12.18.2008

It's not just for the Internet anymore

The other day at work I noticed the newest offering in the Pride & Prejudice Retelling genre. This one is called Impulse & Initiative and I turned it over to read the back cover.



Ahem.

What if . . .
Instead of disappearing from Elizabeth Bennet's life after she refused his offer of marriage, Mr. Darcy had stayed and tried to change her mind?


What if . . .

Lizzy, as she gets to know Darcy, finds him undeniably attractive and her impulses win out over her sense of propriety?


What if . . .

Madly in love and mutually on fire, their passion anticipates their wedding?


Yeah.

Say, I've got a "what if" for you. What if . . . P&P already has one set of skanky whores, and their names are Lydia and Wickham. Seriously people, are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?

This story, to me, sounds like someone is just waving a book and shouting, "Hey, it's Lizzy/Darcy sex and it is HOT! Come and get it!"

And really, if that's all you're after, it's called fan fiction and can be found on the Internet at no cost (well, unless you count the cost to your self-respect and dignity as a human). I'll bet you that's how this book got started.

8 comments:

Janssen said... [reply]

Oh the pain.

Makes you certain that the talk of publishing going out of business and only a very few rare lovely books getting into the hands of the public is a bunch of baloney.

Petra said... [reply]

Well, not only is it just fanfic, it's been done--and in a much, much funnier way, too.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Exactly. Don't they miss the whole point when they write a book like this? I reread Jane Eyre last year, lamenting that later generations have lost the moral compass that makes the motivation of characters like Jane, Lizzie, Elinor, etc. almost incomprehensible.

We end up with Bella, who is only chaste because her boyfriend happens to have been practicing self control for nine decades.

Also, what the h*** does that title mean? You can't just take any alliterative words and turn them into a Jane Austen title!

As an aside to this, I remember being intensely disappointed when I learned more about the culture of Austen's and early Victorian times. Part of the reason it was so "easy" to wait for marriage is because all of the men of Mr. Darcy's class regularly visited prostitutes and/or mistresses. Any desire they felt for ladies acceptable to marry was easily quashed when they went to town. Their lust having been slaked, they could maintain hours of polite conversation about nothing without even a suggestive comment to eligible wives. As much as the current generation of Austen-philes loves to project modern sensibilities onto her books, the truth of that time is very different. If any woman I know was dropped into the middle of London's upper crust in the 1820's, the double standard would be impossible to stomach.

Scully said... [reply]

Amen, to both Nemesis and Science Teacher Mommy. I read a book called "An Elegant Madness; High Society in Regency England" and it was positively shocking. The author stated that women regularly wet down their already diaphanous gowns to make them a) cling and b) basically see-through. And Andrew Davies is not as far off about most things as I would like to think he is.

But, back to the point. Books like that should be mocked heartily and then thrown in the rubbish bin.

Audra and Levi said... [reply]

That can't mess with my Pride and Prejudice like that!

And I agree with everything Science Teacher Mommy said, so I will just give her a huge ditto and also an amen to the Bella comment. As much as I loved that book I could not help thinking "Come on woman, get a grip on youself!"

So are you going to create an alias, check it out, and "lose it"? Haha!

Flashlight Girl said... [reply]

Well said!

FoxyJ said... [reply]

Yeah, I read somewhere that about 25 percent of brides in Puritan New England were pregnant at the altar. Shakespeare had his first kid 6 months after he got married. In Spanish culture of the 16th century, a verbal agreement of marriage "counted" like marriage and was used by men to cheat women out of their virginity. Premarital sex is not just a twentieth-century invention. But, books like this are still trashy. If Jane Austen didn't want to actually write about the sex, that's fine with me. There are plenty of characters that fool around in her books (like you pointed out), and I think part of the strength of characters like Elizabeth or Marianne is that they don't fool around. Did you ever see that recent Mansfield Park adaptation where they actually show the extra-marital sex scene? (It's PG 13, but still!) It felt weird to see that on screen. There's also a recent Masterpiece adaptation of Northanger Abby that clearly implies some naughty behavior as well...

gryffinkat said... [reply]

I can't help but think of one of my favorite Dorothy Parker quotes:
"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." Amen.

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