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Stephanie Barron's Jane and the Year Without a Summer

Stephanie Barron (real name Francine Matthews) joined JASNA-Wisconsin on March 20, 2022 to reveal what her research for her latest book uncovered about the year 1816 in Jane's life, as well as what's in store for her popular series.


1816 was known as "the year without a summer" after the eruption of Mount Tambora the previous year blasted "12 cubic miles of gases, dust, and rock into the atmosphere," according to Smithsonian Magazine. The event killed approximately 10,000 inhabitants of the island of Sumbawa and disrupted the climate and crop cycles around the world, sending a blanket of sulfur and ash across the sky to blot out the sun for months.


1816 has literary significance as well: Lord Byron challenged his friends to write ghost stories as they vacationed near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and Mary Shelley penned a tale in response that would become Frankenstein. And in May of that year, Jane Austen traveled to Cheltenham Spa to "take the waters" in the hopes of a cure for the mystery ailment that had her feeling ill.


It is this event that forms the backdrop of the 14th book in Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen Mystery series, Jane and the Year Without a Summer, published February 2022.


View the recording of Stephanie's/Francine's talk and discussion with members of JASNA-Wisconsin:



Further Information: