Old Friends and New Fancies
An Imaginary Sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen
by Sybil G. Brinton


Hardcover (November 1998)
Revive! Pub; ISBN: 0965429911


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        Review by Linda Waldemar, 26 September, 1998
I acquired this book through the wonders of the Interlibrary Loan system.  This is a very old book.  At the back of the text are advertisements for Holden & Hardingham's important new novels Spring, 1913.  Here is the blurb about this novel:

A NOVEL OF THE TYPE OF JANE AUSTEN
OLD FRIENDS AND NEW FANCIES:
An Imaginary sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen, by SYBIL BRINTON

This fine novel, by a new writer, is what is believed to be a successful attempt at picturing incidents in the after-lives of some of the characters of Jane Austen's novels.  In "Old Friends and New Fancies" several love affairs are interwoven, and the scenes of the novel are laid in Bath, London and Derbyshire.  Many of the personages named will be recognized as "old friends" from the famous authoress's works.
In the preface to the action, Sybil G. Brinton writes:
In this little attempt at picturing the after-adventures of some of Jane Austen's characters I have made use of the references to them which she herself made, and which are recorded in Mr. Austen-Leigh's "Memoir".

[acknowledgments]

The difficulties, as well as the presumption, of such an undertaking, are alike evident; but the fascination of the subject must be our apology to those who, like ourselves, "owe to Jane Austen some of the happiest hours of their lives".

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  While most of the characters, and the main ones come from Pride andPrejudice, there are characters, either present or mentioned, from each of the other completed novels.  The language is good and the author adopts a little of JA's style in that she often describes what the characters say rather than write the actual dialog.  While the characters are not identical to Austen's (that is, of course, impossible), they are not very far off.  I do not think that anyone would find the changes offensive.  The most changed, I think, is our beloved Elizabeth.  She has none of the playfulness and wit that endeared us to her in P&P, but she is very kind and very, very wise and a lovable character anyway.  Come to think of it, she is more like Anne Elliot.

The action involves the love lives of Georgiana Darcy, Catherine (Kitty) Bennet and Colonel [Robert] Fitzwilliam.  The objects of their affection are all familiar to us from other novels.  There are many obstacles and misunderstandings along the way, but all ends well.  It was clear to me from early on who would end up together, but it was fun reading about their journeys to true love.

Edward Ferrars has become the Rector of the church associated with Pemberley.  We do not meet him, but Elinor is quiet and sensible and a welcome companion to Mrs Darcy.  At one point, Mrs Jennings visits them and causes misunderstandings by her constant teasing of the young ladies about their beaux.  The Bingleys live at Desborough, which is but 25 miles from Pemberley in Derbyshire.  Mr Bingley's sisters visit him and his gift of a living is given to James Moreland.

Bath is a great meeting place for many of Austen's characters. The Darcys and Georgiana spent time there with Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter where they meet the Wentworths.  Elizabeth and Anne became fast friends.  Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot are present as are Mr and Mrs John Yates, John Thorpe, Mary Crawford and her sister, Mrs. Grant; Mr and Mrs Robert Ferrars and Anne Steele; Lord and Lady Portinscale (nee Eleanor Tilney).

The Knightleys have taken a house in London and Emma has reverted to her old tendency for matchmaking. The results are no more successful.  Also in London, we meet, or hear about, Mrs Gardiner, Mrs Annesley, William Price and Isabella Thorpe.  Also, Tom Bertram pops up here and there.

I think that it will be worth your effort to locate and read this book.

NOTE: This book has recently been reprinted and is available at amazon.co.uk and amazon.com from where I happily purchased it.


        Written by Lynne Robson (June 9, 2003 )
I have just finished reading the above book, I think it is the oldest sequel written to Jane Austens books and I found it to be the biggest disappointment ever. To me the story had too many of the Austen characters in it and tried to do too much at once. I found that I was wanting to skip many of the chapters as they were boring but didn't. Usually it takes me about two to three days at most to read a book but because I found this book drag on and on it took me nearly two weeks. Many of the characters from P & P, are there such as Col. Fitzwilliam,Georgiana Darcy Lizzy and Darcy with a few others such as Kitty Bennet. There are other characters from MP and some other books she wrote such as Emma and Mr Knightly.

I am not a purist but I found this book to be trying too hard and for me it failed miserably. The plot was too thin and very hard to follow. 


         Written by Lynne Robson (November 6, 2003 )
Old Friends and New Fancies by Syble Brinton is the first sequel ever written to Jane Austen's books, it contains characters from many of her books such as P&P, MP, EMMA, NA and P. I managed to get a copy of this book at the library but found it not to be a very good read, I have read many sequels and even though this is not as bad as ET, I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped to and felt very let down. I know many friends of mine have also felt the same way but in talking to others that like yourself like the crossover stories you may like it better than I did. It is very hard to get hold of but you can get it through the library system in England, I do not know about anyother countries though. It was re-issued once over but only a few books seem to have been published. Good luck in finding it and I hope that you enjoy it