It is a truth universally acknowledged, that readers in possession of 6 novels must be in want of more.
I do wonder how Miss Austen would regard the Jane Austen industry, that growing collection of books and films and blogs about her life and her in-the-public-domain characters. If you’ve read all the original novels and still have a jones for Jane, you might enjoy some of these additions to the Austen brand:
- Jane Austen as a fictional character
Becoming Jane: a 2007 film with Anne Hathaway that offers a mostly fictional account of Jane’s love affair with a penniless Irish law student.
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James: There’s very little left of Jane Austen’s personal writing. Her sister burned most of her letters. This novel supposes that she kept a private diary detailing a secret love affair.
- Continuations and completions
The Mr. & Mrs. Darcy series by Carrie Bebris: As a newly married couple, the Darcys must solve the mystery around the misfortunes of Elizabeth’s brother-in-law Charles Bingley and his snooty sister Caroline. First book in the series is Pride and prescience, or, A truth universally acknowledged.
Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange: The novel Emma, retold from Mr. Knightley’s point of view.
In a sort of literary hat trick, Joan Aiken:
1) completes one of Austen’s unfinished works in Emma Watson: the Watsons completed
2) invents a new story for Pride and Prejudice’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Lady Catherine’s Necklace
3) writes a sequel in Jane Fairfax, Jane Austen’s Emma, through another’s eyes.
- Contemporary retellings
Clueless: The 1995 movie with Alicia Silverstone takes Emma to high school in Beverly Hills
Jane Austen in Scarsdale, or Love, death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen: Persuasion in a high school counselor’s office, where a woman must face the man she rejected years ago when his nephew enrolls at her school.
Austenland by Shannon Hale: Not a retelling of an Austen novel, but the story of a woman with a Mr. Darcy obsession, sent to a kind of literary resort to experience life as one of Jane’s characters.
Someone should build a real Jane Austen resort. There must be room in Florida next to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.