Greetings all from a male member of the Pride and Pejudice fan club.
Having read the book more times than I can remember, owning it, and both the film and BBC adaptation series, and knowing the story inside out, what is the point of the seeming compilsion by various authors to change, add-to or re-write Jane Austen's classic? Having read a couple of these attempts, they just seem so pointless. P.D.James's A Death at Pemberley, like others, was a book that didn't, in my opinion, even need writing. I got caught in also by Mr Darcy's Diary and, of late, The Truth about Mr Darcy which I managed three chapters of then discarded as rubbish.
Whils I enjoy discussing the book, it is, in itself, enough. "It is a truth, universally acknowleged, that Jane Austen was a genius and Pride and Prejudice a treasure"....so why, please, why?
3 Answers | Add Yours
Outside of the amazing, and correct, answer posted by wannam, many filmatic adaptations and rewrites are the new authors'/directors' interpretation of the original. Having just finished a class in Film and Literature (for my Master's), I have been drilled on the importance of looking at an adaptation as an original. The new versions, as convoluted and distorted as some may seem, need to be regarded on their own successes (or failures) apart from the original. Hard to do sometimes for enthusiasts.
The answer is simple. Other authors try to profit from the fame and notoriety of a famous author like Jane Austen. The answer is money. They can sell the book without even advertising it because people already know the story. They can create a companion piece and people will buy it because they loved the original characters. I agree with you that most of these types of stories aren't worth reading. I've certainly picked up one or two copies and put them back when I noticed that Jane Austen was not the author. A second story in the series not written by the same author is rarely as good as expected in my personal opinion.
Thank you both. Sadly, I accept the obvious truth in both answers. I purposely used the term "bandwaggon" in my question from frustration rather than not accepting that truth long ago. Not unlike the pot-of-gold philosophy of Mrs Bennett herself, money motivates most things.
The Pemberley universe has such a magnetic influence on devotees that there are even times when we probably all dearly wish the good lady herself had written a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, although, that said, the story was so utterly complete that even she must have been satisfied that it needed no further embellishment. Despite any further attempts to move it on, either from a monetary aim, or just a sheer desire to be a part of it all, I think I can safely say that the original will never be bettered.
Several visits to Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, (even living nearby for a couple of years) and feeling the influence of a bygone age that still remains there, leaves a strong admiration for the age of horseback, quill and pen, and a gentler way of Austen-like propriety in all things, that is very hard to leave behind. For me, a Ferrari driving Darcy, in a pin-striped suit with a mobile phone and an i-pad, and a gold-digging Elizabeth who frequents the night club haunts of millionaire footballers is just " insupportable" ( add a smile here).
We’ve answered 319,627 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question