"She would, if asked, tell us many little particulars about the
subsequent career of some of her people. In this traditionary way we
learned that Miss Steele never succeeded in catching the Doctor; that Kitty
Bennet was satisfactorily married to a clergyman near Pemberley, while Mary
obtained nothing higher than one of her uncle Philips' clerks, and was
content to be considered a star in the society of Meriton; that the
``considerable sum'' given by Mrs. Norris to William Price was one
pound; that Mr. Woodhouse survived his daughter's marriage, and kept her and
Mr. Knightley from settling at Donwell, about two years; and that the
letters placed by Frank Churchill before Jane Fairfax, which she swept away
unread, contained the word ``pardon''. Of the good people in
Northanger Abbey and Persuasion we know nothing
more than what is written: for before those works were published their
author had been taken away from us, and all such amusing communications had
ceased for ever."
-- James Edward Austen-Leigh, Memoir (1870)
"According to a less well-known tradition, the delicate Jane Fairfax lived
only another nine or ten years after her marriage to Frank Churchill."
-- Austen-Leigh and Le Faye, Jane Austen: A Family Record
(1989), p. 216
This file lists novels which are sequels to Jane Austen's novels, and also
fiction about Jane Austen herself. (It does not include plays
adapted from Jane Austen's novels.) Thanks to Marjorie Shustak for suggesting this
list, and providing a number of entries, and to Edith Lank and others for their
suggestions. Other entries came from Sachs' and
Hopkinsons' articles in Grey et. al. (which
are listed below, along with a few other articles on Jane Austen sequels and continuations).
library catalogs aren't necessarily very useful in finding this kind of
thing). In the list below, the date and publisher are generally those
of a book's first publication (some of the books are currently out of print).
On the AUSTEN-L list, the recent
Pride and Prejudice sequels by Emma Tennant have been almost
universally execrated, while
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor has been rated
as the best of the recent commercially-published Jane Austen para-literature.
See below at the end of this file for a posting from
AUSTEN-L that classifies the various
types of material derived from Austen's writings.
For reviews of some of the following books, see the Pemberley sequels review page, and also the following
plain-text files of collected comments from the Jane Austen discussion list (AUSTEN-L):
Joan Aiken, Eliza's Daughter: Sequel to
Sense and Sensibility
(St. Martin's Press, 1994). [From the blurb, this somewhat picaresque novel goes where a Jane
Austen heroine never went -- into the literary circle of the Romantics, onto
the Continent of Europe, etc.]
Joan Aiken, Jane Fairfax: A Novel to Complement
Emma by Jane Austen (Gollancz, 1990).
[OK, but not great; drastically cuts even those Jane Austen dialogues which
throw the most light on Jane Austen's idea of Jane Fairfax.]
Joan Aiken, Mansfield Revisited:
A Novel (Doubleday & Co., 1984). [About Fanny Price's younger
sister Susan; doesn't do a very good job of capturing the atmosphere of early 19th century society, and is rather perfunctory in re-creating situations from the original book, with Julia the new Mrs. Norris, Susan Price the new Fanny, etc.]
Joan Aiken, Emma Watson (St. Martin's Press, 1996). [A rewriting of The Watsons -- not a simple continuation of Jane Austen's incomplete beginning.]
Julia Barrett, Presumption: An Entertainment
(M. Evans, 1993). [Sequel to
Pride and Prejudice;
somewhat shallow; has numerous minor errors.
"Julia Barrett" is a pseudonym of Gabrielle Donnelly and Julia Braun Kessler.]
Julia Barrett, The Third Sister: A Sequel to Sense and Sensibility
(Donald I. Fine, 1996). [From the title, this obviously focuses on Margaret
Dashwood. "Julia Barrett" apparently are ambitious to be the new Emma Tennant. One of Kessler's near and dear ones (or maybe Kessler herself pretending to be somebody else) is a peculiar character of dubious mental stability, who periodically sends me harrassing e-mails for saying true things about the "Barrett" books on this WWW page. Hi email@example.com!]
Lily Adams Beck ("E. Barrington"), The ladies! A shining
constellation of Wit and Beauty (The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922).
[Includes "The Darcys of Rosings", a rather slight melodramatic trifle which
includes characters from Sense and Sensibility, gets the name of
Hunsford wrong ("Hunsdon"), and has Elizabeth and Darcy's daughters named
"Charlotte" and "Caroline"!]
(Lady) Rachel Billington, Perfect Happiness (Sceptre,
1996) [Sequel to Emma,
apparently involving some problems in the Emma-Knightley marriage; Emma
Tennant's publishers declared all-out "war" on this book, which is enough
to prepossess one in its favor, whatever its actual merits or demerits may be.]
Dorothy Alice Bonavia-Hunt, Pemberley Shades: A Novel (E. P.
Dutton, 1949). [Rated by Glancy as the best of the early sequels to
Pride and Prejudice; sometimes aims too high in attempting to imitate Austen and falls noticeably short, but is not actively bad; plot devices not entirely credible.]
Sybil G. Brinton, Old Friends and New Fancies: An Imaginary Sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen (1913). [A sequel
to Pride and Prejudice, and
a real farrago, involving characters from all the novels, according to the
descriptions of Sachs and Glancy.]
Edith Charlotte (Hubback) Brown, The
Watsons. Completed in accordance with her intentions by Edith (her great
grand-niece) and Francis Brown (E. Mathews & Marrot, 1928).
Edith Charlotte (Hubback) Brown, Margaret Dashwood, or
Interference. (1929). [Sequel to
Sense and Sensibility.]
Edith Charlotte (Hubback) Brown, Susan Price, or Resolution
(1930). [Sequel to Mansfield
John Coates, The Watsons; Jane
Austen's fragment continued and completed by John Coates (Methuen,
1958). [Reasonably entertaining in itself, and more successful in capturing the feel of early 19th century society than many of the other sequels, but probably much lighter and cheerier than Austen had originally intended the book to turn out; changes Emma Watson to "Emily".]
Alice Cobbett, Somehow Lengthened: A Development of
Mary Corringham, I, Jane Austen: a re-creation in rime royal based
on the letters of Jane Austen, her novels and the comments of her
biographers (Routledge and K. Paul, 1971). [??]
Howard Fast, The novelist: A Romantic Portrait of Jane
Austen, (S. French, 1992). [Apparently a play about Jane Austen's
mysterious seaside romance.]
Esther Friesner, "Pride and Prescience" (in It's Been Fun: Author's
Choice Monthly, issue 23, August 1991, Pulphouse Publishing.) [Humorous
fantasy short story, in which a Lizzy Bennett-like heroine saves Regency
England from an alien invasion using the qualities named in the title.]
Jane Gillespie, Aunt Celia (St. Martin's Press, 1991).
[A sequel to
Emma; described as "forgettable"
or "perfunctory" by those who have read it.]
Jane Gillespie, Brightsea (St. Martin's Press, 1987). [Sequel
to Sense and Sensibility;
focuses on Anne Steele?]
Jane Gillespie, Ladysmead (St. Martin's Press, 1982). [Sequel
to Mansfield Park, concerning
Mrs. Norris and Maria Bertram's arrival in a country neighborhood.]
Jane Gillespie, Teverton Hall (St. Martin's Press,
1983). [Sequel to
Pride and Prejudice; deals
with Mr. Collins and family.]
Jane Gillespie Uninvited Guests, A sequel to Jane Austen's
Northanger Abbey (1994, Janus).
[Possibly the first-ever
Northanger Abbey sequel; focuses on Isabella Thorpe.]
[So when are you coming out with your
Persuasion sequel, Ms. Gillespie?]
Victor Gordon, Mrs. Rushworth: a novel (Andre Deutsch,
1989). [Obviously to do with Mansfield
Jean Gould, Jane (Houghton Mifflin, 1947). [Another
fictionalized biography of Austen, reportedly not very good. Illustrated by
Eleanor Holmes Hinkley, Dear Jane, a play [Highly fictionalized account of Austen's life, apparently based very loosely on the Bigg-Wither incident.]
David Hopkinson, "Completions", in The Jane Austen Companion,
J. David Grey ed. (Macmillan, 1986).
Catherine Anne Hubback, The Younger Sister: A Novel (T. C.
Newby, 1850). [By a niece of Jane Austen's; based on
The Watsons, and yes, that
must be the same publisher who had stiffed Emily and Anne Brontë a few
Joan Mason Hurley, Our own particular Jane (A Room of
One's Own Press, 1975). ["A piece of theatre based on the life, letters, and
literature of Jane Austen."]
Kathleen Viola James-Cavan, Readers as Writers: A Study of Austen's
The Watsons and
Sanditon and Their Completions by
Subsequent Writers (Queen's University dissertation, 1993).
Lisa Kirazian, The Visitor (Laurel, 1996). [Story of a frustrated thesis-writer who gets a visit from the subject of her dissertation, Jane Austen.]
Phyllis Ann Karr, Lady Susan (Everest House, 1980). [Novel
constructed from the original epistolary (letter) format of Jane Austen's
Anna Austen Lefroy, Jane Austen's
Sanditon: a continuation by her
niece. (Chiron Press, 1983). [This continuation of Jane Austen's
unfinished fragment is itself unfinished.]
Marianne Luban, The Samaritan Treasure: stories (Coffee
House Press, 1990). [Includes the short story "The Jew of Bath", which deals with a romance involving Jane Austen; totally implausible, but still kind of cute.]
Francine Mathews, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor:
being the first Jane Austen Mystery (Bantam Books, 1996).
(Go to official
publisher's page) [According
to info posted on AUSTEN-L: "Bantam Books
is publishing three books set in Georgian England which purport to be recently
discovered diary accounts of Jane Austen's adventures as a detective.
Author: Stephanie Barron (Francine Mathews)."]
Francine Mathews, Jane and the Man of the Cloth:
being the second Jane Austen Mystery (Bantam Books, 1997). (Go to official
Anne and Arthur Russell, The wedding at Pemberley: a footnote to
Pride and Prejudice, a play in one
act (H.F.W. Deane, 1949). [About Georgiana Darcy.]
Marilyn Sachs, "The Sequels to Jane Austen's Novels", in
The Jane Austen Companion, J. David Grey ed. (Macmillan, 1986).
Rosemary Anne Sisson, The young Jane Austen (Max Parrish, 1962). [Partly fictional biography; illustrated by Denise Brown.]
Naomi Royde Smith, Jane Fairfax (1940). [Not really a sequel
to Emma in terms of internal
chronology; from Jane Fairfax's point of view; includes some characters from
Pride and Prejudice.]
Anne Telscombe [=Marie Dobbs], Sanditon,
by Jane Austen and another lady (Houghton Mifflin, 1975). [Imitates
Jane Austen's style fairly well; deflates the melodramatic pretensions of
bodice-ripping novels in a somewhat different way than Austen did, but is
still amusing; the éclaircissement in the last few pages is weak. Apparently
"Anne Telscombe" is a pseudonym for "Marie Dobbs", or vice versa -- or maybe
they're both pseudonyms for the same person. This completion may become a
Emma Tennant, An Unequal Marriage: Or
Pride and Prejudice Twenty Years
Later (St. Martin's Press, 1994).
Emma Tennant, Elinor and Marianne (Simon and Schuster, 1996).
[Epistolary sequel to
Sense and Sensibility;
greeted among literary types and Janeites with the customary lack of rapturous
enthusiasm that a Tennant sequel to Austen causes.]
Emma Tennant, Emma in Love (Fourth Estate, 1996)
[Emma Tennant has apparently tried to salvage her usual incompetence in
writing an Austen sequel by spicing it up with a little artificial and excrescent "lesbian"
controversy, God help us all. One thing I won't ever
believe is that the marriage of Emma and Mr. Knightley is
Judith Terry, Miss Abigail's part, or, Version and diversion
(Cape, 1986). [Mansfield Park
from the point of view of a maid servant, focusing on Henry Crawford and Maria
and Julia Bertram.]
Cedric Wallis, The Heiress of Rosings (Samuel French, 1956).
[Play which is a sequel to Pride and
Prejudice; about Anne de Bourgh's wedding, and Mr. Collins'
indiscretions with the chambermaid (or the functional equivalent thereof).]
T. H. White, Darkness at Pemberley (V. Gollancz, 1932).
[Rather formulaic and unconvincing mystery story, set among descendents of Elizabeth and Darcy at Pemberley.]
Barbara Ker Wilson, Antipodes Jane: a novel of Jane Austen in
Australia / Jane Austen in Australia: a novel (Secker & Warburg,
1984). [What if Mrs. Perrot, accused and acquitted of stealing lace,
had instead been convicted and sentenced to be "transported" to Australia, and
her niece Jane Austen had accompanied her?]
Andrew Wright, "Jane Austen Adapted", Nineteenth Century Fiction
(vol. 30, #3, December 1975, pp.421-453) [lists sequels and continuations
published up to that time, as well as stage, screen, radio, and television
adaptations of the novels.]
> I can't believe that Austen enthusiasts would bother to
take Austen sequels seriously.
The adaptations, completions, sequels, pastiches and other attempts to tap
into the Jane Austen industry (and one must include movie and television
adaptations) devolve from a most noble sentiment: We have read the six
published novels and we want more. We want more and different insights into
both the novels and into the type of person that Jane Austen was.
Adaptations are transformations into another medium, e.g.,
stage, screen and television. (I also include recorded books in this
category. Some might disagree on the grounds that an unabridged recorded
book, at least, is Jane Austen's words, nothing more, nothing less. However I
think a tremendous interpretive effort is necessary to do a successful
out-loud reading. Certainly an author's words count for a lot in a recorded
book, but the reader is the difference between success and failure.)
Completions are the finishing off of a novel fragment.
Jane Austen's two fragments, The Watsons and
Sanditon have been attempted a number of times.
Sequels are a continuation of the action. To my
knowledge, nobody has written a "prequel", which would be a description of
what occurred before the action started.
Pastiches are work written in the style of Jane Austen.
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor is a pastiche.
Its premise is that it is a notebook that Jane Austen kept concerning events
during a period for which we do not have documentation.
I do not know what to call works that do not pretend to emanate from Jane
Austen's pen and that are set contemporaneously with the action of one of the
novels. (Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken comes to mind as an
example.) Likewise I don't know what to call a story in which Jane Austen
appears as a character but which does not pretend to be narrated from her
point of view. (Historical Fiction?)
I am not sure of the proper terminology to use to cover all the phenomena
in this category. As a point of simplicity, I'll refer to the whole subject
Certainly no Jane Austen pastiche will ever be as good as the original, but
that is to be expected. Mind you, when the standard is one of the best
writers in the English language, to fall short of the mark is no disgrace. To
write with wit, economy, great insight and develop complex and interesting
characters is no mean feat. After all, we read Jane Austen with great
pleasure 200 years later because she compares well not only with her
contemporaries but also with ours and everybody who has come in between.
Personally, I enjoy pastiches for much the same reason that I sometimes
enjoy Jane Austen criticism. Even when a pastiche fails or fall short, it can
be interesting to try understand how or why it comes up short. And in the
meantime, I've read a story that really has no requirement to be taken
seriously. (This is the advantage of pastiches over criticism. Criticism
takes itself seriously whether it deserves to be or not. Pastiches on the
other hand, because they are conceived as entertainment, must first entertain
to be successful.) By putting entertainment ahead of insight, the successful
pastiche, if it has insights to share, has to present those insights in a
highly palatable manner.
The questions I would ask of a pastiche are the same that I ask of
criticism: Is the work interesting/entertaining in its own right? How
faithful it to spirit of Jane Austen's novels? Does it provide insights into
the work in question and/or the character of Jane Austen? Emma Tennant's
ignorance of Jane Austen is so monumental that it takes my breath away.
I rate as reasonably successful Jane and the Unpleasantness at
Scargrave Manor. While the idea of Jane regularly mixing with earls,
countesses, and duchesses and spending a couple of months separated from her
family is difficult to swallow, Stephanie Barron does draw a character that is
a reasonable conjecture about the character of Jane Austen. Moreover, she
deals nicely with the inherent limitations of having a semi-young lady of the
first decade of the 19th century who is a clergyman's daughter as her
detective. The character of Eliza de Feuillide is a romp. I would give this
effort a B- which is pretty good, considering that in this school you have to
be as good as Jane Austen to get an A.