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Over 200 years old and still as contemporary as ever.
Can a retelling of ‘Pride and Prejudice' possibly work? Well, this novel proves it can. The Austen Project consists of six contemporary authors, each retelling one of Jane Austen’s novels. Just imagine being paired with Pride and Prejudice, where on earth would you even begin? Well…Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of American Wife, has moved the setting to Cincinnati, has included a reality TV show, sex before marriage and increased the ages of both Elizabeth and Jane to 38 and 40 - gulp! Curtis Sittenfeld has been particularly clever, keeping the essence of the story complete, yet cranking it up to be an eminently readable 21st century relationship story. Mr and Mrs Bennet are an absolute delight (and fright), transferring perfectly and making me both chuckle and cringe, I also have to admit to now seeing Jane Austen’s Elizabeth with new eyes. So, I embraced the changes as I read, stopped analysing and just enjoyed this thoroughly modern tale. The titles in the Austen Project series are: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna TrollopeNorthanger Abbey by Val McDermidEmma by Alexander McCall SmithEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Jane Austen loved the theatre. She learned much of her art from a long tradition of English comic drama and took joyous participation in amateur theatricals. Her juvenilia, then Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice,Mansfield Park and Emma were shaped by the arts of theatrical comedy. Her admiration for drama's dialogue, characterisation, plotting, exits and entrances is why she has been dramatised so successfully on screen in the last twenty years - and these versions are at the centre of her continuing fame, culminating in her celebration on GBP10 note. Austen expert and author of The Real Jane Austen, Paula Byrne looks at stage adaptations of Austen's novels (including one called Miss Elizabeth Bennet by A. A. Milne) to modern classics, including the BBC Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility, and the phenomenally brilliant and successful Clueless, Jane's World presents an Austen not of prim manners and genteel calm, but filled with wild comedy and outrageous behaviour.
On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the rooms from which our best-loved novelist quietly changed the world.This new telling of the story of Jane's life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn't all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.
Featuring her views on love and marriage, women's rights and society's mores, this beautiful volume looks at the facts of Austen's life and times, as well as little known stories about her novels, including: the marriage proposal that Austen accepted, only to change her mind, the mock grown-up fiction she wrote as a child, her personal connections to the Napoleonic Wars, and how her love of puzzles and verbal games influenced her writings.
Almost everything we think we know about Jane Austen is wrong. Her novels don't confine themselves to grand houses and they were not written just for readers' enjoyment. She writes about serious subjects and her books are deeply subversive. We just don't read her properly - we haven't been reading her properly for 200 years. Jane Austen, The Secret Radical puts that right.
Continuing the series of Jane Austen 'reboots', Alexander McCall Smith updates the story of interfering Emma . She is exactly as she is in the original, giving dinner parties and picnics, attempting matchmaking and generally meddling in other people’s affairs. It is non-taxing, pleasant, easy reading. ~ Sarah Broadhurst The titles in the Austen Project series are: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna TrollopeNorthanger Abbey by Val McDermidEmma by Alexander McCall SmithEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
In Val's trademark style of great storytelling and suspense meet modern day Cat whose world is turned upside down and her innocence lost as she is taken from rural Dorset to experience the bright lights of Edinburgh and the festival. Seamless prose complementing dialogue that's speckled with wit, it is clear that Val McDermid clearly relished the writing of this contemporary and page-turning take on Northanger Abbey. October 2014 Book of the Month. The titles in the Austen Project series are: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna TrollopeNorthanger Abbey by Val McDermidEmma by Alexander McCall SmithEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Author of 17 bestselling contemporary novels Joanna Trollope has used her skills of astute yet sensitive observation of the ‘human condition’ to reboot Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility from the 18th to 21st Centuries. It’s a fresh, witty and very contemporary story of love in the age of social media yet is totally respectful of the original - what’s not to like. The titles in the Austen Project series are: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna TrollopeNorthanger Abbey by Val McDermidEmma by Alexander McCall SmithEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Sense & Sensibility a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A truly wonderful re-telling. A perfect indulgent, engaging read.' – Edel Waugh. Scroll down to read more reviews.
Full to the brim with ready wit and arch social commentary, this amusing and intelligent book is as relevant today as it was when published nearly 200 years ago. If you haven't previously read any of Austen’s works, this is the perfect place to start, it’s one of her lesser known but more stimulating and provocative novels. Quite literally a book of two halves, we have a story of a young woman learning the difference between reality and fantasy and then a consummate commentary from the author on the literary world at the time. Austen introduces an almost anti-heroine, a kind, caring but not particularly captivating Catherine, then surrounds her with four fascinatingly different characters who range from compassionate, intelligent and gracious to self obsessed, mercenary and petulant. As well as the engaging story, you also discover an author who appears to be somewhat on the warpath. She actually talks to you from the page, her views are so clear, you could be having a face-to-face discussion with her. If you already know Northanger Abbey, reacquaint yourself with this fascinating novel. This actual edition is charming, a perfect size for the hand bag and one to treasure. It also has an interesting Introduction by Val McDermid who has just recently, with approval from the Austen Society, published a terrifically good reimagining in a contemporary setting of Northanger Abbey.
In this new biography, best-selling author Paula Byrne (bestselling author of Perdita, Mad World) explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain's most beloved novelist: her father's religious faith, her mother's aristocratic pedigree, her eldest brother's adoption, her other brothers' naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, the family's amateur theatricals, the female novelists she admired, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author. Byrne uses a highly innovative technique whereby each chapter begins from an object that conjures up a key moment or theme in Austen's life and work-a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a laptop writing box, a royalty cheque, a bathing machine, and many more. The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of 'dear Aunt Jane' would allow. Published to coincide with the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, this lively and scholarly biography brings Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century.
Again and again in polls conducted around the world, it is regularly chosen as the favourite novel of all time. Read and studied from Cheltenham to China, there are Jane Austen Societies from Boston to Buenos Aires, dedicated to sharing the delights of Jane Austen's masterpiece. Here is the tale of how Pride and Prejudice came to be written, its first reception in a world that didn't take much notice of it and then its growing popularity. As well as discussing the famous characters - sex-symbol Mr Darcy, charming heroine Elizabeth Bennet, and the superb range of comic characters who make readers laugh again and again - Susannah Fullerton looks at the style of the novel - its wicked irony, its brilliant structuring, its revolutionary use of the technique known as 'free indirect speech'. Readers through the years have both loved the book and hated it - the reactions of writers, politicians, artists and explorers can tell us as much about the reader as they do about the book itself. Pride and Prejudice has morphed into many strange and interesting forms - screen adaptations, sequels, prequels and updates. Happily Ever After explores these, and the wilder shores of zombies, porn, dating manuals, T-shirts, tourism and therapy.
'No sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes...' The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
The Austen Project
200 years since Jane Austen’s death, six contemporary authors have been charged with reimagining her classics. So far, Joanna Trollope, Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith and Curtis Sittenfield have taken up the challenge. The latter’s Eligible, now in paperback, is Pride and Prejudice in modern-day Cincinnati and a thoroughly enjoyable read. You can find it here. No-one knows yet who the last two authors will be to complete the project. We’re on the edge of our seats and you will be the first to know!
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death. Her novels continue to delight and there have been numerous TV and film adaptations of them (who can forget Colin Firth after the swim in the lake?). In this category you will find some of her classic novels along with modern re-workings of them and also a selection of non-fiction titles that explore her life and work and the continuing fascination it exerts upon readers.