Skip to main content

Jane Austen Spin-offs and Sequels

There are a lot of them out there: continuations, sequels, spin-off, retellings, books inspired by Jane Austen's novels. Even though they are often not that great, for some reason I still end up wanting to read more. However, there are some good ones that I've discovered too. So I've decided to put together a list of the Jane-Austen-related books that I've read - the good and the not-so-good.
 

Sequels

  
Lady Catherine's Necklace by Joan Aiken

This was OK. It wasn't quite believable as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, but if you ignore that it is a sequel it isn't a bad story in its own right.

Georgiana Darcy's Diary by Anne Elliott
This was a fairly enjoyable sequel to Pride and Prejudice, focusing on Georgiana (obviously) and her search for romance. It wasn't anything special but I did enjoy it. (I got it as a free Kindle download; you can still get it for free now at Amazon (UK or US).
 
The Matters at Mansfield, or, The Crawford Affair by Carrie Bebris
I actually did really enjoy this book. It's part of a series which involves Elizabeth and Darcy solving mysteries, which involves them meeting characters from each of Jane Austen's novels (in this case, the characters of Mansfield Park, although most of these characters play a fairly minor part in the novel). The mystery was intriguing, the dialogue felt fairly authentically Regency and the characters were pretty close to their original representations, so overall, this was a very enjoyable read. (There is a slightly gruesome description of a murder, but it's not that bad.) I intend to read the rest of the series, sometime.
 

Retellings

 
Mr. Darcy's Diary and Mr. Knightley's Diary by Amanda Grange
Both of these books were quite good, an entertaining look at Pride and Prejudice and Emma, respectively, from the hero's perspective. I have to admit that I don't remember that much about either of them, so they didn't leave a very lasting impression, but I did enjoy them, although I preferred the former.
 
Longbourn by Jo Baker
This was one that I didn't enjoy. I liked the concept of it and it started out fairly well, but then it kind of went downhill and the middle section was just ... not good. I kept reading in the hope that it would get better, which it did, a bit, but I wouldn't recommend it.
 
Jane Austen: Her Complete Novels in One Sitting by Jennifer Kasius
This book provides a brief summary of the characters and plot of each of Jane Austen's novels. It's a useful reminder if you can't exactly remember the plot of each novel or have trouble keeping track of the characters (I know I used to).
 

Modern-Day

 
Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard: A Tale of Tide and Prejudice by Belinda Roberts
This was another book that started off fairly well but I got bored of it towards the end. It is quite funny, but I think the jokes get tiresome after a bit and it gets a bit ridiculous towards the end. So overall it wasn't that great.

Other

 
Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
These books are not so much spin-offs from Jane Austen's works as just books that are inspired by them. In both cases the main characters have a strong interest in classic literature, especially Jane Austen, and this influences their perceptions and how they think about things, and there are a lot of references to Jane Austen and other classic authors in them. I enjoyed them both, perhaps not quite as much as I'd hoped to, but they are both good stories in their own right, and definitely worth reading if you like classic books or a good story. (You can read my review of Dear Mr. Knightley here.)

Comments

  1. I thought the same thing about Longbourn! At the beginning I thought it was going to be great and then it got weird. There's a Joan Aiken one about Jane Fairfax that's supposed to be quite good as well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooh yes I think I'd heard of that, I'll have to give it a try :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Rose in Bloom

Summary (from Goodreads): In this sequel to Eight Cousins, Rose Campbell returns to the "Aunt Hill" after two years of traveling around the world. Suddenly, she is surrounded by male admirers, all expecting her to marry them. But before she marries anyone, Rose is determined to establish herself as an independent young woman. Besides, she suspects that some of her friends like her more for her money than for herself. I read this for the 14th Classics Club Spin. It was my third time participating, and the first that I actually completed my book on time. I'd been meaning to read this for quite some time - since I read Eight Cousins in fact, which was more than three years ago! Because of this I found the beginning part of the book a little confusing as it took me a while to remember who everyone was and so on. But that was more a fault of mine than of the book, and once I got going, I really enjoyed this, more so than Eight Cousins. I thought it was a sweet story. The main…

Weekly Poem: She walks in beauty, like the night



She walks in beauty, like the night    Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that's best of dark and bright    Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,    Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress,    Or softly lightened o'er her face, Where thoughts serenely sweet express    How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow,    But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below,    A heart where love is innocent.
Lord Byron

Book Review: Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)

(minor spoilers follow)
Jane and her mother live in Toronto with her grandmother, who loves her mother but bullies Jane. She has always believed that her father is dead, so she is shocked to find that he is in fact alive and living in Prince Edward Island, and  that he wants her to spend the summer with him. Jane goes determined to hate him, but instead she spends a glorious summer keeping house for her father and making friends with the locals. As time passes, both during and after the summer, Jane finds she has much to learn about herself and about life. She also tries to learn about the reasons for her parents' separation, and dreams that perhaps one day they might all be able to live together... I liked Jane. She is perhaps more ordinary than most of Montgomery's heroines; although she is still imaginative, she's not in the same class as Anne or Emily. However, this doesn't stop her from having plenty of good qualities; she is caring, brave, and determined. Althou…