Jane Austen’s beloved novel of manners was published 200 years ago on Jan. 28, 1813 featuring Miss Elizabeth Bennet as she and her four sisters navigate 19th century British society. This beloved satire and psychological study of the characters and their community is one of my favorite classics and has inspired countless movies, sequels, retellings and more. In fact there is so much out there just produced within the last ten years that a few of your friendly neighborhood librarians are a little on Austen overload. However, here are a range of great titles either inspired by or reminiscent of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice.
For something new and different check out Lansing author Scott Southard’s latest, A Jane Austen Daydream (review). It’s a re-imagining of Jane Austen’s life told very much in the style of Miss Austen and informed by the breadth of her works.
The mystery genre has had a field day playing with Austen’s characters but one of our staff picks is the 2011 bestseller Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (Joe M.’s review). Fans of Pride and James’ Dalgliesh will both find something to like here.
Even high fantasy has titles that evoke the feel of Pride, without any of the visual trappings. Thais R. suggested Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw—“a story of inheritance, privilege love, and oh yes dragons… whether you love Pride and Prejudice or Dragonlance.” (full review)
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler set her modern day book of manners in California examining the lives and relationships of a group who come together in a monthly book discussion of the six novels of Jane Austen.
And on the topic of book discussions, in All Roads Lead to Austen author Amy Elizabeth Smith travels South America with a suitcase full of Jane Austen novels in Spanish and gathers new friends to discuss them in six separate countries—accidently living the lessons of Austen’s novels along the way. Fans of Austen, chick lit and travelogues should all give this a try.
Do you have favorites you’d suggest? Let us know!
– Jessica T., Public Services Head at CADL Downtown Lansing