'Pride and Prejudice and Permutations'

Strong, Jeremy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4618-3327 (2020) 'Pride and Prejudice and Permutations'. In: Adapting the Canon: Translation, Visualisation, Interpretation. Legenda, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9781781887080 (In Press)

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With the exception of Shakespeare, few English writers have a greater claim to canonical status than Jane Austen. Always in print, frequently adapted, taught, studied, and referenced she is widely understood as a 'national treasure' of Britain’s literary heritage, and one of the most prominent features of our cultural landscape. Of her six published novels, Pride and Prejudice (1813) is undoubtedly the best known. Even for those who have not read the original, the essentials of its characters and story are often familiar through film and television adaptations as well as through other texts – Bridget Jones' Diary (1996, adapted 2001) for example – that use the novel as a foundation for their own narratives.
This chapter considers three recent novels that re-work Pride and Prejudice in very different ways. Jo Baker's Longbourn (2013) imagines events as seen from the perspective of the servants, constructing a parallel narrative for those figures who are only briefly glimpsed in Austen's account. Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) by P.D. James (itself adapted for television, 2013) takes the form of a murder mystery 'sequel' that uses more recent genre conventions to cast suspicion on a number of Austen’s characters. Finally, Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) is a comic mash-up of text from the original with new material in which a plague of zombies afflicts Britain. Underpinning all three, very different, engagements with Pride and Prejudice is the extent to which a reader's working knowledge of the original is a virtual pre-condition for full enjoyment of the new works.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Literature > Adaptation studies
Arts > Genre studies
Literature > Popular fiction
Depositing User: Jeremy Strong
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:09
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/4318

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