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|Joanna Trollope's modernisation of S&S
Written by Kathleen Glancy
(9/6/2013 8:10 a.m.)
will, I am informed by Amazon UK, be out on 24 October. I am in two minds about this, as there are several things that just won't work in a modern setting. Old Mr Dashwood could still leave Norland as he wished, but as he did not live very long after securing the eventual succession to young Harry and Mr Henry Dashwood also died soon after inheriting John and Fanny would come in for a huge inheritance tax and would have a genuine reason to be mean to his stepmother and sisters. And anyway these days a man is not expected to support his father's second family - Mrs Dashwood is only 40 and might reasonably be expected to get a job, and she'd still be getting child support benefit for Marianne and Margaret. Elinor would be at University but would worry about her student loans. A man can quite easily break off an engagement with a woman he has ceased to love without it incurring the social opprobrium of Jane Austen's day, and Lucy, who certainly does not lack intelligence, would not see marriage as her only career option.
I'll probably buy it anyway - Joanna Trollope is a good writer and (like her ancestor Anthony) a great admirer of Jane Austen and it will be interesting to see what she makes of it.
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