Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice discussion


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Would this be published in today's market?

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message 1: by Farrah (last edited May 10, 2011 12:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Farrah What do you think? If Jane Austen submitted her book for publication today would it make the cut? Could she even get an agent?
I think because of the quality of the writing she would get an agent. But they would probably edit and change the hell out of it. And then make her build a good platform.


Pola nice question.. I think that it could be published today because nowadays there are many people who would appreciate her writing style and her topics.. Pride and Prejudice is an all time classic and we would be able to see that.. I don't know.. What do you think? you have posted the question, have you thought about it?:-)


Ashlee Turner I think the language would be different, but the story itself is timeless. Besides, there are plenty of books written now to emulate that style and they're nowhere near as wonderful as P&P. I think Austen transcends time periods with the quality of characters and character development, the story she weaves between said characters, and the keen understanding of the desire that we, as readers, have to envelope ourselves completely into the literature.


Yorky Caz I bet she would have been told to sex it up lol, more action and less dialogue. I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice and think its perfect but very scary to think what would happen to it in a modern authors hands!


Snapdragon It's my favorite book. I don't think it would be published today in its present form, but I'm glad it was published then. It says so much about who we are, who we still are.


S.A. I may have this wrong - but I think Jane Austen might have started off self-publishing. Many of the classic authors did. Commercial publishers have never been good at spotting true quality; they need numbers. Nothing changes!


message 7: by Msjess (last edited May 11, 2011 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Msjess Funny story, I remember hearing about some hack author tried to submit Pride and Prejudice as an original work to somehow "prove" that publishing standards have fallen so low they'd reject a book as great as Pride and Prejudice. All he did was prove that publishers can spot a wholesale plagiarist.

Another thing to consider is that if Jane Austen had submitted the book today the book would be considered historical fiction, like Philippa Gregory's The other Boleyn Girl. Her books are generally well received and not criticized for lack of action. She does have a lot sex in her books though.


Tania I think she would get an agent, someone willing to take a risk on publishing something different, perhaps aimed at consumers looking for something other than the contemporary romance. In the story there are no mod cons ie. mobile phones, tv's etc so the peoples lives in the book are focussed on other things like their balls and newcomers to the area.
As we all seem so attached to technology somehow-willing or not, I find the book provides an escape to another time never to be experienced in the modern day. This in itself I feel could be a selling point. Or maybe I'm just biased as it's one of my favourite books.


Kressel Housman If I remember correctly from Jane's Fame, she did not self-publish for money, but she did circulate some of her writings amongst friends. And even in her lifetime, she really didn't make much money. But think what she might have made in movie royalties!


Caroline I'm going to step on LOTS of toes, but no, I don't think this novel would be published today because it is terribly wordy. I am a lover of classics, with an English degree, but I cannot stand Austen's style. Her sentences are overly flowery, and I never felt while reading this novel that the characters are as fleshed out as they could have been (or very interesting, for that matter). I'm sure an editor and/or agent would demand Austen give them more dimension and also do a better job of getting to the point, at the very least. The story itself is a good one, but I have a real problem with how Austen presented it.

*Ducking for cover* :D


message 11: by Jill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jill Sure. Modernize it a bit and it would probably do just fine. It is, after all, a romantic comedy. Fairly average, almost poor, mostly pretty woman has roller coaster romance with gorgeous bazillionaire while many characters amuse us. Yeah, I'd say it would do just fine. It's not a classic for nothing.


Maxine Maybe if she added some sparkly vampires... or zombies. Oh wait, someone did!

But, seriously, I think she could get it published even today without changing anything. It may be a classic but that doesn't explain its popularity - if anything, that should put it in the "I had to read it in high school so I hate it" category. Yet,I can think of few novels that have appealed to so many people for so many reasons. The story is timeless, Elizabeth is a strong heroine, Darcy is certainly a romantic figure, and the Lydia/Wickham match is pretty racy even by today's standards (15-year-old girl, dissolute older man). It's funny, it's witty, and it's intelligent. It's been modernized, sanitized, plagiarized, dramatized, and discussed on Oprah and even that hasn't killed its popularity. What publisher would turn down a novel with that kind of mass appeal?


message 13: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Baldi I think this is a no-brainer myself! There would definitely be a publisher interested. Maybe the question should be: Which publisher do you think would be the one to put this book out? Wordiness is something that is still found in a large number of books. There was a huge book that was an award winner a few years back: Libra by Don DeLilla. And look at Ken Follett's book: Fall of Giants. Both very readable books and huge. Pride and Prejudice may be wordy but it is accessible to so many more people because it doesn't put you off by the huge size.


message 14: by esterb (new)

esterb A lot of books inspired by P&P are being published, and movies are still made. And still publishers are publishing different editions of P&P. So I would have to say yes to your question.


BubblesTheMonkey No. People nowadays want more modern writing.


Destructo The Mad I think her books largely created the 'historical romance' genre, so if it were submitted today, I think she'd probably get picked up. However, I think she would wind up a mid-list author in today's publishing world.


message 17: by Robyn (new) - added it

Robyn Smith Farrah wrote: "What do you think? If Jane Austen submitted her book for publication today would it make the cut? Could she even get an agent?
I think because of the quality of the writing she would get an agent...."


People don't realise that all of Jane Austen's themes are just as current now sa they ever were - class, snobbery, love, writing letters (in our case emails), characters to lov eadn hate and laugh at etc...


message 18: by Robyn (new) - added it

Robyn Smith esterb wrote: "A lot of books inspired by P&P are being published, and movies are still made. And still publishers are publishing different editions of P&P. So I would have to say yes to your question."

Some people do, but it depends what it is. If you mean Amitav Ghosh, Abraham Vhargese, Kate Atkinson, Geraldine Brooks or Tania French, then yes I want modern writers. this doesn't lessen Austen's appeal, in my eyes, though.


message 19: by Gwen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gwen I think Jane Austen had difficulties getting published even in her own time. She certainly didn't make much from her novels. Most of her renown came - like so many writers - after she was dead.

By the way, if anyone ever gets the chance to visit the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, North Hampshire, I highly recommend it. You can see the little table at which she sat and wrote - one of those things that you just stand and stare at, and imagine.


message 20: by Robyn (new) - added it

Robyn Smith I'd love to go and see her house as I've discovered that my ancestors on my mother's side came from a place in Hampshire, I believe, called East Meon.
I think it would be absolutely overwhelming to see her desk and the room she wrote in.
I hop epeople still read her works even if it's on a kindle!


Robin It would be interesting. I think in the movie Becoming Jane, it showed her writing at a teeny tiny desk. And she would have had to have a hidey-hole to store her works from prying eyes, as I have read from her biographies.


message 22: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I went on a bit of a Jane Austen pilgrimage a few years ago. Seeing her writing table in the house where she lived in Chawton was pretty special!


Farrah Kim wrote: "I went on a bit of a Jane Austen pilgrimage a few years ago. Seeing her writing table in the house where she lived in Chawton was pretty special!"

I would love to do that. It's on the bucket list of things to do!


Robin If everyone knows how we can all charter a plane to get there, I am in. Would love to visit Chawton.


Amanda T I would love to go to that!!


Amanda T Yorky wrote: "I bet she would have been told to sex it up lol, more action and less dialogue. I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice and think its perfect but very scary to think what would happen to it in a mod..."

Totally agree with this!! I don't like a lot of books and movies today because all they talk about is sex. Pride and Prejudice proves you can do without all that crap.


Robin True, Amanda. Who needs all that sordid stuff, just the fact that they have witty repartee is enough for me.


message 28: by Grrrr (new)

Grrrr lover what this book a bout anyway lol


Robin you need to read it to find out.


message 30: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily Listened this morning to one of the disks from Teaching Company course on the English novel, one on Jane Austen. Recommend it--that lesson and the entire course--to anyone who likes English literature, even though some of you who were lit majors may find it repetitive.

The professor said HIS professor made the students read Pride and Prejudice TWICE and this professor expressed his gratitude for that. He implied he probably would have blown off the story as light and frivolous without that imposed discipline.

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/co...

(My library system has many of these courses available for borrowing.)


Angelfire Jill wrote: "Sure. Modernize it a bit and it would probably do just fine. It is, after all, a romantic comedy. Fairly average, almost poor, mostly pretty woman has roller coaster romance with gorgeous bazill..."

My sentiments exactly.
The story line is classic and staple: strong willed, spunky, convention thumbing heroine, arrogant super rich hot hunk well chased after by all women.Sparks. romantic tension. A bit off a triangle. Scandal aka emotional turbulence.. Eccentric family and friends...

I personally think the book would have been published even in it's original form, no tweaking done..


Robin I agree with the above poster, Angelfire.


BubblesTheMonkey No, but if all the Pride and Prejudice books (or most) suddenly disappeared, they would have to publish more. OR if the demand suddenly went up, they would have to produce more (the book company would).


message 34: by Jenn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jenn I agree with Jill and Angelfire. Change it up a bit to modernize it, and it would easily get published. Just walk into any bookstore and look at how many books that follow the same theme of strong, independent girl meets hansdsome, rich man. These types of books are everywhere, and continue to get written and published. It probably wouldn't be the beloved classic that it is, but it would definitely get published.


message 35: by Anna (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna Durham I'm not sure that it would. Yes, modern authors have tried to emulate Jane Austen's style of writing, because she's a classic. Assuming, though, that she would be attempting to publish it now, is to also assume she didn't publish it then--making it not a classic. Would we then recognize it for a great work of literature? Probably not. The writing style is calm and witty; a good style, but not popular for the mainstream, speaking realistically. The plot is classic and timeless, but the lack of action would make it fall flat in today's romance novel market.


message 36: by William (last edited Jul 05, 2011 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

William This question strikes me as wrongheaded. No one in the 21st century is going to produce a book whose diction, vocabulary, and cultural worldview is so distinctly early 18th century Britain. It couldn't be done even if one aspired to it. There might be those who say that someone might attempt it as an historical novel. But no, not possible: the language, the structure, voice, insights, everything would be different.: P&P is as distinctly of the 18th century as Banville's The Sea is of the 21st.


Jewett Today we would expect more action and possibly more sex, but that doesn't mean that a good story can't still sell today.


Meagan Yorky wrote: "I bet she would have been told to sex it up lol, more action and less dialogue. I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice and think its perfect but very scary to think what would happen to it in a mod..."

Sooo true! If Darcy and Elizabeth didn't sleep together before they got together it wouldn't sell, though the basic plot would still work. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's a million Rom-Coms that aren't as good.


Janet Unfortunately, I think publishers would require some sex. That would ruin it; it would become a different story. It could get published, but with a totally different feel.


Farrah William wrote: "This question strikes me as wrongheaded. No one in the 21st century is going to produce a book whose diction, vocabulary, and cultural worldview is so distinctly early 18th century Britain. It coul..."

I agree. Literally no one would publish a book with 18th century language. Well they might, who knows now with all of these self-pubs coming out. The question was more to lighten up and poke some fun at the new face of publishing and some of the pointless dribble I have seen on bookshelves lately.


Emmalilly I think she would never have gotten all that much rejection from publishers now than back then if she were to publish it now. And it would totally sell out in the first week in the market..... though i should admit, I've only read the first nine chapters


Lauren I actually don't think that P&P would be published. I love the story, don't get me wrong (it's my favorite), but I think the story would be approached as an cliché story. It would need more action and twist.
And the language would not be effective in today's market as well. They're trying to sell books in a language that everyone can understand. 18th century language is just a touch out of date. Some of the things Jane Austen writes about are just old. For example, pin money? That's an outdated term that wouldn't appeal to today's book market.


Rike' I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I surprised to see how much I liked it. I do believe it would have gotten published, but I don't know how popular it would be nowadays. If we're talking about this being in the young adult section then I personally think if it was much more darker, had more raging hormones weaved into the plot, some deaths, and some fantasy in it, then teens would love it. The way it is now, I can picture people thinking it's "unrealistic" or "cliche'" or "it's too happy at the end"


Rystal :) I definitely think that this would be published today because it is an amazing piece of literature which i think can survive today's competitive book industry. But i may be slightly biased as i LOVE this book!!


Karen I sure hope so. I loved this book. It was the first book of Austins that I read and then I went on to read all of them. All her stories are timeless.


Normant4 I say no, not because no one would like it, I mean it's freaking amazing. But honestly it would be a different book. Same concept yes and same characters maybe. But it would be written differently because of how she would be influenced by today's times. There for it would not be the same Pride and Prejudice we all have come to know and love. So maybe it would get published, but it wouldn't be the same book so technically no... I'd still read it though.


Veronica I think that, in order for her to get it published today, she would have to give Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy some sort of physical relationship that was similar to what is seen today. I don't believe that they even kissed in P&P and that is a no-no by today's standards.

I read it over a year ago and I loved the book because it was classic literature and I liked the sophisticated language but I have to admit, I wanted to see what would happen if Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had some time alone... I think it would be amazing if someone wrote an adaptation of P&P that stayed true to the time and style of writing while at the same time creating new scenes involving some "impropriety". Just my opinion :)


message 48: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Wood The answer would appear to be no. A writer sent the book to publishers a few years ago with the title and character names changed and received dozens of rejections.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...


Nicholas Kotar Isn't it true that few of the great writers ever wrote for a "market"? Dickens obviously was popular during his lifetime, but I think what makes the great works great is that they transcend contemporary markets and touch on universal truths. 19th century or 21st century language - that really doesn't matter. The sad truth is that most agents and publishers don't look for greatness, they look for the quick sell. I'm completely convinced that Austen would never have gotten an agent if that was a necessity in 19th century England.


Mary Ann Veronica "I have to admit, I wanted to see what would happen if Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had some time alone..." ME TOO!!!
I hope it would get published today - in some form or another. After all, Bridget Jones's Diary did pretty well...
Interesting question!


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