It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Jane Austen novel must be ripe for an updateThe Jane Austen spinoff is not new; authors have been “updating” her novels since the end of the 19th century. But it was not until the end of the 20th century – and particularly in the wake of the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that featured a dripping wet Colin Firth – that the trickle of adaptations became a flood. In the last two decades Austen’s novels have been reworked hundreds of times to include murder, zombies, time travel and steamy erotica. Austen sold Pride and Prejudice to a publisher in 1813 for £110. Two hundred years later, and with over 700,000 likes on Facebook, she is a multimillion pound industry – a fully fledged brand. Later this year HarperCollins will publish the first of its contemporary reworkings of her six novels, starting with Joanna Trollope’s interpretation of Sense and Sensibility. Curtis Sittenfeld’s Emma and Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey will follow next year.Into this mix come two more Austen-inspired novels. The first, Longbourn by Jo Baker, is a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants in …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books