My love for Jane Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice goes back a long way. I was one of those gangly, awkward preteens who had actual fancy-dress, big-hat, cucumber-sandwhich viewing parties for the 5 hour A&E mini series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (yes, on 6 VHS tapes). One of my final papers in college discussed the role of nature in the more recent film adaptation staring Keira Knightly (because yeah. I got college credit for fangirling. Dreams come true). So when I heard about a retelling with Sasquatch and a broody prep boy, this was my approximate reaction:
I think that if Jane Austen were to come back to life, she would love the how far her story has gone too! Here’s the list of retellings I would recommend to her.
by Betsy Alderedge & Carrie DuBois-Shaw
In Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things, Samantha, like Lizzie Bennet, has an embarrassing family. Unlike Lizzie Bennet though, her family isn’t trying to catch husbands, they’re trying to catch Sasquatch. Amazing right? Read an excerpt for free until August 28!
P.S. the judgy prep school fellow is a great Darcy.
2. Lost In Austen
In this 2008 BBC miniseries, a woman from present day gets sucked into the book and starts accidentally messing everything up. It’s hysterical and sweet and a great homage to the original.
By Shannon Hale
In this book, a woman goes on an all-inclusive Austen reenactment getaway and the experience ends up being very different than what she expected (I would just like to state that the main character’s obsession is well beyond mine. I like Pride & Prejudice a normal amount. No offense, Jane.) *slowly removes Pride & Prejudice coloring book from my shelf*
4. Death Comes to Pemberly
By P. D. James
Ok, I know this doesn’t exactly count as a retelling so much as an unofficial sequel. But it has a believable tone and plot, and it stays remarkably true to the characters. Plus there’s a mystery!
By Seth Grahame-Smith
This retelling is quite graphic and maybe not for everyone, but I will say that the way the zombie narrative ties in with the original story is clever and hilarious and delightful. Check it out Jane! Don’t hate me! (And check out the film with Lily James! #girlpower)
6. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
This award-winning vlog series from Pemberly Digital is arguably one of my favorites. It’s a brilliant mixture of Austenian humor and love in the digital age. Plus it’s in tiny 5ish minute segments on YouTube so you can fit in little snippets of the story any time!
I left out a lot of great ones (hello Bridget Jones! Hello that one random hallmark version with puppies), but let’s not overwhelm Jane! What are your favorite adaptations? Tell me in the comments! And be sure to check out the extended excerpt of Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things before August 28!