Elinor and Marianne
Emma Tennant
Hardcover - 185 pages (26 February, 1996)
Simon & Schuster; ISBN: 0684816261

        Review by Barbara Larochelle,  August 17, 1997
I happened to see Elinor & Marianne by Emma Tennant at the library  and thought "what the heck" and picked it up. I must say that I liked it better than her other Austen sequels (which is still not saying much).  She did manage to preserve some of the way in which the various characters speak, particularly Mrs. Jennings.

The book is written in letters between mainly Elinor and Marianne, but also their mother, Edward, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Palmer, Col. Brandon, various busybodies, Lucy Ferrars, and Willoughby.  The original S&S was written in letters and under this title if I'm not mistaken.

There were two things about the book I particularly dislike. The first is the idea of this utopian commune that Marianne and others want to set up, supposedly based on ideas of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  The whole description of what they are trying to set up sounds exactly like a bunch of 19th c hippies. They intend to move to the New World and indulge in their free love type of lifestyle. They have adopted unusual eating habits, and  allow animals to wander around Willoughby's property at Combe Magna at will.  Willoughby has graciously extended his free love philosophy to include young Margaret Dashwood.

The other problem is how Marianne goes on and on about how ancient the Colonel is and how she never loved him etc. etc. --it is too cruel.  She may not have been in love with him when they married, but I don't believe she ever would have married someone about whom she cared so little. The scenario is very unbelievable.

        Review by karen from oz,  5 August 1999
Is this the right place to gripe about Emma Tennant ? Isn't she the positively MOST awful sequel writer? I think she must absolutely hate JA - she does such awful things to her characters. And I don't believe she's even read JA - only synopses of the books - she makes such ghastly blunders.

In S&S the book concludes with E&E happily settled near Marianne and the Col, but Elinor and Marianne opens with the newly-married Ferrars not yet ensconced in the parsonage. The personalities of her characters bear no relationship to the original - except that their previous failings and faults are magnified. JA's characters grow and mature through the novels, Emma Tennant's display a childishness that would make a 14 year old schoolgirl blush. If anyone out there has not read her books, my advice is - don't bother !

        Review by Linda Waldemar, 10 January 2001
I was quite surprised that I really enjoyed this book.  Having read, and hated, Pemberley and knowing that Emma Tennant's sequels are almost universally panned, I started this one expecting the worse.  Instead, I found myself chuckling regularly and laughing out load occasionally.

I also did no find that she made substantial changes to JA's  characters. Instead, she took their characteristics to extremes and made charicatures of them. While I do not at all agree with them, I found some of these to coincide with many of the opinions that I have seen expressed here at Pemberley; Colonel Brandon is old and rheumatic and overly concerned with warm clothing; Edward Ferrars is spineless.

The story is told through letters between Elinor and Marianne and many of the other characters; Mrs Dashwood, John Dashwood, Lucy Steele Ferrars, Mrs. Percy Roberts (widow of the late Rector of Delafield), Mrs. Jennings and her daughter, Mrs. Palmer, with one or two thrown in from Col. Brandon, Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby.

I think that if you should approach this book as one written with tongue firmly in cheek, and not to be taken seriously, you , too, might enjoy it.

        Written by Deborah d'Bajor (9/15/2003 2:29 p.m.)
For the peace of mind of all my fellow Permberley citizens I would hereby like to give you my review of the "Novel" "Elinor & Marianne" by the so-called author, Ms E Tennant.

I have been wondering from whence come the "plot" ideas?? Also, did this woman read S&S? From the book, it would appear not! For instance M is only 17, but alrady married to CB and pregnant while E has not even arrived at the parsonage and Margaret sems to have aged about 3 or 4 years! This to say nothing of the characteristation!

SPOILERS follow.
The "novel" was written in letter format (sorry, I can never remember how to spell the proper word). To give you a brief idea of what happens and to save you the fatigue of reading it youself: Robert F loses all his money and his Mother's and she subsequently goes round the twist. Mrs J says some unkind things about the Dashwood girls and thinks Lucy is beter - is this really the Mrs J in the novel?? I think not! RF goes to Africa to try and make some money and is subsequently eaten by a group of natives. I kid you not - one could not make this sort of thing up!

Mr W sets up some sort of hippy commune at Combe, appears to brainwash Marriane who goes there and eats vegetables and sings along with the red headed guitar player, by all accounts. They are planning to go to the New World and live in an open sort of farming society, as far as I can make out. Margaret meets Willoughby again and is so ennamoured that she decideds to go too.

I had better stop before you kill yourselves with laughter at how ludicrous the whole thing is!Please offer to shoot me before I pick up one of this woman's books again! Thanks 
Written by Deborah d'Bajor
(2/21/2005 4:41 a.m.)

SPOILERS follow.
I read Elinor & Marianne a couple of years back and thought it was dreadful - but an excuse to come here and give vent to my feelings....! Robert Ferrars being eaten by cannibals - I was all astonishment! I must give you the exciting bits to save you the trouble of reading it yourself.....