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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History


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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.

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Culinary Disaster and Success, Spatchcock Chicken Round 2

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ February 10, 2022

Well, OK, it’s really Round 3. Those who read my earlier post, speculating on whether or not Jane Austen might have known this fabulous heritage method for cooking chicken, will know how excited I was about the tasty, tender result I achieved from a recipe dating back to Regency times. I couldn’t wait to hear from my daughter-in-law, the Cordon-Bleu-trained food writer, Kelly Crow—the ultimate source of culinary matters in our family.

Her response: “I encountered Spatchcock Chicken at Le Cordon Bleu....


Toasted Cheese--The Dish Purported to be a Jane Austen Favorite

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ January 31, 2022

On August 27, 1805, Jane Austen was staying at Goodnestone Park, the family home of her sister-in-law Elizabeth Bridges. Elizabeth’s brother Edward dropped in unexpectedly for a late dinner. Jane reported the occasion in a letter to her sister Cassandra: “It is impossible to do justice to the hospitality of his attentions towards me; he made a point of ordering toasted cheese for supper entirely on my account.”

From that, the surmise that toasted cheese was one of Jane Austen’s favorite foods, seems to be a fair assumption. And the great thing is that we have the very recipe Jane would have enjoyed at home in...


Playtime for Janeites, Jane Austen Memorabilia

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ January 4, 2022

One of the wonderful things about being a lover of all things Jane Austen is that she can be appreciated on so many levels.

There are the scholarly academic speeches and publications from which we all can learn so much fascinating information. And there are the charming tea parties, picnics, and Regency balls for which Janeites delight in dressing up in full Regency regalia. There are movies, cartoons, and endless spin-off adaptations, including two of my Elizabeth and Richard Literary Suspense novels. And there are also board games, jigsaw puzzles and a delightful array of memorabilia...


Did Jane Austen know Spatchcock Chicken?  A Heritage Recipe for Your Christmas Dinner

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ December 21, 2021

Looking for something different and easy that your family will love for Christmas dinner? Try this Regency-period method of preparing a super-succulent chicken.

“I’m so excited, Nana! I did something I’ve never done before—I made a spatchcock chicken,” my 15-year-old, budding Janeite granddaughter Felicity announced on our Facetime visit.

I asked her to repeat it three times, and I still wasn’t sure what she had done, until her timer sounded and I got to watch her pull this mouth-watering vision from the oven.

Of course, I requested she send me the recipe and immediately...


Was Jane Austen Vaccinated?

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 29, 2021

Photo: Basingstoke Gazette, Ophelia King

With world-wide attention, and sometimes controversy, focused on the importance of vaccinations these days, and with a new appreciation of their marvels as we see statistics of the Coronavirus pandemic falling dramatically in countries well supplied with serum, one gains a new perspective on the importance of medical science to our world.

What must it have been like before any sort of inoculation against disease was discovered? That thought...


Prayer of Sir Francis Drake as Known to Brothers of Jane Austen

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ April 27, 2021

In my recent video “Jane Austen: From Paradise to Portsmouth” Jane takes viewers to the royal Garrison Church in Portsmouth and recounts the central role their faith played in the lives of her two naval brothers.


 Francis, who rose to be Admiral of the Fleet, was known as “the officer who knelt in church,” an uncommon devotion in those days of rather careless religious practice.

 And up to the day of his death there...


How English was Jane Austen’s Speech?

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ March 22, 2021

I’ll admit it. In preparing my video Jane Austen from Paradise to Portsmouth I did worry about my American accent. Would it be acceptable to English viewers? To American viewers, for that matter? Should I attempt to speak in cut glass “received” English? An endeavor at which I knew I would fail.

But then, what would Jane have sounded like, living in rural Hampshire 200+ years ago?

I consulted one of my favorite authorities Bill Bryson. In his book The Mother Tongue, he reported that:

Dr. David Ramsay, one of the first American historians, noted in 1791 that Americans had a particular purity of speech, the result of people from all over Britain being thrown together in America where they “dropped the peculiarities of their several provincial...


Jane Austen to Appear at Portsmouth Bookfest

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ January 20, 2021

Well, okay, I’ll be appearing in the persona of my favorite author. But surely, this will be a nostalgic return for Jane. Austen lived in nearby Southampton between 1806 and 1809. Austen set a major scene in her novel Mansfield Park in what is now Old Portsmouth. Her brothers Francis and Charles attended the royal Naval Academy in Portsmouth, and Francis, who rose to be Admiral of the Fleet, made his home in Portsmouth.


For my March 1 presentation at the Portsmouth Bookfest Jane will conduct us on walking tours of both Portsmouth...


A Turkey Jane Austen Might have Recognized, Part 2

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ December 28, 2020

 As my regular readers will know, rather to my own surprise—and ultimate delight—for Thanksgiving I followed the turkey cooking recipe given in the new “Regency Recipes” column in the Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine—even to the extent of larding the bird without aid of a larding needle. (Read it here.)


As I said in that article,...


A Turkey Jane Austen Would Recognize

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ November 28, 2020

I had decided. This Thanksgiving I would take it easy. We all know what a difficult year it has been, and only family members who live closest to us would be able to come for dinner. Definitely a good time to let the deli roast my turkey for me. 

Until I told my daughter-in-law, AKA the Grocery...


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