Don Jacobson

Don Jacobson . . .   has written professionally since his post-collegiate days as a wire service reporter in Chicago. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television, and radio. His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards. Earlier in his career, he published five books, all non-fiction. He holds an advanced degree in History with specialties in Modern European History and the History of American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

Don turned his passion for reading The Canon into writing JAFF.  He has published six works in the genre since late 2015.

He is a member of the Jane Austen Society of Puget Sound (JASNA) and lives just east of Seattle with his wife, Pam, and their rather assertive four and twenty-pound cat, Bear. Besides JAFF, Don also enjoys cooking, dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.

His other passion is cycling. Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles.” He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days). Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish (MI) Miracle Ride (300 mi).

Lessers and Betters: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Experience Love As It Blooms Upstairs and Downstairs

Lessers and Betters asserts that class is an imaginary distinction conferring no better manners on the haves and no lesser nobility on the have-nots and that the deepest human emotions are universal and ignore wealth or status.

Now for the first time under the same cover, discover the paired novellas that explore the remarkable events of November 5, 1815 when the Cecil Governess, Kitty Bennet, was grievously injured as she defended her charge. What rests behind the attack? Readers of Lessers and Betters will experience a unique literary unique approach that offers both gentry and servant perspectives presented in their own self-contained novellas.

Of Fortunes Reversal: A brisk Hyde Park morning is shattered by a child’s scream. How two gently-born adults react in those next few desperate moments sets the plot in motion that is a unique reconsideration of the traditional Pride and Prejudice memes. Of Fortune’s Reversal is a novella-length tale based upon an inversion of Mrs. Bennet’s exclamation that with one good marriage, the other girls would be thrown in front of rich men. What if the well-wed sister was neither Jane nor Elizabeth?

The Maid and The Footman: Explore the growing affection between a young lady’s maid, Annie Reynolds, and a retired sergeant, Henry Wilson: ultimately a love story as great as any written by the immortals. In the Jane Austen universe, the celebrated novels are written from the point-of-view of the landed gentry. Servants are rarely seen except to open doors, serve dinner, or fetch smelling salts. Follow Annie and Henry as they combine with General Sir Richard Fitzwilliam and Miss Bennet to defeat an awesome threat aimed at the heart of the British Empire.
The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn (Volume II, Part 2 of the Bennet Wardrobe)
The Countess: An Enigma? A Mystery? Or a young girl all-grown-up?

Kitty Bennet, the fourth daughter of the Master and Mistress of Longbourn, had spent far too long as the shadow of her younger sister. The all-knowing Meryton chinwaggers suggested that young Miss Bennet needed education—and quickly—especially after the irregular circumstances that forced the wedding of Lydia Bennet and George Wickham.

How right they were . . . but the type of instruction Kitty Bennet received, and the where/when in which she matriculated, was far beyond their ken. For, they knew nothing of that remarkable piece of furniture that had been part of the lives of clan Bennet for over 120 years: The Bennet Wardrobe.

After spending 46 years in the future, the Dowager Countess of Matlock returned to Longbourn’s bookroom at that exact same moment as she left in 1811 to tend to many important pieces of Family business. However, she was now a woman of 63 years, some thirteen her father’s senior. Time can deal funny cards in the Universe created by Jane Austen and the Wardrobe.

Of course, the Countess is acting to set in motion forces that will shape the future of Britain—and the Five Families—throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. In the process, Kitty Fitzwilliam will help her youngest sister find the love she craved with the unexpected hero who, as the Duke said, “saved us all.”

The Countess Visits Longbourn offers insights into the touching reunion between Kitty Fitzwilliam and her father, Thomas Bennet. Readers will also learn how the mysterious Founder’s Letters were set in motion along with the purpose behind the Bennet Family Trust. New characters, some ancestors of those introduced in Part One of The Exile, will come onto the stage to illuminate a deeper understanding of the shaping of the character of George Wickham—the Hero of Hougoumont Woods at the Battle of Waterloo.
Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess (A Bennet Wardrobe novella)
When Reality Becomes Dreams

The universe shook again on Midsummer’s Day in 1801. The Bennet Wardrobe opened the door to the future in Longbourn’s bookroom. This time the most impertinent Bennet of them all, Elizabeth, tumbled through the gateway. Except she left not as a grown women, but rather a ten-year-old girl who had been playing a simple game of hide-and-seek.

What needs could a child have that could be answered only by the Wardrobe? Or was it another Bennet, one who had aged into a beautiful, confident leader of Edwardian Society, who acted as the prime mover behind Lizzy’s journey? Was the enigmatic Lady Kate the force that shaped Lizzy’s destiny and that of her younger sisters left back in Hertfordshire?

Perhaps the Wardrobe also understood that Lizzy’s time in the future was destined to become the stuff of adult dreams…those mirages that rise only when the doors to the mind are most open…at the edges of sleep.

After Lizzy is transported back to that innocent summer’s day in 1801, Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess will carry readers forward to what may be considered the greatest writers’ workshop in history. T’was at the legendary Villa Diodati that Lord Byron gathered Mary Godwin (Frankenstein) and Percy Bysshe Shelley for a vacation during the Year Without Summer. Oh, Fitzwilliam Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth, were there to act as catalysts to transform vague ideas into timeless fiction.
The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque (The Bennet Wardrobe Book 2)
Longbourn, December 1811. The day after Jane and Lizzy marry dawns especially cold for young Kitty Bennet. Called to Papa’s bookroom, she is faced with a resolute Mr. Bennet who intends to punish her complicity in her sister’s elopement. She will be sent packing to a seminary in far-off Cornwall. She reacts like any teenager chafing under the “burden” of parental rules—she throws a tantrum. In her fury, she slams her hands against the doors of The Bennet Wardrobe. Her heart’s desire? “I wish they were dead! Anywhere but Cornwall! Anywhere but here!” As Lydia later said, “The Wardrobe has a unique sense of humor.”

London, May 1886. Seventeen-year-old Catherine Marie Bennet tumbles out of The Wardrobe at Matlock House to come face-to-face with the austere Viscount Henry Fitzwilliam, a scion of the Five Families and one of the wealthiest men in the world. However, while their paths may have crossed that May morning, Henry still fights his feelings for another woman, lost to him nearly thirty years in his future. And Miss Bennet must now decide between exile to the remote wastelands of Cornwall or making a new life for herself in Victorian Britain and Belle Époque France.

The Exile follows the story of Kitty Bennet as she grows from the coughing follower of her younger sister, Lydia, into a bright and engaging young woman living in the exciting world of the late 19th Century. However, she must pass through many trials before she can fully understand why the Wardrobe sent her 75 years into the future—and for her to become one of the most important fixtures in the Bennet Wardrobe Universe.
The Keeper: Mary Bennet's Extraordinary Journey (The Bennet Wardrobe Book 1)
Lizzy gripped Mary’s hands and began her speech. “Now is the time for you. Heal now. Future only, my dearest sister.”

Mary Bennet has spent her entire life fighting to be herself. If only she knew just what that was. For years she buried her nose in the musty musing of Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women trying to be exceptional. She hid her light brown eyes—and herself—behind useless spectacles.

With both Jane and Lizzy married, it is time for Miss Bennet to emerge from her cocoon. Learn how a young woman of deep faith and inquisitive mind emerges. Yet, even as Mary Bennet overcomes her troubled teenage years, she is challenged by her sudden and total love for a man who mysteriously appears on the night of a great calamity. And his secret grows out of a remarkable device—The Bennet Wardrobe!

The Keeper follows the life of Mary Bennet as she matures from the prosy, moralizing caricature found in Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice into a confident young woman looking to make her mark in the rapidly changing world of the Industrial Revolution. And, discover how the amazing Bennet Wardrobe makes life interesting for all Bennets.
The Maid and The Footman
There are two sides to every great story. The tale of how General Sir Richard Fitzwilliam, fell in love with a governess, Kitty Bennet, after she was terribly injured while protecting the Cecil heiress was told in Of Fortune’s Reversal. Now discover how an unbreakable bond between a footman and a maid grew in the face of that same tragedy and a developing international intrigue.

In the Jane Austen universe, the celebrated novels are written from the point-of-view of the landed gentry. Servants are rarely seen except to open doors, serve dinner or fetch smelling salts. The Maid and The Footman reveals the hidden discourse of life below the stairs.

The Maid and The Footman also reveals how Annie Reynolds and Henry Wilson teamed up with General Fitzwilliam to fight the nefarious plot that had penetrated to the heart of the British government. The dark motive driving the attack in Hyde Park is gradually revealed. Throughout it all, Annie and Henry circle around one another finding remarkable depths of love in spite of the great forces assailing them.

The Maid and The Footman is a companion and simultaneous novel to the popular novella Of Fortune’s Reversal. Readers may find that revisiting Of Fortune’s Reversal will make for a broader and more rewarding experience.
Henry Fitzwilliam’s War
Time is once again bent in 1883 as Viscount Henry Fitzwilliam, the heir to the Earldom of Matlock, uses the remarkable Bennet Wardrobe to seek his manhood through combat. But, as Henry’s Great Grandmother, Lydia, noted, “The Wardrobe has a strange sense of humor.” The lessons the young aristocrat learns are not the ones he expected.

Henry travels over 30 years into the future to land in the middle of the most awful conflict in human history—World War I. His brief time at the Front teaches him that there is no longer any room on the battlefield for heroic combat. Rather he discovers the horrors of “modern” warfare—the machine gun, high explosive artillery and poison gas—and the incredible waste of young men’s lives.

But, it is his two weeks spent recuperating at the Beach House in Deauville, after being temporarily blinded by chlorine gas, that alter his life forever. There he encounters an incredible woman, one who will define his near 10-year search for the love of his life after he returns to his own time.
Of Fortune’s Reversal
Of Fortune’s Reversal is based upon an inversion of Mrs. Bennet’s exclamation that with one good marriage, the other girls will be thrown in front of rich men. For more than two centuries, the weddings of Jane and Lizzy have been portrayed as the solving the other girls’ statuses, not to mention Mrs. Bennet’s future housing. But, what if that was not the case?

What if Mr. Bennet dies just as Jane is receiving the Bingley sisters’ invitation to dinner?

No rainy day horseback ride. No cold for Jane. No Elizabeth coming to Netherfield to nurse her elder sister…so no links forged in any way with Bingley and Darcy. No Wickham. And no Netherfield Ball.

Rather, the Bennet women are forced out of Longbourn—the older girls to Gracechurch Street, ultimately taking up employment away from the city. Kitty and Lydia are sent away to seminary for some much-needed formal education. But, the death of Thomas Bennet has changed more than the family’s financial fortunes. It has also bent the arc of the P&P universe.
The Bennet Wardrobe: Origins
Great Britain’s magical transportation networks include J. K. Rowling’s flue network, Susannah Clarke’s The King’s Roads, and C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe. The Bennet Wardrobe is another such magical device, designed to allow members of the Bennet family (and blood relations) to move between one time and the future.

The Bennet Wardrobe: Origins explores the roots of the unique Bennet Wardrobe secreted in the library of Longbourn House.
Miss Bennet’s First Christmas
Mary Bennet has only been “Miss Bennet” for a fortnight when disaster strikes Meryton in this story of Christmas 1811.

Without any of her sisters remaining at Longbourn, Mary is early in her transformation from the one-dimensional troubled young woman portrayed in Pride and Prejudice into an empathetic character guided by her faith.

During her efforts to assist the wounded of her home village, she encounters and is swept off her feet by a stranger who knows more about Meryton, her family and even Mary herself than any person has the right to know.