The Fascination with Jane Austen

Hey all~

Yesterday I was guest blogging on the fabulous Cynthia Woolf's page about my love for all things Jane Austen. First, let me say- if you haven't been over to her site you should go right now.

This is her website banner :

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Enough said, right! I'll wait while you check it out. I trust you'll come back when your done.

While you were there did you see my blog post?

If not I'm including it here.

The fascination with Jane Austen continues to spawn retellings of her works

One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail. Meg Ryan, a children's book store owner reads Pride and Prejudice every autumn.

Like her, I make Pride and Prejudice an annual thing as well. Only I spread it out and read favorite parts sporadically throughout the year. I also watch the movie(s) at least six-twelve times a year. I watch it enough that my six year old will stop to watch certain scenes and say, “this is my favorite part”.

Yay! She has a favorite part! Parent win!

When I decided to write my Matchmaker series I was in a Pride and Prejudice phase. Though Persuasion is my favorite of the Austen books, there is something so enchanting about P&P (the conflict in Persuasion gives me heartburn). It was the perfect romance to watch and I didn't have to worry about language or naughty scenes. Though I was starting a new, different series—one that was already mapped out——I couldn't get the P&P characters out of my head. I was hesitant to take my story line and change it to a P&P variation. Nervous about how it would be received. Writing what might be called “fanfiction” can have a negative vibe. Some people simply think fanfiction isn't real writing (let me point to Fifty Shades of Grey which is Twilight fanfiction). But I gave into the muse and decided to go with it.

It would seem I'm not the only one. Have you seen how many retellings, variations, or inspiration pieces there are from Elizabeth and Darcy?

Let's make a list:

  • Eligible- Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Unleashing Mr. Darcy- Katherine Rey
  • The Girl From Summer Hill- Jude Deveraux
  • Over you- HM Ward
  • Bridget Jones' Diary- Helen Fielding
  • The Lizzy Bennet Diaries (also on video- MY FAVORITE) Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
  • Austenland- Shannon Hale
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies- Seth Grahame-Smith

I could go on.

Bookbub even allows readers to ‘follow' Jane Austen and tells them know when a new book taken from her great works is for sale.

But love for Jane goes beyond books and movies. On Facebook you can join many like minded fans on any of these pages:

Again another endless pool of awesomeness. But retellings don't begin or end with Jane Austen. Both traditional publishers and indie authors are putting out well received books in the worlds of Sherlock Holmes, Harry Styles, and the Twilight Series. Amazon offers opportunity to publish books in some of your favorite author's worlds- aptly called-Kindle Worlds.

But why do these stories continue? Why, year after year, are authors creating tales of these well known characters?

Because we simply can't get enough.

I love the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Hands down, it's my favorite. But the last scene in the Pride and Prejudice movie where they are married and he's calling her Mrs. Darcy, um, yeah, I want more of that.

Was it because so much was left unsaid between them? Nowadays, we get front row seats into the bedrooms of many of our favorite characters. But not Lizzy and Darcy. We're left to guess. We're left wondering with only our imaginations the limit. Did Lizzy and Darcy ever talk about Caroline Bingley? What did their fights look like? How did he show his affection? Did he leave Pemberley when her mother came for a visit?

So much left for us to speculate about. An endless source of ideas to turn into books.

That's why I believe we see and will continue to see Jane Austen based stories.

What do you think?

If you could emerge into a favorite world what would it be? Do you like to read retellings? I'd love to know. Leave a comment and share:-)

My first foray into Jane Austen world is out!

You can purchase Meryton Matchmakers Book 1 at your favorite ebook retailer.

iBooks KOBO NOOK AMAZON  GOOGLE

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One thought on “The Fascination with Jane Austen

  1. I personally love retailing’s. Not because I dislike the original, often times I absolutely love the original, but sometimes while reading I find myself saying…what if they had developed this character more or gone this way with the story instead. Reading is meant to pull you into that world and I think a natural part of that is to see the story in everyday life. Sometimes you can look at a person and say oh you are so Darcy or you are so Roland (Stephen King Fan). Being able to take a story and run down a different path I think is a great compliment to the writer that you saw soooo many different stories in theirs.

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