe is having extensive repairs. It is mentioned that the Knightleys still live at Hartfield with Mr. Woodhouse, who is now over 80. Mr. Weston is in character, still friendly and garrulous, but he, in his grief has become very dependent upon his daughter and never considers that she may marry and leave him. Celia, in turn, declares that she will never marry and leave her father. Miss Bates is still excessively talkative. When Mrs. Bates died soon after Jane was married, Miss Bates went to live with her niece and family. Frank Churchill is easily annoyed and often out of spirits. He and Jane have six children.

The adventures of Celia and Stella are not very interesting. The writing is so-so and is nowhere near the style of JA. This is not a dreadful book, but not very good. I would not recommend that you buy it nor actively search for it, but if you should come across it, give it a try.



         Review byLynn Lamy, December 16, 1997
This is a second sequel to Emma  by Jane Gillespie.  It has nothing whatever to do with her other one, Truth and Rumour,  but is as almost as enjoyable.  It takes place 18 years after the action of Emma  and deals with the daughter of the Westons, Mrs. Weston having recently died, and the children of Frank and Jane Churchill.

Celia Weston is really Stella Churchill's half aunt, but being close in age, they are naturally drawn to one another when the Churchills come to spend a summer at Donwell Abbey (Mr.Woodhouse lives on, so the Knightley's continue to reside at Hartfield) while major repairs are being done to their home at Enscombe.  Stella's brothers' tutor and the son of Celia's companion throw some twists into the two girls' plans for the summer.

James Aske, the boys' tutor, is writing an epic poem, and the girls are not sure of his family, but find him to be a nice sort of person.  Henry Petteril is between jobs, as we would call it now, and finds a way to make fun of Mr. Aske and undermine his authority with his pupils.  Stella inadvertently causes Celia trouble with her father, and in remorse seeks to run away.  Mr. Petteril, with no money or prospects, is willing to assist her to London, but how his plan goes awry I will leave you to discover.

As usual, the characters Ms. Gillespie creates are not deep, but believable.  I liked Celia, Mr. Weston acted much as you would expect, and Stella was innocent yet wanting to grow up.

It was a fun read, as are the other Gillespie sequels I've read, and I recommend it as light entertainment for any who come across it.