Tuesday Bookblogging: Because We Didn't Feel Like Doing It On Friday Edition


Welcome to last week’s Friday Bookblogging, which became this week’s Tuesday Bookblogging because the Editrix is very very lazy. 🙂 (Yes, we spent a lot of time this weekend lying about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels, but we maintain we have been a hard-working Janeite the past couple of weeks and were entitled to a bit of time lying about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels. As if we ever needed an excuse to lie about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels.)

The theme this week seems to be crossovers and “mashups” with Jane Austen. First up is an old friend, Harry Potter, apparently inspired by the release of the latest movie (which we have seen and enjoyed…it is really arty, even more so than the one directed by Alfonso Cuarón, but there isn’t much in the way of plot besides adolescent hormones. The kids are SO cute, though). John Granger compares J.K. Rowling’s work to that of several classic authors, including her favorite, Jane Austen.

The obstacles to the successful resolution of the novels’ other themes—love’s defeat of death, freewill choice, and personal transformation or change—are essentially prejudice. You simply cannot be loving, capable of unjaundiced decision-making, or capable of change when bound by personal prejudice and pride. The big twist at which the books aim too turns on the revelation of Harry’s foundational misconception and the change in him if he realizes and transcends this misunderstanding.

Just as the key to Darcy and Elizabeth’s engagement in Pride and Prejudice was Darcy seeing past his pride and Elizabeth overcoming her prejudice, Harry’s victory over Lord Voldemort must come through love and after the revelation of an unexpected back to a revered or reviled front. Harry, like Darcy and Elizabeth, however, had to transcend his pride as a Gryffindor and free himself of his “old prejudice” against Slytherins. He also had to come to terms with the Machiavellian aspect and clay feet of Dumbledore.

It’s good stuff. Check it out.

The first of several upcoming books bringing vampires into the orderly world of Jane Austen’s novels is Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. We’ll have lots of fun stuff coming up related to the novel (including a review and giveaway), so stay tuned!

The Guardian has an article about S&S & Sea Monsters (S&S&SM sounds smutty, doesn’t it?) that gives a little excerpt from the book.

As in Austen’s original, Marianne first meets Mr Willoughby when he rescues her, but instead of being saved from bad weather and a sprained ankle, this time it’s from a giant octopus.

“As she lay gasping on the bank, soaked by the fetid water and the foul juices of the monster, spitting small bits of brain and gore from the corners of her mouth, a gentleman clad in a diving costume and helmet, and carrying a harpoon gun, ran to her assistance,” write Austen and her new co-author, Brooklyn writer Ben H Winters. “The gentleman, opening the circular, hinged portcullis on the front of his helmet, offered his services; and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without further delay and carried her down the hill.”

USAToday has an article that has us saying, “Pantaloons? But pantaloons are men’s trousers…oh, never mind.” It gives a quick overview of some of the upcoming Austen paranormal and monster-mashup titles.

And news came out of the San Diego Comic Con that P&P& Zombies will be a comic book. We think we already mentioned there also will be a deluxe edition of the novel out later this year, with extra illustrations and expanded zombie gore.

Speaking of comic books, the Examiner has a review of the P&P comic.

Jane Austen offered, from chapter to chapter, the personalities of her characters to render a mix toned composition. Marvel’s Pride & Prejudice translates a monotone rendition. The inane nature of Mrs. Bennett becomes tediously typical. Mr. Bennett’s sarcasm loses poignancy and agreeability. Mr. Bingley and Mr. Hurst join all four daughters, excluding Lydia, as connotations of flat, archetypical personas.

A different kind of crossover is MP with the mystery genre; it’s been done before, but, well…

In contrast with the original story, the character Fanny Price is “ambitious, scheming and relentlessly focused”, while Mary Crawford “suffers great indignities from her mean neighbour”.
Shepherd explained: “What intrigues me about Mansfield Park is how unlike Jane Austen it actually is. One of the reasons so many readers are dissatisfied with the novel Austen did write is that they find her heroine at best insipid, and at worst, downright irritating.”

Not that we’ve turned into a big Fanny-Fan all of a sudden, but dude, somebody needs to re-read, because the point, they have missed it, like by several miles.

Not a mashup at all, just a close study of a subject related to Jane Austen, is Jane Austen’s Sewing Box by Jennifer Forest. The book contains needlework and craft projects inspired by Jane Austen’s novels. Right now it’s easiest to get from Amazon UK, but it can be ordered via Amazon US. We hope it gets a release on this side of the pond!

And lastly, several Gentle Readers have sent e-mails letting us know about the latest “crossover” sort of novel, James Fairfax by Adam Campan. We’ll have a review of it this week. We suggest saving any excitement or dudgeon over the novel until then. Just trust us on this one, mmkay?

That’s it for this week’s Bookblogging, so until next time, Gentle Readers, always remember: Books Are Nice!