This seems strange to me, so I though we could have a chat session to see why that is, or if it's even true.
I hadn't really thought about it until this spring, when the box of review books I received from Sourcebooks all had Darcy in the title (except one, which had Wickham), and my mom asked "Who the hell is this Darcy guy?"
I thought it was funny at the time, and we laughed and I chalked it up to Sourcebooks only selecting P&P books to send me, or only having P&P books coming out right now, etc.
But then when I was looking over Anna's list of her favorite variations, I noticed that they were all based on P&P or Persuasion, and that got me thinking about the ones I've read or own -and the list is a short one. They pretty much all fall into 3 categories:
- the "mash-up" category (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series and other mash-ups; Murder at Mansfield Park and other mysteries (cozy or otherwise), etc)
- completing Austen's unfinished pieces (Sanditon and Charlotte, both of which complete Austen's unfinished "Sanditon"; Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, which takes "Lady Susan" as a base)
- anthologies of short stories (Intimations of Austen, etc).
That's it. No one seems to tackle the other novels, either to rewrite them from a different POV or with different plot points, or continue them, prequel them, etc. They go largely ignored.
So why is this? Are the other novels complete and best left alone? I guess the case can be made the Emma is complete, and that nothing much changes: Knightley will still be with the Woodhouses all day, but now he'll be sleeping with one of them, and Miss Taylor is now Mrs Weston, but that happens before the story begins, and really, nothing much changes there, either. But then, what of Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax? Can nothing be written of their secret courtship, or their life after? I'm sure a book about the Eltons would make for a nice light comedy... There's always somewhere a new story can be found, so that can't be the problem.
So is it lack of marketability? Do you only want to read P&P variations, with the occasional Persuasion tossed in for something different? I find that hard to believe, and it's certainly not the case with me. Personally, I long to know what happens to Catherine and Henry - what's life like as the Tilneys, and are they shunned as Henry's father claims he will do, or are they welcomed back into the fold?
So I'm going to open this up to you. Have you come across any good treatments of Austen's work that don't revolve around P&P or Persuasion (or maybe follow minor characters or do something with them that couldn't be considered typical)?
Do you want retellings of other works - is there a market for it?
Tawk amongst yahselves.
|Click to be taken to the Main Page & Schedule|