It’s an interesting question. We have the original Pride and Prejudice with all of Jane Austen’s quirky humor and misunderstandings between Darcy and Elizabeth to enjoy, but why do we need more?
For me, the original is not enough. Jane wrote a lot about the angst Darcy and Elizabeth suffered through most of the book but very little about the recognition of their love, their marriage and afterwards. Perhaps, it is a universal truth that those who love Darcy and Elizabeth just want more.
Pride and Prejudice variations, fan fiction (JAFF), what ifs, vagaries, or whatevers may help satisfy that need to know more about our famous lovers. Sequels to the original give us a look at what might have been. Variations paint a little different picture of the characters we know so well, or do we? Twists on the original plot give us a taste of a new path taken and may even open up a completely different future than we ever imagined for our lovebirds. And as authors, we just can’t keep an idea to ourselves. We have to put it in a book.
For myself, I put thirteen twists on Jane Austen’s original plot when I wrote Darcy Chooses Part 1. Part 2 was almost 100% my plot, and I have three possible P&P series and three plots for standalone books plus a plot from my publisher as well. These are in addition to nine regency romance plots, one of which is a four part series. The P&P variations are enough to keep me busy for a long while even as the ideas just keep coming.
One would think that at some point we would experience a saturation of Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth and Darcy’s adventures. Not so! One story or book leads to another and another, and we keep wanting more. The truth is we could read about Jane’s hero and heroine for years and not get tired of the variety of scenarios the many different authors dream up. And if they are well written, we love them almost as much as the original. The nice thing is that, by far, the majority of the Pride and Prejudice variations are well thought out with unique plots that keep our interest. I am a marathon reader. In other words, if I start a book that catches my attention, I don’t want to put it down until I reach the end. Most of the variations fit that bill quite nicely.
Again, for myself, I have read 300+ P&P’s and have enjoyed nearly all of them. I don’t get tired of them and have reread several of them more than once, others more than twice. Only a small number were either written so badly or contained graphic sex to the point I will not reread them or I didn’t finish them and deleted them from my library. As it is, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the completely new plots that many authors have written and look forward to future books and stories. The new variations that don’t stick to canon have been most enjoyable.
Just think, a simple preacher’s daughter, a spinster who never married (and that’s another story) but wrote a tale—about two individuals who fall in love—that has come down 200+ years to become one of the most popular love stories ever written. Jane Austen was quite a lady who’s flame died much too quickly, but who’s legacy is passed on through all the P&P authors who keep Darcy and Elizabeth alive for thousands of fans worldwide. Very few will ever be able to match that appeal.
Now, this post was just some of my thoughts about why I love reading and writing Pride and Prejudice variations. Why do you read and/or write and enjoy them?
Comment below for a chance at one of two eBook copies of my latest book, Darcy vs Bingley. This is a much lighter-hearted look at our dear couple as my Darcy is delighted at finding Elizabeth. Also, Bingley has a little more backbone in this variation as well. Enjoy! The giveaway will end at midnight EDST on Thursday, May 18.