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Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House (2010)

by Sarah Waters (Foreword)

Other authors: Lane Ashfeldt (Contributor), Lindsay Ashford (Judge), Esther Bellamy (Contributor), Kelly Brendel (Contributor), Beth Cordingly (Contributor)21 more, Felicity Cowie (Contributor), Elaine Grotefeld (Contributor), Mary Hammond (Judge), Jacqui Hazell (Contributor), Elizabeth Hopkinson (Contributor), Mary Howell (Contributor), Suzy Ceulan Hughes (Contributor), Clair Humphries (Contributor), Kirsty Mitchell (Contributor), Victoria Owens (Contributor), Penelope Randall (Contributor), Nancy Saunders (Contributor), Stephanie Shields (Contributor), Rebecca Smith (Introduction), Rebecca Smith (Judge), Elsa A. Solender (Contributor), Hilary Spiers (Contributor), Janet Thomas (Judge), Stephanie Tillotson (Contributor), Sarah Waters (Judge), Andrea Watsmore (Contributor)

Series: Chawton House Library Short Story Award (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19610141,295 (3.29)23
A collection of short stories written in appreciation of Austen's works, set in an impressive array of settings and styles, and each using Austen and her work in diverse and fascinating ways.

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Great book. I've been on an Austen kick lately and gave really been enjoying stories inspired by Austen herself or her characters.
This book has a number of very well written short stories by Austen fans. It was interesting how many different stories could be inspired by her books and how many different ways those inspections were shown. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At Heart website:


First and foremost, you have to be a big Jane Austen fan to want to read a book like DANCING WITH MR. DARCY. This is a compilation of some twenty short stories that were submitted to the Chawton House Library for a literary contest. As the title suggests, all of the short stories were to be inspired by Jane Austen. Not knowing what to expect from this read, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the talent of most of the stories that I've read.

Since they are short stories, I finished reading this book in one evening. Every story maintained a fast pace and most of them were full of quick-witted dialogue. I enjoyed most of them and found them interesting, imaginative, and unique.

The winner of the competition, Jane Austen Over the Styx, opened this book, and out of all the stories in here, I just didn't connect well with it. In that story, we have a dead Jane Austen, accused by some of the characters she wrote about of portraying them as manipulative shrews. This is the only story that I found a bit on the slow side and not as interesting as the rest of them.

Personally, I loved One Character in Search of Her Love Story Role by Felicity Cowie. This was a contemporary story in which our heroine is given an assignment to `shadow' Jane Bennet and Jane Eyre. The dialogue was very good and the characters three-dimensional, but the footnotes made by our heroine were laughing-out-loud funny!

Please, if you get to read this book, make sure to check out biographies of these very talented people. They come from England, Scotland, North and South Wales, Canada, and United States. Their backgrounds are as different as the stories they penned, and I found it fascinating. I was truly humbled by this group, which included an actress, a journalist, a farmer, a teacher, and a theater director.

If I were Jane Austen, I would have had a ball reading these stories! I highly recommend it, and promise you, you'll love it!

Melanie ( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
Reviews of this at LT are quite mediocre, so I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. Twenty short stories, all written by what appears to be British women, that were part of "the Best of the Jane Austen Short Story Competition." All the stories are just a few pages long, and the ties to Jane Austen are loose. As with probably every single collection of short stories, a few were very good, and a few unreadable.

Recommended for: For most of these stories, one doesn't need to know a thing about Jane Austen or her novels to read this in order to find enjoyment. Janeites looking for Austen-language stories and Austen fanfic readers will be disappointed. If you're interested in writing that takes its inspiration from former literary works, authors, and places, and then does something completely different, this may be for you.

Rating: pleasantly surprised. ( )
  Nickelini | Nov 28, 2015 |
A rather ho-hum collection of short stories selected by Sarah Waters as the best entries submitted to a competition sponsored by the Chawton House Library in 2009. All the stories were "inspired" by Jane Austen's life, works, home at Chawton, or the Chawton House Library itself. In the winning story, "Jane Austen over the Styx," the author descends into hell, charged with creating older female characters who are either snobs, scolds, harpies, or selfish manipulators--some of whom are there to give testimony. This is perhaps the best of the lot. I was at times at a loss to see the Austen connections in others, such as the fantasy-like "Broken Words." Overall, not a bad collection, but very hit and miss. ( )
2 vote Cariola | Jun 10, 2012 |
Dancing With Mr. Darcy is a collection of short stories 'inspired' by Jane Austen, some more obvious than others. It contains twenty tales written by women of all ages, with different perspectives on Jane Austen and her writings.

Some stories, the connection to Jane Austen is overt while others were merely noted to be influenced by Jane Austen; I found some to be a stretch for this book. The winner "Jane Austen Over the Styx" was interesting, but I also enjoyed "Eight Years Later", could be because Persuasion is one of my favorites.

I am glad I added this book to my JA collection, but I was not overly impressed by many of the stories. Granted it was a fun read but readers who may not be an avid JA fan might not find it as entertaining as those of us who do. I would only recommend to JA addicts like myself... ( )
  Shuffy2 | Nov 13, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waters, SarahForewordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashfeldt, LaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashford, LindsayJudgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellamy, EstherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brendel, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cordingly, BethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cowie, FelicityContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grotefeld, ElaineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hammond, MaryJudgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hazell, JacquiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howell, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, Suzy CeulanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Humphries, ClairContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, KirstyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Owens, VictoriaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Randall, PenelopeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saunders, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shields, StephanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, RebeccaIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, RebeccaJudgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Solender, Elsa A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spiers, HilaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, JanetJudgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tillotson, StephanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waters, SarahJudgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Watsmore, AndreaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A collection of short stories written in appreciation of Austen's works, set in an impressive array of settings and styles, and each using Austen and her work in diverse and fascinating ways.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The stories may either be contemporary or historical, and Mr. Darcy is never dancing in any of them.

Partial Contents:

“Jane Austen over the Styx” by Victoria Owen
“Second Thoughts” by Elsa A. Solender
“Jayne” by Kirsty Mitchell
’“The Delaford Ladies’ Detective Agency” by Elizabeth Hopkinson
“The Jane Austen Hen Weekend” by Clair Humphies
“Eight Years Later” by Elaine Grotefeld
"One Character in Search of Her Love Story Role" by Felicity Cowie
"Somewhere" by Kelly Brendel
"The School Trip"
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