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Topic: What is it with Jane Austen?

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Subject: What is it with Jane Austen?
Date Posted: 11/15/2014 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,443
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Just finished one of the latest books that is yet another spinoff of the whole, crazy Jane Austen fanaticism.  It was, First Impressions, by Charles Lovett, (major spoilers below) and I can't help but be curious, what is it with all this Jane Austen themed movies, mini-series and spin-off books?  You have to wonder what the woman would think knowing that 200 years after publication her name, her works, would be one of the most recognizable in literature and would inspire dozens, if not hundreds, of spin-offs in books and films --- not that she'd know what that film thing is.  

I read Austen decades ago when I got one of those "Collected works of..." books for a gift.  I've mostly avoided the Austen spin-offs, although the collected Austen British mini-series and movies are quite good, but this new one, First Impressions, I got on a whim and found I liked it more than I thought I would.  Any other recommendations on Austen spin-offs?

(Major spoiler ahead)

As to First Impressions, an interesting concept that really got me to thinking, just how would the world react if they found out that Jane Austen plagiarized her Pride and Prejudice from another author.  

Date Posted: 12/1/2014 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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You might try Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw -- it is totally a Jane Austen-esque story, except the characters are all dragons.  It is done well, a bit tongue-in-cheek without being so silly that you can't enjoy it.

Date Posted: 12/3/2014 2:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Tooth and Claw is great - but I think Walton has specifically said it's a riff on Trollope rather than Austen. But it is extremely enjoyable.

Date Posted: 1/24/2015 6:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 6,650
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I read a book a few years ago that tickled me. Jane Austen was a vampire bookstore owner, undead in the modern world. Jane Bites Back, I think. Author was a dude. Don't remember his name.

I watched Death Comes To Pemberley the other night on Netflix. It was pretty good. I liked it.

Subject: Found my answer!
Date Posted: 3/2/2015 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,753
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Within the past few years someone here recommended to me a book where Jane's letters to relatives in US played a big part.....I think the letters helped to solve a mystery.  I believe this book was part of a series of mystery thrillers all related to Austen, but now I can't think of the book title nor the author. I know I enjoyed it so now would like to find more in the series.   Can anyone help?

it's the "Jane and the............." mystery series by Stephanie Baron where Jane plays the sleuth.

 



Last Edited on: 3/2/15 11:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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Two of my favourites are Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen (and she has other Austen-esque fan fiction books that are very enjoyable) and A Match for Mary Bennet Can a Serious Young Lady Ever Find Her Way to Love by Eucharista Ward. I find some of the fan fiction just too silly but when they are done well they can be a delight!

Date Posted: 3/11/2015 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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What is it with Jane Austin?   I, for one, have no idea.  

Date Posted: 3/14/2015 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
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On the broader question....given Jane Austin's fandom, I have tried several times to read her most-popular books, and, sorry. I just don;t get it.

Date Posted: 3/27/2015 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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Part of me wants to scream, "How can you not love Jane Austen?", just as others want to scream "How can you not love -- substitute any writer's name that you love and I don't?" Love one and not the other -- a result of my personal reading tastes, formed by my personal experiences. Personally, I find Jane Austen's books so timeless, funny and filled with bits of wisdom as true today as when they were written 200 years ago. The books just resonate with me. For those of you who would like to like Jane Austen or at least understand why some of us are so passionate about her books, but just can't make it through the 19th Century prose, try one of the more recent films. I highly recommend "Sense and Sensibility" with Emma Thompson. True to the book yet a nice "translation" for a modern audience who might miss, or not understand, some of the social points of 200 years ago that the story hinges on.

Date Posted: 7/11/2015 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
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Sally, I actually like Jane Austen and over the years have read all of her books and watched many of the video adaptations with great pleasure (my personal favorite being Persuasion).  What I don't get is this crazy spin-off thing where Jane Austen becomes the feature character in a contemporary book.  

Date Posted: 7/18/2015 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,264
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I think the letters helped to solve a mystery.  I believe this book was part of a series of mystery thrillers all related to Austen, but now I can't think of the book title nor the author. I know I enjoyed it so now would like to find more in the series.   Can anyone help?

it's the "Jane and the............." mystery series by Stephanie Baron where Jane plays the sleuth.

I think the book is Jane And the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (Being the First Jane Austin Mystery) by Stephanie Barron.  I have this book and am about 4 chapters in, but it is not grabbing me.  I think I am in the camp who just doesn't get all the Jane Austin allure. 

 

 

Date Posted: 10/7/2015 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2014
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My favorite incarnations / adaptations... Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson - both EXCELLENT!!  Also I read alot of the spin-offs, what-ifs, and variations and one I read recently I really enjoyed:  Haunting Mr. Darcy:  A Spirited Courtship by Karalynne Mackrory

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/2/2016 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I agree with Sally, that I think the reason there are still so many incarnations of Jane Austen works after 200 yrs is because the stories are timeless. Austen had a way of writing that sucks the reader into the story and makes you FEEL what was happening. I have reread her books many times. 

I have not liked a lot of the spin offs and fan fiction novels; however, I have recently found a few that are really good. The writing styles are very similar to Austen. The one series are books retelling her stories through the eyes of the men. So far I have read Mr. Knightley's Diary and it was very close to Emma. The other one I read recently was called the Unexpected Miss Bennet, which I found at the Dollar Tree. It takes place a year after Pride and Prejudice and is very close the storyline and writing style of the original. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2016 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
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I know I am late to the conversation but today is the 203rd anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.  :)  Goodreads has a fun list that is worth checking out. https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/609-203-years-later-we-still-can-t-get-enough-of-pride-and-prejudice

As to your question, I think the mashups of popular stories are so prevalent because it is fun to speculate what if?  Whether is it is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (didn't read that one) of Star Wars/Shakespeare Verily, A New Hope, they are fun.

Subject: Calling all Janeites
Date Posted: 8/28/2016 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 10,029
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Nicole has opened a Jane book swap over in the Games Forum.  Here is the link:

All About Jane:  A Secret Identity Daisy Chain Swap

If you've never played in the book games, now would be a great time to experience the fun.  Newbies are always welcome.  Plus.... Jane books!