I’m pretty much finished with the Pride & Prejudice challenge, having left the original book and a miniseries (that I’ve seen before) for last. I have also read a bunch of just for fun books, because this challenge uncovered far more than 12 spin-offs and sequels that looked interesting.
Seriously, P & P fans are fanatic–I wonder what other books have spawned quite this much devotion, in sequels and retelling. Maybe Sherlock Holmes stories, though that’s more than one book.
There’s basically three categories–retelling, continuing, and re-visioning.
Re-tellers stick mostly within the confines of the original story. My favorites are the ones that give us a little more details about what’s going on inside the enigmatic Mr. Darcy’s head. What is he doing when he’s away from Lizzy?
Continuing involves, of course, continuing the story. How does Darcy and Lizzy’s marriage go? Some of these go as far as writing about their children, their children’s spouses, and grandchildren.
Perhaps the most variety is in the last category–re-visioning. Some put the Darcys in a mystery, or in modern times, or change the plot of the original novel (the what-ifs).
What if Mr. Darcy never insulted Lizzy at the dance?
Or she didn’t hear him? What if he didn’t separate Jane from Mr. Bingley?
What if Lizzy said yes when he proposed? …etc.
My problem is that the two characters are flawed–basically good people, but far from perfect. And they need to be shown the error of their ways. While it could happen differently, that revelation needs to happen. Darcy and Lizzy marrying at his first proposal wouldn’t make a happy couple. He needed to unbend a little, and she needed to be less quick to judge.
What do you think? Do you like P & P sequels/revisions? What are your favorites?