Happy Belated Birthday, Jane Austen
Janeites all over the world celebrated Jane Austen’s 238th birthday yesterday.
After more than two centuries, interest in Jane shows no sign of waning. In addition to the new editions of her six novels that appear every year, sequels and prequels and conquels abound. Pride and Prejudice was retold in 2009 as a zombie mash-up in Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and again just this year, from the perspective of the Bennet family’s domestic staff, in Jo Baker’s Longbourn. There’s even a new children’s book out, Lizzy Bennet’s Diary by Marcia Williams, that introduces a younger audience to one of Jane’s best-loved characters.
The Austen Project launched in 2013 as well, with popular romance novelist Joanna Trollope’s contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensability. The Austen Project pairs six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austen’s six novels, which they will then use as the basis for a new work. Other writers set to participate include Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith, and Curtis Sittenfeld.
Clearly, we’re all still mad for Jane.