I’m a little late in the day posting this update – but happy 234th birthday Jane Austen!
Austen’s enduring popularity is proven, in part, by the uncountable number of spinoffs her life and books have spawned. Why has Jane Austen resonated with so many authors and readers? In my opinion, feisty heroines with a knack for clever dialogue will never get old, along with social commentary via drawing room gossip. Plus, as far as romance with handsome gentlemen is concerned, I think I agree with my grandmother on this one: leaving something to the imagination is just as titillating (if not more so) than the spiciest sex scene. What do you think?
It would be impossible to name all the Jane Austen-themed books, but read on for a few covered in BookPage, spanning genres from self-help to mystery:
- Kristina Springer’s modern-day Emma, The Espressologist
- Shannon Hale’s Austenland, which Trisha dubbed “Jane Austen with soul”
- Laurie Viera Rigler’s tale of time-traveling to Jane Austen’s day, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
- Karen Joy Fowler’s hit, The Jane Austen Book Club
- Lauren Henderson’s self-help book Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating
- Tracy Kiely’s Murder at Longbourne, where Pride and Prejudice meets cozy mystery
- Beth Patillo’s “smart chick lit” Jane Austen Ruined My Life
- Cathleen Schine’s February 2010 release, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, a re-imagined Sense and Sensibility
Perhaps the most unlikely adaptation is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. On December 11, The Telegraph announced that Natalie Portman would star as Elizabeth Bennet in a film adaptation of the spoof. (Read more about Jane vs. the supernatural beings.)
Oh, and by the way: As much as I love Pride and Prejudice, my favorite Austen novel is Mansfield Park. What about you?