Thursday, 22 October 2009

Jane Austen Is Alive and Well....

Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett in the 2005 Film Production of Pride and Prejudice
....and living amongst the hundreds of Austenesque Blogs and publications that have come onto the market over the last couple of years.

Many novels use her original characters, expanding them into stories of their own. I first noticed this when a book landed on my mat from Random House requesting a review for 'Lady Vernon and Her Daughter', written by mother-daughter team, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway. They have expanded the neglected Austen manuscript of 'Lady Susan' and turned it into a Regency story based on the premise that on the demise of her husband, a widow is dispossessed of her home and fortune by a vindictive male relative and has to find a means of survival for her and her daughter.

A cursory search of the web brought up pages of references to publications where the authors have taken Ms Austen's characters and written stories round them. Amongst them being The Other Mr Darcy, a novel by Monica Fairview, where the odious Caroline Bingley meets Fitzwiliam Darcy's American cousin, and Eucharista Ward's, 'A Match For Mary Bennett'

Publications abound on every aspect of Ms Austen's life, which if one reads her biography, wasn't nearly as exciting or interesting as these accounts. The Austen family fought genteel poverty and Jane and her sister Cassandra didn't even get close to a proposal, much less from the romantic, 'looks-good-in-wet-shirt' type we all love.

There are books of Jane Austen's letters, society guides for the Regency lady, and contemporary novels where the heroine visits the world of the author and meets the characters, country diaries, biographies, travelogues and even a Jane Austen Cookery Book. There are so many, in fact, I cannot mention them all here, but if you are interested - try this list! Jane Austen Books

I imagine Miss Austen herself would be completely bemused by the attention she now receives nearly two hundred years after her death. In fact I read somewhere that the income she received for her books, was £650.00 during her entire lifetime.

Some Austen Blogs For Jane Austen Fans - Austenblog
Jane Austens World - Jane Austen Today - Following Austen - Jane Austen Addict - Jane Austen Forevermore - Jane Austen Books
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1 comment:

Lisa Yarde said...

Great post. It's a shame Austen never lived long enough to understand the impact her works had. When you consider all the adaptations and derivative works that have followed over the decades, her gift is truly amazing, though I have to admit I like the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice even better than the book.

Part of the reason why Austen is so good is her innate ability to tap into emotions that help bring her characters to life. Her characters are also very funny, there's a great humor to Mr. Bennett's tolerance of his wife and his younger daughters. They truly are people we can relate to in any century.

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