Evangeline's Reviews > Dancing with Mr Darcy: Stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House

Dancing with Mr Darcy by Sarah Waters
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, fiction, jane-austen-spin-offs, short-stories
Read in December, 2011

It's always fun for me to read other peoples' creations inspired of Jane Austen, and this was no exception. However, I did feel a bit let down by the quality of some, most weren't particularly well-written.

The first story, and winner of the contest, 'Jane Austen Over the Styx', was interesting. I'd definitely give it top marks for creativity, and bravery too. I doubt many people dared to send in entries appearing to criticise Austen! It was an interesting point/argument she made, but flawed nonetheless.

I was much less impressed with the two runners-up; 'Jayne' - about a modern-day glamour model who thinks she is smart, and 'Second Thoughts' - based on the 12 hours between Jane Austen accepting Mr Bigg-Withers proposal of marriage and changing her mind, and what might have gone through her mind as she came to that decision. It just seemed too much of an invasion into her privacy to write/read about it. I daresay the reasons were obvious enough anyway.

My overall favourite from the collection was 'One Character in Search of Her Love Story Role', which showed exceptional imagination and creative flare. Of the rest, I liked - to a certain extent - 'The Delaford Ladies' Detective Agency' for its fun concept, (although I didn't like how arrogant Elinor was portrayed!), 'Eight Years Later' for its sweetness, 'Marianne and Ellie' for re-hashing a scene from Sense and Sensibility into a modern-day setting, 'The Jane Austen Hen Weekend' for its amusing concept, and 'Cleverclogs' and 'Second Fruits', again for their sweetness.

Most of the others baffled me entirely. A real mixed bag overall.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lois (new)

Lois "I daresay the reasons were obvious enough anyway." - lol, are you aluding to the fact that she would have been called Mrs Bigg-Withers?!?

I like the general concept of stories inspired by Jane Austen... wish people would do it for my fave writers tho! :)

Evangeline Hahaha - i bet that thought did go through her mind at some point in those 12 hours!!!

And they do, on this website called fanfiction.net. You'll find tonnes of stuff on there. In fact the friend who introduced me to it has herself just finished an alex rider story that took her 3.5 years to complete, crazy what some of those fans will do! ;) x

message 3: by Lois (new)

Lois LOL, I should check that out sometime. Sounds deeply mysterious and particularly intriguing ^_^

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