Jane Austen

Jane Austen is my favorite author. Her books are dazzlingly, astonishingly good. She took one simple plotline and turned it into six completely unique novels. There is no resemblance between the characters, themes, or mood of Emma and Mansfield Park, or between Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Austen's books are uniformly witty, charming, and elegantly written. Unlike the Bronte sisters, she never tossed in a bit of ridiculous melodrama to propel her plot along. (Nobody in an Austen book ever dressed up as a Gypsy to hit on an employee, for example. Or starved to death because of a thwarted love for their foster-sister.)

Note: If you're going to read Northanger Abbey, you really should read an Ann Radcliffe book first. Northanger Abbey is funny anyway, but it's even better if you have some background knowledge of the kind of book Austen was satirizing.

Note #2: You may be surprised (or delighted) to learn that there is a small but thriving trade in Austen continuations, which range from the very well done (see Joan Aiken) to campy stories about the amorous adventures of Elizabeth and Darcy. You can find a staggering number of these on amazon.co.uk.

Absolutely none. Well, I do wish she had finished that last novel.

The books, film versions, and TV adaptations are all widely available.

Other Recommendations:
Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons

Cotillion, The Grand Sophy, The Unknown Ajax, A Civil Contract, or Devil's Cub, by Georgette Heyer

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell

A Room with a View, by E. M. Forster

Roman Fever, by Edith Wharton

http://www.pemberley.com/ -
Posted by: Julia


06 Mar, 2005 12:49 PM @ version 0

I saw "Bride and Prejudice" and I thought it kind of blew, but there's actually a REAL Bollywood version of an Austen story (rather than a bastardized American/British/Indian version.) It's called "Kandukondai, Kandukondain" (or something like that- the title translates to "I Have Found It") and it's a fairly faithful modern-day retelling of "Sense and Sensibility".

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