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Monday, August 16, 2021

Doing The Austen Shuffle: A Janeite Roundtable

We're back with another Janeite Conversation! I do so enjoy these  little roundtables. Today, I asked our authors:
If you had to move a character from one story into another, who would it be, and what would result?

MARILYN: I think it would be delightfully funny to move Mr. Elton from Emma over to Pride & Prejudice, for at least a few scenes, if only to see how he and Mr. Collins would battle it out with their overall pompousness and not-very-clergyman-like egos :). 

MISTY: Or we could just move Mr Elton straight into the trash... Although, yes, it would be delightful (if painful) to pit Elton and Collins against each other.

MARILYN: Would they verbally spar and inexpertly insult one another? 

MISTY: A cage-match of obsequious self-importance: who will survive?

MARILYN: Would they become fast friends and rejoice in each other's absurdities? 

MISTY: Could the world handle them as a Super-duo? Er, Less-Than-Super-Duo? Will we have to call in reinforcements to put us out of our misery?

MARILYN: So many humorous possibilities!

RIANA:Oh, the possibilities are endless, aren’t they? I have to wonder what would happen if Mary Crawford appeared in Persuasion. She and Anne Elliot would make a rather odd pair of friends, but she would really throw things into a bit of fun chaos. 

CHRISTINE: I wonder if Mary Crawford were to move into “Pride & Prejudice” she might give Mr Darcy a try. She’s talented, clever, and has her own money. 

MISTY: That's the one I always pictured Mary in! I don't know whether I see her going for Darcy or not, but she'd certainly shake things up! She's got a lot of similarities to Elizabeth, I think. It's something that could be debated for hours. 

CHRISTINA: I do think she and Elizabeth would be fast friends should she have come into the neighborhood of Meryton. 

MISTY: But I've never thought of her in Persuasion! That is fascinating to me, Riana!

RIANA: Would she set her cap at Frederick? Probably not – she’s already wealthy and has her eye set on a title. But nasty cousin William Elliot might find himself in her sights!

MISTY: Ooh, now there's a cat-and-mouse game I'd be curious to see! I also think that she would come to Anne's defense rather charmingly, and lord knows, Anne needs people in her corner! 

ALEXA: I’m currently working on a story that brings almost all of Austen’s characters together in one place. It’s utter chaos. The wacky scenario has prompted me to muse over some alternative hero/heroine pairings (these are just musings! I promise everyone will end up correctly paired off). 

MISTY: Spoilers! 

ALEXA: Emma Woodhouse and Captain Wentworth would be great together. Come to think of it, I’m not sure Anne Elliot and Mr. Knightley wouldn’t suit equally well, though in my story, it’s with Mr. Darcy that Anne has bonded. 

MISTY: Yes on Anne and Knightley, HARD NO on Anne and Darcy. 

ALEXA: Sacrilege, I know. 

MISTY: Everything in me recoils!

ALEXA: Let me reiterate my promise that all will work out as Austen intended.  

MISTY: I'm going to hold you to that.

So, dear Janeites: how would you shake up Austen's vast cast list? Tell us and continue the conversation in the comments! 

BIG THANKS to this year's roundtable of contributors:
Alexa Adams, author of The Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice series, et al
Christina Boyd, editor of  The Quill Collective anthology series
Marilyn Brant, author of Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match, et al.
Riana Everly, author of the Miss Mary Investigates series, et al.

Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


  1. I've read a tidy stack of JAFF that did this very thing and I enjoyed them for the most part. I enjoyed one with Fanny's brother, William Price ending up with Mary Bennet, but I would love to see Mary Crawford end up with Colonel Fitzwilliam. He'd appreciate her, I think. And, Georgiana Darcy with Catherine Morland's brother James. And Jane Fairfax with Charles Bingley... I love this sort of imagining.

    1. Oh Sophia, I love the idea of Mary Crawford with Colonel Fitz - they would have such fun!

    2. I have always loved the Colonel with Mary C. He needs to marry an heiress. His family may sniff at her family, but then again, he’s not the heir.

  2. Anne and Mr. Knightley! What a fantastic pairing that would be. I think Catherine Moreland would make an excellent Naval wife, as well, though the only other Austen heroine I'd throw at Henry Tilney would be Emma Woodhouse...which feels like a very entertaining disaster. :D

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  4. How about Emma Woodhouse and Anne Elliott together in the same story? They are totally opposites but Anne could benefit from Emma's friendship and confidant. Anne isn't really close to her sisters so she definitely need female companionship who can provide some distraction from her tedium life. On the other hand a steady and firm hand can guide Emma to be a better person.

  5. I haven't come across many stories where characters crossover into other works but based on your discussion, I can imagine that it would be a lot of fun. I'm especially attached to the idea of Mr. Elton and Mr. Collins sharing a story as they would be hilarious together:) I'm glad Alexa is tackling a crossover project although I too can't help but cringe a little at the idea of Anne and Mr. Darcy. Glad to hear that everything works out by the end.


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