Top 10 Tuesday: Jane Austen Knock-Offs

27 May



Top 10 Tuesday is a book meme started and hosted by The Broke And The Bookish. This is the first time I have participated, but I hope it won’t be the last. This week’s theme is a Freebie – come up with your own theme! I chose the Top 10 Jane Austen Knock-Offs that I have read. I define knock-off as any book that is a sequel of an Austen work, a retelling of one of her  novels, a book featuring Jane Austen as a character, or anything that is inspired by Jane or her works. So here is my list in alphabetical order (blurbs are from Amazon):


UnknownDeath Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James — In their six years of marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy have forged a peaceful, happy life for their family at Pemberley, Darcy’s impressive estate. Her father is a regular visitor; her sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; the marriage prospects for Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, are favorable. And preparations for their annual autumn ball are proceeding apace. But on the eve of the ball, chaos descends. Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister who, with her husband, has been barred from the estate, arrives in a hysterical state—shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. Plunged into frightening mystery and a lurid murder trial, the lives of Pemberley’s owners and servants alike may never be the same.

Fizwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aiden.

book11An Assembly Such as This (book1) — In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy’s hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley’s persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows — as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

book2_thumbDuty And Desire (book 2)Duty And Desire, the second book in the trilogy, covers the “silent time” of Austen’s novel, revealing Darcy’s private struggle to overcome his attraction to Elizabeth while fulfilling his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend. 

book3These Three Remain (book 3)These Three Remain follows a humbled Darcy on the journey of self-discovery after Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his marriage proposal, in which he endeavors to grow into the kind of gentleman he’s always dreamed of being. Happily, a chance meeting with Elizabeth during a tour of his estate in Derbyshire offers Darcy a new opportunity to press his suit, but his newfound strengths are put to the test by an old nemesis, George Wickham.

cover_manor150Jane And The Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (book 1 Jane Austen Mystery series) by Stephanie Barron — On a visit to the estate of her friend, the young and beautiful Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, Jane bears witness to a tragedy. Isobel’s husband—a gentleman of mature years—is felled by a mysterious and agonizing ailment. The Earl’s death seems a cruel blow of fate for the newly married Isobel. Yet the bereaved widow soon finds that it’s only the beginning of her misfortune…as she receives a sinister missive accusing her and the Earl’s nephew of adultery—and murder. Desperately afraid that the letter will expose her to the worst sort of scandal, Isobel begs Jane for help. And Jane finds herself embroiled in a perilous investigation that will soon have her following a trail of clues that leads all the way to Newgate Prison and the House of Lords—a trail that may well place Jane’s own person in the gravest jeopardy.

jane-austen-ruined-my-life-192x300Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo — English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should — a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn’t as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma’s first love makes everything more complicated.

In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people’s expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty.

262744Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken — Jane Austen’s Emma has been a favorite novel for Austenites since 1816. In the mid-1990s it became a favorite movie for millions of new admirers.

A key reason for Emma’s success is that the story has two heroines-Emma Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax. In Austen’s novel, Jane’s backgound is left obscure, and the turmoil underlying her current reduced circumstances in mysterious.

At last we learn her whole story in Joan Aiken’s superb retelling of Emma-this time from Jane Fairfax’s point of view. When Jane Fairfax was published in hardcover, Aiken’s wit, style, and skill prompted Booklist to say, “Brilliant…extraordinarily will done and highly recommended.”

03567Just Jane by Nancy Moser In this moving and authentic portrayal, Christy Award-winning author Nancy Moser transports readers back to the life and times of one of the literary world’s beloved heroines, Jane Austen. Growing up in a clergyman’s home gives Jane opportunities to observe human nature at its best—and worst. Vivid and delightful characters pour from her pen—Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price, John Willoughby. . . . Jane dreams of publishing her stories and sharing them with the world, but how can she? She’s just Jane from Steventon. Will anyone ever read her novels?

17380041Longbourn by Jo Baker — The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice. While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen’s classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers’ hearts around the world for generations.

elton-210-expMrs. Elton in America: The Compleat Mrs. Elton by Diana Birchall –Diana Birchall, who successfully took Mrs. Elton?s side in her In Defense of Mrs. Elton, here reprinted, tells more of her story: The Courtship of Mrs. Elton and the adventurous Mrs. Elton in America finish The Compleat Mrs. Elton trilogy.


What Jane Austen knock-offs do you love?




6 Responses to “Top 10 Tuesday: Jane Austen Knock-Offs”

  1. Caitie F May 27, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    It isn’t out yet, but my favorite Jane Austen knock-off is the Secret Diaries of Lizzie Bennett – which is going to have a book too! I read it already and it is absolute perfection.


    • rbclibrary May 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up and for stopping by!


  2. Rissi May 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Yes! Love this topic you picked. The only one I’ve read is Just Jane, but I loved the miniseries of “Death Comes to Pemberley” and liked what I’d read of the book. 🙂


    • rbclibrary May 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      I listened to the audiobook of Death Comes to Pemberley. Not impressed with the narrator. I would opt to read it instead. I didn’t know there was a miniseries until today. I definitely need to check it out. My favorite of this list is Mrs. Elton in America. It is hysterically funny and Mrs. Elton really comes into her own in the wild west! Thanks for stopping by.


  3. stephaniesbookreviews May 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    I recently bought Death Comes to Pemberly at a library sale, but I haven’t started it yet.


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