Pride and Prejudice Variations – How Special?

Pride and Prejudice Variations – How Special?

About six years ago, I found my first Pride and Prejudice variation. Now I had read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when in High School, but I enjoyed other books more: science fiction, Agatha Christi’s mysteries, and The Black Stallion series, and other horse books. However, when I found a couple of Abigail Reynolds P&P variations, I was hooked. So, I went looking for more and found more. Between the several hundred variations, the 2005 movie, and ‘Becoming Jane’ film, I finally learned to appreciate Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. And I read it again with much more pleasure.

Just how special, though, are these Pride and Prejudice variations? Special enough that I’ve heard that Amazon is adding approximately fifty P&P’s each month. Wouldn’t surprise me as it’s easy to have the bug bite once one has read several of these offshoots from Austen’s work. In my case, by the time I read about 200 variations, I had premises and plots running through my head until I couldn’t stay away from the computer. At the moment, I have about thirty-three of these that I’m trying to put a dent in. But I think it will be a while before I reach that point. 🙂

The question that arises is ‘What is a premise, and what is a plot?’ They are not the same as a premise is the concept of the book. The plot, on the other hand, is what happens in the book, and this includes all the events that make up the story. So, I find that I have thirty-three premises and titles for future P&P’s and a few skeleton plots to go along with some of them. I think I need to be ten people in order to get all these done.

Why, though, are P&P variations so important to readers? I think it’s because the original is the perfect love story: boy meets girl, boy and girl encounter problems, family interferes with boy and girl’s courtship, other problems arise, eventually problems are solved, and our dear Darcy and Elizabeth finally acquire their HEA. And it isn’t just that this is a typical romantic trope, but it includes one of the most famous romantic couples in literature. As a writer and reader of P&P variations, I love Darcy and Elizabeth, and I am not satisfied with just Jane Austen’s version. I want to read and write more of their life and adventures. I want to see them in different settings, different plots, and even a little OOC. And that is what the wonderful authors of AuAu and elsewhere are doing: writing more and more great Pride and Prejudice variations.

Now, I’m not Jane Austen, and I don’t live back in Regency times, so I don’t write like Austen and don’t try to. I do try to give a Regency flavor to my writing especially in the dialogues. Unfortunately, because I don’t do British (UK) speak, much less Regency speak, occasionally I slip an Americanism in my writings. I really do live with a dictionary practically attached to my hip, but occasionally I miss a word here or there. I used the word gotten instead of got and actually committed an offence.

However, I do find that I have a couple of writing characteristics similar, but not the same, to Austen’s: I do tend toward being an omniscient narrator because I am a story teller. And I have a tendency to lengthy, descriptive paragraphs. But I’m not Jane Austen, and I am not the writer she was.

And I would love to be able to write with her wonderful wit, but I’m much too serious. So I try to add scenes occasionally that might lend humorous notes to my books.

Okay. I’ve now told you my feelings toward P&P variations as a writer AND as a reader. Now, it’s your turn to comment below and let me know how you feel about Pride and Prejudice variations, in general, as a reader and/or writer. I would love to know what you think. 🙂

13 Responses to Pride and Prejudice Variations – How Special?

  1. I LOVE them! My first ones were “In the Wilds of Derbyshire” by Jann Rowland and the Darcy series by Sharon Lathan. I’m now up to 1,000 variations on my Kindle and a lot of them read on the various JAFF websites. There’s a ton of great unpublished ones on them and as soon as an author I enjoy gets published I buy all I can so they can keep on writing new ones. ????

    • I’m hooked too, and I don’t even try to catch up, Jennifer. I just love it that there are so many our there to be read. And the Fan Fiction sites, etc., etc., etc. hehehehehe! 🙂

  2. I love reading P&P variations that still have an HEA for Darcy and Elizabeth. Anything else is just too strange. Authors can get so wonderfully creative with their alternate plot lines and even combinations with other novels, and they are so fun to read. What makes me sad, though, is how few variations are out there for Persuasion. As much as I like P&P, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel.

    • Thank you for your comments, Chris. Yes, anything other than an HEA for our dear couple is rather strange, and the strangest of all is ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.’ I can see Austen cringing. I do have to admit that although I have all her other books, I’ve only read P&P and Lady Susan. I do need to take time to read the others. I will admit to enjoying a tad more modern writing, but don’t tell anybody. Eventually, I will read her other books particularly ‘Northanger Abbey.’ I’ve seen ‘Emma’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ but that’s not the same as reading the books. Hollywood takes too many liberties in writing their scripts. Who knows. I might be impressed enough with ‘Persuasion’ to do a variation. No promises. My plate is really full. 🙂

  3. WOW, I knew there were many JAFF releases, but 50 a month? Amazing.

    I love P&P variations, different setting, some adventure, really evil characters (especially Caroline, Collins and Wickham). The only one I don’t read is no HEA for Darcy and Elizabeth. I don’t mind Jane with other gentlemen, like Colonel Fitzwilliam or some other original character, but D&E have to be together.

    I love stories when they overcome a lot of evil plotting and obstacles, but it’s when they shine together. And I love Jane and Bingley with more spine, and the Hursts as better characters.

    • I’m with you, Kate. Darcy and Elizabeth have to have a HEA. I do prefer Jane with Bingley, but again with both having a little more spine. And as to more P&P’s, the more, the merrier. 🙂 Thank you for your comments.

  4. I have been a fan of Jane Austen since elementary school when I first saw the movie P&P starring Olivier but did not start reading variations until around 2013. I knew they existed and my mother even bought me Death comes to Pemberley for a gift but I never really wanted to read them as I thought there was no point since I was satisfied with the original. What finally led me to give it a try is I stumbled upon a blog that was devoted to Harry Potter and Jane Austen. Although I came to that blog looking for HP stories, I discovered the JA ones and decided to give them a try and I’ve been hooked ever since. I like how ODC can be placed in different circumstances and settings and love to see how this changes the story.

    • Ah, you got hooked by them right after I did in November 2012. That was definitely a fun year when I found there were several hundred of them out there. And I agree with you that having Darcy and Elizabeth in different circumstances and settings make for fun reading in addition to the original. Jane Austen had no idea what she started. 🙂

  5. I think Gianna, you do a very great job at narrating a variation. I fell in love with Darcy chooses the first time I read it. I had to reread at least 5 times and still didn’t get tired of it. Like you, I started reading the P & P variations of Ms Abigail Reynolds and after that I read almost every book of every author/every variation I can find. Since I am not British either I couldn’t tell which statement is or not…I am ok with that…I am also ok with variations that doesn’t follow historical accounts. From my standpoint, that’s why it is a variation, in an alternate world/reality this is what happened. (Unless they are claiming the book as a historical fiction or realistic fiction and not just simply romance).

    The only few variation I really frown upon (I was really upset for days) is when EB killed FD or FD tried to murder EB. I don’t know if any of you read those books but it was a nightmare for me. (Though I have my favorites) I guess after reading those I am really appreciative of all the P & p variations that didn’t end up with a sad ending for ODC.

    Thank you for sharing. Good luck to writing and, will be waiting for those 33 books to come out

    • Thank you for your sweet comments. You’ve read ‘Darcy Chooses’ almost more than I have, and I was editing it. 🙂 And I agree that that is exactly what they are: variations. Authors have the prerogative to shift the plot, make the characters a little bit different from Austen’s, or come up with a completely different plot. I put at least thirteen twists on Jane Austen’s original plot for ‘Darcy Chooses.’ That’s what a variation is, a variance from the original.

      I’ve read most of the variations since I discovered them. Thank goodness I didn’t run across the ones with our dear couple endeavoring to do away with each other. I would find them upsetting also as they are not in character at all. Doing that makes them brand new characters and not our dear couple. And even though Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth had their difficulties, they were still a romantic couple that are still special today. And I think that’s why the variations have become so popular. And I’m delighted they are. May they be around for a long time. <3

  6. I like reading P+P variations! It’s interesting to read the different takes on the story. I have found some good ones to o. They all stick to the story just tell it on different ways.

    • I’m with you, Cindie, as I like the different takes on Pride and Prejudice also. And, surprisingly, I have found most have had good plots and were written well. Believe it or not, I’ve actually found a couple of them I liked better. Don’t tell anybody. 🙂

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