Lions and Liqorice
by Kate Fenton
Lions and Liquorice 
by Kate Fenton
Paperback - Large Print- 1996
Thorndike Press;
Lions and

has been
re-released as
Vanity and
Vanity and Vexation
by Kate Fenton 
Paperback - 288 pages - July 2004
Thomas Dunne;
ISBN 1402202733

           Response by Inko   Jan  2, 1997 (17:25)
I have a modern reworking of P&P, Lions and Liquorice by Kate Fenton.  This twists the whole story around, with the Darcy/Bingley characters played by two women and the two men are meant to be Bingley and Darcy. It's quite amusing.

        Review by Amy Wolf, March 3, 1997
This is a fabulous comic novel by English writer Kate Fenton. It's a very clever modern update of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, detailing the adventures of a movie crew come to film the saga in a sleepy North Yorkshire town. There are role and plot reversals all over the place: Darcy takes the form of an autocratic female movie director; our Lizzie is an impoverished Welsh writer, Nick Bevan; the line between reality, fiction, and the filming is seriously blurred. It's a rollicking good read and I urge others to take the plunge!
WARNING: There is sex and language, the movie equivalent of an "R".  I greatly look forward to discussing with others on this Board!

      Response by Inko  Mar  3, 1997 (16:20)
I bought this book in England last summer and read it right away. I loved it. Thought it was a very clever, modern, reversed, update of P&P and yes, very funny!

        Response by Carolyn Mar  3, 1997 (17:07)
I enjoyed this book very much. I loved matching the characters up with there P&P counterparts. I thought it was very funny.

         Response by amy2Mar  3, 1997 (19:55)
I thought it was completely great! The 90's modernization of what happens to "Lydia/Chris" is a scream. I also liked the jumping back and forth from fiction to reality, not usually one of my favorite plot devices. But Fenton handled it so skillfully, I could just sit back and applaud. That woman is FUNNY!

         Response by GabrieMar  7, 1997 (17:23)
I just loved this book, ordered it through a bookstore here in Sweden for 110 Skr, about 10 pounds, it's a paperback and on it it says "as read on Women's Hour" so the book must have been quite a success... a pity I missed the radio reading... It's truly great fun :)

        Response by amy2 Mar  9, 1997 (21:24)
The best P&P "sequel" (actually, it's a modern update) I've read is: Kate Fenton's LIONS & LIQUORICE. An absolute scream, and darned if I don't have a topic posted on this very board about it!

        Posted by Kate on April 06, 1997 at 00:02:56
My copy of this finally arrived from today and I finished it this afternoon. It's great!! and a great plot twist right in the middle.

For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's a novel about a television production company that comes to a village to film P&P, and it's a kind of contemporary version of the plot with the Darcy character as the (female) director of the production and the Lizzy character as a local (male) resident. Very clever, and kept you trying to spot the parallels and work out how the author would use P&P in her own plot. By Kate Fenton.

BTW, very strong language if that offends you.

         Posted by LynnMon April 22, 1997 at 15:46:50:
I finally was able to read Lions and Liquorice. What a wonderful story. I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud while reading a book. Thank you to all of you for the recommendation. I only wished I was able to read it sooner to participate in the discussion back on the Spring.

       Posted by Lynn on May 15, 1997 at 18:50:15:
I enjoyed it. After reading all the period pieces, it was kind of a shock to read some of the language, but I did like the story. I liked how they adjusted the incidents in P&P to fit with modern times.

        Review by Lynn Lamy, September 4, 1997
I liked this, thought it was fun to read, and I was looking for the tie-ins the whole time (it is a modern day adaptation of the P&P story).  It has some foul language and some sex, so if you don't mind that you'll probably like the story.

        Review by Jane Elizabeth, September 20, 1997
A BBC film crew arrives to film a version of Pride and Prejudice in rural England, and romance and intrigue ensue.  Anyone who is smitten with P&P will have fun with this book. The author cunningly reverses the sexes of the major characters, and figuring out who is who is entertaining. She cleverly handles the transposing of the P&P plot elements to modern day, without straining one's credulity overtly. This book may be difficult to find in the U.S., but it is worth seeking out.

       Posted by Kate on October 19, 1997 at 22:51:57:
There is actually a published novel called Lions and Liquorice by Kate Fenton, which does update P&P.

It's about a film crew shooting a production of P&P in an English village. The Darcy character is the (female) film director, the Lizzy character is a local (male) writer.

It actually works quite well and is certainly the best P&P sequel/spin off that I've ever read! 

        Review by Linda Waldemar, May 20, 1998
I loved this book!  It is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice.   The premise of the story is that a film crew comes to a small Yorkshire village to film location shots for an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Most of the basic plot elements are used, and, most of the major characters are present.  However, the genders of the characters are all reversed.  Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, an impoverished writer corresponds to >Elizabeth Bennet.  Mr Darcy is represented by Mary Hamilton, the efficient, unemotional, rich and powerful director.  Nick's widowed brother-in-law is the Jane Bennet character.  And Mr Bingley is the soft-hearted, easily persuaded star of the movie.

As for some of the plot points, we have the snub and the separation of the secondary hero and heroine by Mary Hamilton, in much the same way as Mr Darcy does it.  There is a Wickham type who disparages Mary which keeps the main hero and heroine apart.  There is a mostly unexpected meeting.  And, a Lydia who allows Ms Hamilton to save the day.

All this is done in a 90's style and done very credibly.  There is one technique that had me confused for a little bit.  Nick ... nope, I will let you discover it for yourself.  Although I knew how it would end, it was fun to see how it was done.  It was also fun to map Kate Fenton's characters to Jane Austen's.  All in all, this was a really fun read.

While I whole-heartedly recommend this book, young readers should beware; there is a small amount of explicit sex.  Although it is done tastefully, I would probably give it an R-rating.  I think that there is also foul language, but I am not so familiar with British slang as to be able to identify all of those words and phrases. So, if you are of age, you should read this book; I think that you will enjoy it..

        Comment by Yvetteon July 7, 1998
Fiction and reality are blended in this modern twisted adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The story was entertaining and humourous. It was especially fun to watch for parallels to the Jane Austen classic. The traditional roles are reversed and, for a while, nobody seems to be who you think they are. The language is quite explicit. Watch out if you are easily offended. Otherwise... lots of fun to read.

       Posted by Barbara on August 08, 1998 at 01:00:42:
I just adore this book! It's such great fun to figure out who is supposed to be who, and which events parallel each other. The way it is written is extremely clever, I find!

        Review by Misty Ann Khan, September 18, 1998
If you are a big Jane Austen fan, if you can quote several of the best lines from P&P, if you've often wondered what would these characters be like in modern times, and especially if you have had the foresight to contemplate how the characters would behave if their genders were reversed - this book is for you!

As an American, I found some of the dialogue in Lions & Liquorice a bit hard to follow - and that is given seven years of listening to colloquialisms offered by my British husband, his sister, and my British-want-to-be brother.  There is also quite a bit of vulgar language but, again, these phrases might not be as harsh to British readers.

My other complaint would be that these characters and their relationships with each other were not developed as much as I would have liked.  Perhaps Ms. Fenton felt that most of the readers would already be well aquatinted with the characters through their love of P&P.  Still, I would have liked for Mary Hamilton to have had more time to observe Nick behaving very lovingly toward his son and brother-in-law - just as Darcy formed some of his opinions regarding Elizabeth from witnessing her affection for Jane.  Also, we don't see enough of Nick's wit and character to really entice Mary into taking that leap from casual sex to semi-committed.  And finally, Mary doesn't seem to go through as much of a transition as Darcy - she isn't as bad initially and she doesn't reform as much finally.

However, the plot twists which allow for the gender reversal were really terrific.  There were some holes - Mary's father strikes me as being a character that I'd like to have seen more of.  Mr. Hamilton reminds me more of Mr. Bennet than of Lady Catherine and yet, he makes a pretty big leap in determining Nick's character rather quickly.  Never the less, as someone who had contemplated writing a modern day P&P with the genders reversed - I was really impressed with How Ms. Fenton pulled it off.  Using the movie industry as a setting was truly brilliant!

L & L has some very funny dialogue, some great situational comedy (LOL) and also a few parts that tug at your heart strings (I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears for Nick).  Had a little bit more time been spent on expanding the characters and a little less profanity been used - this could have been a phenomenal book.  As it stands, it is still a very enjoyable read.

Thank you, Ms. Fenton, for giving us JA fans a little more fun reading!

        Review by Julie Prall, November 4, 1999
Truly laugh-out-loud funny.  I liked all the twists and turns, and trying to figure out which of Fenton's characters corresponded to JA's characters kept me busy.  Yes, there's some sex in the book, but it is between consenting adults and is not gratuitous.  On the contrary, it helps advance the plot, so I had no problem with it.  As for the foul language, people do talk like that, which made the story all the more enjoyable.

        Review by Nadine Mendoza-Province, 12 Jan 2000
Pretty delightful and fun. Fenton is a clever, hip, contemporary writer, but her affection and reverence for JA is clear. It's very BRIT and for those of us who're born-and-bred American, passages may have to be read more than once to understand the frothy colloquialisms. Still, it's definitely worth it. Lead character Llew, enamored of Mary Dance (think Elizabeth as a man and Darcy as a woman), is a character readers will like and want to know more about. It may prove especially fun for those fans of A&E's P&P, who might have wondered what was going on behind-the-scenes (even though the director of that fine and wonderful adaptation is actually a man) or at least imagined what might have happened -- Fenton's creative rendering does a fun job. It's even set pretty much at the same time the A&E mini was shot.

        Written by Whitney(2/1/2000 12:56 p.m.)
I just finished reading Lions and Liquorice by Kate Fenton, a book I found about from this board and the sequels page. What fun! A gender-reversed, modern update of Pride and Prejudice that just bubbled along. I enjoyed matching up the characters and attempting to predict how she was going to make the plot points happen. I liked the little structural twist given to the book by the male Lizzy character, but I won't give anything away.