Saying that I love Jane Austen’s novels is an understatement. To quote E.M. Forster, I am “slightly imbecile about Jane Austen.” I’m also a purist. All these prequels, sequels, fan fiction and something called ‘re-imaginings’ are… sacrilegious. And yet, even well known authors haven’t been able to resist the temptation to fill those silk slippers. P.D. James succumbed to Mr Darcy and Lizzy Bennett with her “Death Comes to Pemberley” and now Alexander McCall Smith is giving us modern version of “Emma”.
And there are vampires, zombies, ghosts, monsters. Even Ms JA has been ‘reimagined’ into a 19 century sleuth! How twisted is that?
Then there are endless modern stories inspired by her works (who can forget Bridget Jones?).
For a very long time, I resisted reading these types of books. I mean, they are all bad, right? Then a friend gave me Jo Baker’s “Longbourn”. I skirted around it for weeks, resisting it and then when I finally started reading, I couldn’t put it down! Full review to follow.
So I decided that I would give these works benefit of the doubt and from there sprung this idea of a reading challenge which I’m calling “Twisted Austen”. Very apt name, isn’t it?
I will read anything that has been inspired by Austen’s work, even the dreaded “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “Mr Darcy, Vampyre” (just thinking about it leaves bitter taste in my mouth).
So, for those who enjoy these works, let’s have some fun. Hit me with suggestions – good, bad and ugly. I solemnly promise to be gentle in my reviews.