By Jennifer Albers-Smith
From the moment I read Pride and Prejudice in high school, I was hooked. I love Jane Austen’s novels, particularly Pride and Prejudice, with Sense and Sensibility coming in a distant second. I have read P&P over 10 times, watched multiple mini-series and movie adaptations, joined the Jane Austen Society of North America, and, still, I just can’t get enough.
Recently, I went to a library book sale in my hometown, and was browsing the adult fiction section. My sister happened across two books that had “Mr. Darcy” as part of the title, grabbed them, and handed them over. Of course, I purchased them and read them both the same week. One, Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange, was pretty good – better than most JA fan fiction novels. The other, though, left me completely bereft after reading – Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman by Maria Hamilton. I loved it. The first thing I did after finishing it was look to see if there was a sequel.
*Sigh* Not yet.
Maria Hamilton took some liberties though in writing this novel. She completely changed the story after Darcy’s first proposal, which I thought would totally turn me off. But it didn’t. I was hooked.
This got me thinking about all of the other JA fan fiction novels out there. Since I can readily access our Gale Artemis: Literary Sources product which cross-searches all of our literature products (Literature Resource Center, Literature Criticism Online, Scribner Writers Series, Twayne’s Author Series, Litfinder, MLA International Bibliography, and GVRL titles), I thought I would take a stab and do a search on “Mr. Darcy” to see what I could find on other JA fan fiction novels.
I got some cool results. Using the term cluster was so interesting. I could see how all of the characters and themes fit together, with Colin Firth being in the results list quite often. And we all know how amazing he was in the Pride and Prejudice miniseries that BBC did.
Another one that caught my eye was “Carrie.” Who is Carrie? I clicked on the term cluster, and found out that it’s Carrie Bebris, who has written a whole Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series. Apparently, she features all of the original Jane Austen characters. The titles are certainly interesting:
- Pride and Prescience; or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged, Forge Books (New York, NY), 2004.
- Suspense and Sensibility; or, First Impressions, Revisited, Forge Books (New York, NY), 2005.
- North by Northanger; or, The Shades of Pemberley, Forge Books (New York, NY), 2006.
- The Matters at Mansfield; or, The Crawford Affair, Forge (New York, NY), 2008.
- The Intrigue at Highbury; or, Emma’s Match, Tor (New York, NY), 2010.
- The Deception at Lyme; or, the Peril of Persuasion, Tor Book (New York, NY), 2011.
I can’t say I’ve ever read a JA fan fiction novel that was a mystery, but my findings are intriguing enough that I’ll put the first one on hold at my public library and read it this weekend. What Jane Austen fan fiction novel have you read that you can’t live without?
About the Author
Jennifer loves her children, dogs, and Jane Austen. She has a B.A. in English and Sociology from the University of Michigan, and spends her waking hours as a marketing director and feeding her family.
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Stephanie Barron has a series of JA mysteries that came from a trunk found in a cellar in America. Barron “edits” the manuscripts that JA supposedly wrote during her lifetime. The places follow Austen’s life & moves living w/family and visiting friends. The style includes Austenisms that are familiar, even to me–a not-too-familiar-w/Jane fan.