Thursday, January 28, 2016

Favorite Jane Austen Retellings or Continuations

On this 203rd anniversary of Pride and Prejudice's publication I am talking about my favorite Austen retellings to celebrate!

After discovering there are Jane Austen adaptations and continuations in the world a few years ago, I started devouring them at a frightening pace a few years ago. I will never claim to be an expert on these because I know there are Janeites out there who have read many more than I have. Today I want to share a few of my favorites and share what kind of adaptations I find most appealing.

Personally, I am a big fan of the Regency era retellings and continuations. While I have several that take place in modern day or even in the future, most of the ones I read take place around the time the original story would have taken place. I love history in general so I think that is why these appeal to me the most.

Darcy's Tale (Darcy's Tale #1-3)

Darcy's Tale by Stanley Michael Hurd 

Most recently I read Darcy's Tale. This retelling is told in three volumes through Darcy's eyes and follows him from before his first meeting with the Bennets through the many trials he and Elizabeth face. Hurd recounts Darcy's innermost thoughts and feelings about his sister, his friends, his responsibilities and, of course, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

The Darcys of Derbyshire: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Throughout this book Darcy's (and all the other character's) characterization on point. Hurd created a world around Darcy that felt like an Austen novel and gave us a glimpse into a landed gentleman's life. Plus the story gave me all those familiar feels surrounding Darcy and Elizabeth's romance. This series was my favorite adaptation I've read in a long time.

The Darcy's of Derbyshire by Abigail Reynolds 

On a very different note The Darcy's of Derbyshire is a short story about a scene that could have happened during the Gardiner's trip to the Peaks. Darcy happens upon the couple and their niece after his disastrous proposal. He helps Miss Bennet climb a particularly beautiful cliff while telling her the story of his parents' romance. 

8306761This was a beautiful short story I really enjoyed. Abigail Reynolds is a retelling master and I always enjoy her "what if" changes to Austen's original Pride and Prejudice. It is short, but Reynolds paints a picture of Darcy's parents as young adults and tries to rekindle Elizabeth's view of their son. It is a fun and different approach to an adaptation and I enjoyed this story immensely. 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 

Unlike the other two on this list, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a retelling of Persuasion. It is quite an adaptation too. In this futuristic dystopian Elliot North is a young woman who refused a servant Kai. Now Kai has returned from a intergalactic adventure rich and successful and Elliot hopes this could be her second chance with him and for escape. Kai seems unwilling to give it to her though. 

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book and I am constantly on the hunt for adaptations or continuations of the story. There aren't many and this is my favorite of the ones I've found. It gave me the same feelings and the story works even though it is in a very different setting. 

I hope you found an adaptation that might suit your mood or an inspiration to check out more Jane Austen retellings. Happy Reading!

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