Monday, January 4, 2010
Books by Theme: Jane Austen Variations
While researching the plethora of Jane Austen prequels, sequels, and variations to read for the Jane Austen Challenge, I stumbled across quite a few interesting variations I am considering for 2010. Here are a few of my findings...
Pemberley Shades: A Lightly Gothic Tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy
Several years after the marriage of the Darcys, the sudden death of Pemberley’s rector disrupts their happily-ever-after. When Mr. Stephen Acworth replaces him, mysterious events take place; the Darcys suspect their new rector isn’t quite who he says he is. First published in 1949, Bonavia-Hunt’s work holds the distinction of being the second P&P sequel ever published. While not particularly gothic in tone, the book holds a special historical place in the Austen sequel canon.
Jane Austen Ruined My Life
Professor Emma Grant has always had faith in the happily-ever-after depicted by her favorite author, Jane Austen. But where’s Emma’s happy ending when she discovers that, instead of a Darcy, she’s married a Wickham who both breaks her heart and destroys her career? Emma sets off for England on a quest to reestablish her academic credibility by tracking down the lost letters of Jane Austen and finds a romantic adventure of her own. Fun for Anglophiles and Austenites alike.
Barbara Ker Wilson
The Lost Years of Jane Austen: A Novel
Wilson has pieced together a convincing fictional account of Jane Austen’s activities during the early 1800s. The tale begins with a true event: the fraudulent arrest of Jane’s aunt for the theft of a piece of white lace worth 20 shillings. Events arising from this send Jane on a voyage across the sea to Australia and expose her to adventure and romance along the way. A convincing work of historical fiction, though Austen’s fans may find themselves clamoring for less about Jane’s relations and more about Jane.
The Darcys & the Bingleys: A Tale of Two Gentlemen’s Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters
Picking up right where Pride and Prejudice left off, Altman’s debut novel commences just two days before the double wedding of Darcy and Bingley to the Bennett sisters. When Bingley confides some misgivings about the upcoming wedding night, Darcy presents him with a special wedding gift: a magnificently illustrated edition of The Kama Sutra. This light, humorous return to Austen’s key characters is an engaging read, but it may take too many liberties for Austen purists.