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Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories…

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most…

by Laurel Ann Nattress

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“‘You made us too perfect’ said Elinor”

This is a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Austen, all never-before-published. Unfortunately, for many of them, that is for a good reason. The start to the blurb rather gives away why:

“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company.

I thought I could keep an open mind about fan fiction. It lasted as far as the second story; I rather liked the first, a nightmare of Jane’s in which she finds herself in Bath, meeting all of her characters – Marianne is incensed that she was portrayed as so emotionally useless, Elinor and Fanny that they were too perfect, Lizzy and Jane are delighted with the husbands she gave them. Another very clever episode was an exchange of letters between Lydia Bennet and Maria Lucas (Charlotte’s younger sister) – two very minor characters in the novel and the retelling from their perspective was amusing, if somewhat predictable.

After that, there were rather too many re-imaginings; I wasn’t that happy with the idea of pursuing the characters of P&P after their wedding in Death Comes To Pemberley (review to come soon), but most of these stories reinforced all of my snobby ideas about fan fiction – one-dimensional, far too many dared to set themselves from Jane’s perspective, and everyone wants to get with Darcy (WHY??? He may have £10,000 a year, but not even Colin Firth made him attractive!).

I know that there are fan fiction fans out there, and to them I heartily recommend this volume. It is a diverse and yet entirely Austen-focussed collection.

I just don’t get the point. ( )
  readingwithtea | Oct 19, 2014 |
wide range of genres written by as wide a range of contemporary authors in this collection of short stories inspired by Jane Austen. a great opp to sample a selection of new genres if you're usually content with the familiar. and a great opp to meet new Austenesque authors. the author's contact details are included at the conclusion to each entry, personalizing the story just that much more.

a great book to grab when you want to steal a few moments for a reading treat...

well done Laurel in pursuing your dream! ( )
  FHC | Jun 13, 2013 |
I have long been a fan of Jane Austen and was excited to read this collection. Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is a collection of short stories written by modern authors who love Jane Austen. As with any collection of short stories I have read, not all of them were my cup of tea. Overall, I truly enjoyed this wonderful collection. The book boasts a wide range of authors and a few of my personal favorites. I was also delighted with the mixed genres including paranormal, suspense, gothic romance and contemporary fantasy. There is a mix of journal entries, short stories and letters. One of my favorites was Elizabeth Aston’s short story entitled “The Ghostwriter”. A young writer named Sara comes home to find a Dear John letter from her boyfriend. It contains a departing gift, a locket containing a piece of Jane’s hair. After crying herself to sleep, she wakes to find the ghost of Jane at the foot of the bed. The story that unfolds is simply delightful and the ending had me laughing out loud. Jo Beverly’s work, “Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss”, finds a widowed woman with four young girls. The widow takes Jane’s advice and finds love. In Beth Pattillo’s story, “Only A Darcy Will Do”, a young woman studying abroad gives guided tours. Dressed in vintage garb, she leads them on a walk of places Austen has visited in London. This is the third Sunday she hasn’t had a single customer when a young man dressed as Mr. Darcy asks to take the tour. This is only a glimpse of the adventures inside this charming book. This would make a great holiday gift for anyone who loves Jane Austen and a must have for Austen enthusiast. This book will be published October 11, 2011.
A special thank you to netGalley and Random House Publishing Group for sending me this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
http://kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer.blogspot.com/ ( )
  kimbacaffeinate | Mar 30, 2013 |
This was a wonderful collection of short stories all inspired by Jane Austen. They take place in various times & settings. Some are modern settings with incidents inspired by her Austen's works.Some are fantasies. Some are historical. Some feature Jane herself, such as my favorite by Syrie James where Jane is confronted by several of her characters who are not at all happy with how they were portrayed.

The writing in all of them is generally good, some of the plots are a little uneaven such as "Me & Mr Darcy Again" with it's vague ending and I didn't really enjoy "The Riding Habit" as Darcy & Elizabeth seemed out of character. But there are always a couple stories in anthologies like that.

Overall though this is a highly enjoyable read for Austen fans. ( )
  Stacey42 | Aug 7, 2012 |
I had such a blast reading Jane Austen Made Me Do It! This short story collection is all about Austen, but the stories are so unique and creative that I didn't get any Austen fatigue. A must for Austen lovers! ( )
  JQuist | Mar 17, 2012 |
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"Stories by: Lauren Willig, Adriana Trigiani, Jo Beverley, Alexandra Potter, Laurie Viera Rigler, Frank Delaney & Diane Meier, Syrie James, Stephanie Barron, Amanda Grange, Pamela Aidan, Elizabeth Aston, Carrie Bebris, Diana Birchall, Monica Fairview, Janet Mullany, Jane Odiwe, Beth Pattillo, Myretta Robens, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, Maya Slater, Margaret C. Sullivan, and the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley website. "My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy's heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen--her novels, her life, her wit, her world. In Lauren Willig's "A Night at Northanger," a young woman who doesn't believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe's "Waiting" captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion's Wentworth and Anne as they await her family's approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani's "Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane" imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall's "Jane Austen's Cat," our beloved Jane tells her nieces "cat tales" based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler's "Intolerable Stupidity" finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany's "Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley's "Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss," a widow doesn't believe she'll have a second chance at love. until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise. Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history's most cherished authors. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com"-- Introduction / Laurel Ann Nattress -- Jane Austen's nightmare / Syrie James -- Waiting: a story inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion / Jane Odiwe -- A night at Northanger / Lauren Willig -- Jane and the gentleman rogue: being a fragment of a Jane Austen mystery / Stephanie Barron -- Faux Jane / Diane Meier and Frank Delaney writing as F.J. Meier. -- Nothing less than fairy-land / Monica Fairview -- Love and best wishes, Aunt Jane / Adriana Trigiani -- Jane Austen and the mistletoe kiss / Jo Beverley -- When only a Darcy will do / Beth Pattillo -- Heard of you / Margaret C. Sullivan -- The ghostwriter / Elizabeth Aston -- Mr. Bennet meets his match / Amanda Grange -- Jane Austen, yeah, yeah, yeah! / Janet Mullany -- Letters to Lydia / Maya Slater -- The mysterious closet: a tale / Myretta Robens -- Jane Austen's cat / Diana Birchall -- Me and Mr. Darcy, again... / Alexandra Potter -- What would Austen do? / Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway -- The riding habit / Pamela Aidan -- The love letter / Brenna Aubrey -- The chase / Carrie Bebris -- Intolerable stupidity / Laurie Viera Rigler.… (more)

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