Before my Austen Month comes to a close, I wanted to make a little post about Jane Austen related materials that I recommend. I don’t know about you, but when I love a certain author or story, I’m usually interested in works that have been inspired or influenced by said work. I know there are loads of Jane Austen spin-offs and reimaginings that I’ve yet to explore, but I wanted to highlight some of the ones I’ve discovered and enjoyed.
Let’s start with books. First off, the adaptations of her novels:
These BabyLit editions are too cute not to mention! Yes, they’re intended for children, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t admire the adorable artwork! They’re a great way to introduce children to characters from classic literature, and in the case of the Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility editions, counting and opposites too!
Comics! Who doesn’t love comics? I recall being happily surprised to find that there were Marvel editions of Austen’s work, and Nancy Butler’s adaptations are fabulous, as well as the artists she works with. She really needs to hurry up and write Persuasion and Mansfield Park so I can have a complete set! I’ve also included the adaptation I read recently by Ian Edginton – while I wasn’t over the moon about the art style, that’s just my opinion, and it’s definitely worth reading or adding to your collection.
Next on to the companion books – I’m just making up this category, I have no clue what they’re called:
The Jane Austen Companion to Life is a cute little book with quotes from her novels and little illustrations to accompany them. The Jane Austen Handbook dishes out advice and life skills from Regency England, as the cover implies. Both are cute little books and I’m glad to have them in my collection.
Now on to novels (probably using this term loosely) inspired by her work:
I stumbled upon Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in a used bookstore and had to have it – it’s a hilarious mix of the original work and a zombie semi-apocalypse. Dancing with Mr. Darcy is a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Austen and her home, Chawton House. Lost in Austen, as you may be aware, is a choose-your-own-adventure book that I recently enjoyed very much. You can read my review here.
Finally, some movies – direct adaptations of her novels:
I’m not a big and of Keira Knightly, but I really do enjoy the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I think they captured all the right scenes from the book, the acting is solid, there’s a dramatic scene with Elizabeth and Darcy in the rain, and a kiss at the end! I’ll admit that my love for the Sense and Sensibility movie really stems from my obsession with Alan Rickman, and my enjoyment of is mostly nostalgic. It’s not a terrible film, and I still enjoy it, but it’s not exactly noteworthy. I threw in the Colin Firth adaptation because, duh, Colin Firth! Sadly, I haven’t actually watched it, but I intend to.
And a few movies more loosely inspired by her work:
I watched Austenland recently after a recommendation from my mum and I’m so glad I did! It’s incredibly cute and a great depiction of what it might be like for the Austen-obsessed to live out life as in one of her novels. I forget how I came across Lost in Austen, but that’s another great scenario of what might happen if a modern Austen fan could exchange places with Elizabeth and wreak havoc on the plot of Pride and Prejudice! (And oh man, that lake scene.) Bride and Prejudice is a Bollywood (though probably Americanized) edition of Pride and Prejudice, and another very fun, cute movie. All three are worth watching and owning!
Bonus category – Austen accessories:
Who doesn’t love bookish accessories!? I actually own two Austen scarves, both featuring this lovely quote from when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth the first time. (Note: it is a very romantic quote, though it makes me laugh because the majority of his proposal is offensive to Elizabeth and he’s ultimately rejected). One is white with the words shaped in a heart, and the other is exactly as pictured above, purchased from this shop on Etsy. I’m actually shocked I don’t have more Austen related merchandise…I’ll have to work on that.
If you have any Austen related recommendations, please let me know!
*portrait from Google, cover images from Amazon, scarf from Etsy