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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments So I'm going to see if this group can help me brainstorm some possibilities for a class I'm considering proposing. I would like to start with a few Victorian novels and look at the ways we continue to re-tell those stories. Right now, I'm thinking about starting with Jane Eyre, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and some Sherlock Holmes from Arthur Conan Doyle.

So, for Jane Eyre, I am thinking of Wide Sargasso Sea, The Eyre Affair, and maybe even Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic with a Blood-Sucking Twist and I have a whole list of Sherlock-related books and stories to read through for ideas, but I haven't really come up with much yet for Jekyll & Hyde in written form (definitely interested in the recent Steven Moffat TV show, Mary Reilly, and perhaps even Jekyll & Hyde the musical, though).

So - I am looking for adaptations or re-tellings of the Jekyll & Hyde story or for more suggestions to go along with Jane Eyre. I am particularly interested in books and stories that provide a new perspective on the story by changing something significant, entering the narrative from a new perspective, or that simply give a different perspective on the story and characters by virtue of reflecting more contemporary values.

I am open to a wide range of styles, forms, and genres and have no particular requests regarding any of the appeal factors that karen has described. Given that the course would be for undergraduates who are not English majors, however, books that are more accessible and with a not-too-slow pace might be preferable.

Also, since I'm still quite early in the brainstorming stage and have no deadlines for making decisions about this idea, any suggestions for other starting texts (maybe Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein?) with related adaptations/updates would also be welcomed.

I hope this isn't too broad, but I'm looking forward to some good suggestions.


message 2: by Christy (last edited Feb 20, 2011 02:04PM) (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Good question. I'm not actually sure yet how faithful to the original texts I want to remain. I like the idea of looking at The Fly as another take on some of the ideas of Jekyll & Hyde, but it almost seems like it belongs in a separate category - not a re-telling of but a text in the tradition of Jekyll & Hyde.

I should note, however, that I have not actually seen The Fly, so I am guessing about this and might be totally wrong. I will definitely add it to my list of things to check out, either way.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) There is Mary Reilly, which is Jekyll and Hyde from one of the maid's pov. It was adapted into a movie. Also Anno Dracula makes use of the Jekyll and Hyde theme, though I'm not sure if it is what you have in mind.


message 4: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Chris wrote: "There is Mary Reilly, which is Jekyll and Hyde from one of the maid's pov. It was adapted into a movie. Also Anno Dracula makes use of the Jekyll and Hyde theme, though..."

Oh excellent - I hadn't realized that Mary Reilly was originally a book. I remember when the movie came out and I never really looked further than that. Definitely adding it to my list - thanks!


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Brian wrote: "That movie League of Extraordinary Men had Jekyll & Hyde in it, but wasn't a retelling."

It's a graphic novel too, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1.

There was also a BBC production of Jekyll, a modern take on the story. It was pretty good. It is out on DVD.


message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments I've read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and seen the BBC production of Jekyll. I loved Jekyll and would totally use it (or part of it), but I was not so excited about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It's been quite a while since I've read it, though, so I don't really remember why I didn't love it. Jekyll & Hyde are only a part of that one, though, and there is so much else going on that I'm not sure it would quite fit this particular course - but it might be a fun source for an extra credit project or something.


message 7: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Anno Dracula presents a whole host of Alternate Victorians. You might also try The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack for another alternate Victorians.

Doctor Jekyll and Mr.Holmes, In Search of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, there seems to be many children's books about him though.


message 8: by karen, future RA queen (last edited Feb 20, 2011 09:07PM) (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
oh, man - if you need retellings of wuthering heights, i have a shelf called "smotherings" that is a list of just that:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

the heights is a teen fiction adaptation of w.h. - modernized, which might work very well for your class.

wuthering bites is pretty bad, but an interesting addition to the cult of bronte.

i also have a graphic novel adaptation of WH, but i haven't read it yet. Wuthering Heights.

nelly's version is more of a very loose, feminist-modernist reinterpretation. it is not at all bad, but i doubt it would work for your class.

windward heights is pretty awesome. it is WH, only set in warmer climes: guadeloupe and cuba. i totally dug it.

the other two on the list are out of print and not wirth tracking down for a class, i don;t think.

another jane eyre one - Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story. i haven't read it though.

then there are plenty of novels about the lives of the bronte siblings, of you want me to make a list of those...

i got nothing for j&h. yet.

The Heights
Nelly's Version
Windward Heights

sorry - i forgot my links!


message 9: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Yay! Lots of interesting-looking suggestions to add to my list! I had forgotten about Jane, Elizabeth, but I think I did read your review and it sounds interesting and like it might teach well in conversation with the original.

I'm not really interested in novels about the lives of the Brontës, so there's no need to list those - but thanks for all the other great Brontë-related suggestions, karen!


message 10: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
for frankenstein, you may want to try Poor Things or
Mary Modern

poor things is a very playful narrative - a postmodern "book within a book found by" kind of thing. in this case, the monster is a woman, created for companionship - sexy body, baby's brain, you know the drill. it constantly pokes fun at victorian conventions (if i am remembering correctly), and is a little saucy, but kids today should be fine. it is much shorter than it appears, because the font is GIANT, plus there are illustrations. alasdair gray is a really fun author worth checking out.

mary modern is about a barren geneticist who decides to clone her grandmother in lieu of having a child through more traditional means. similar themes of the creation's alienation and confusion and the creator's god complex, but also some themes more specifically focused on genetic manipulation. breezy, funny, sad, thoughtful. a pretty quick read, but not unsophisticated.


message 11: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Oh, those sound great, karen, thanks! I love Frankenstein, so including it in this kind of course would definitely be fun (I honestly don't have any idea why it wasn't on my list of major texts that I was investigating), but even without that, these sound like books I just want to read.


message 12: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments You're right - it's usually considered Romantic. I guess that's why it wasn't on my list. It would still be a fun text to teach in this way at some point, though, even if not in a course dedicated to Victorian adaptations specifically.


message 13: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
i have another possible match for frankenstein. i have not read it, but the one person i know who has read it really liked it. Lucy. again, it is a book about genetics, which is the modern-day equivalent to galvanization, i suppose. it is a thriller that one review claims to be "totally appropriate for a YA audience." but is about a girl who is half bonobo,through the manipulations of SCIENCE, so it is all about humanity and animality and the conflicts that arise, like tarzan, only with more nature than nurture.


message 14: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Cool - Lucy is actually already on my to-read list. I hadn't thought of it as comparable to Frankenstein, though, so that's another good reason to pick it up.


message 15: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer This is a cyber update of Charles Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop.


message 16: by Deb (new)

Deb (debs913) For Sherlock Holmes--The Beekeeper's Apprentice and the rest of the Mary Russell series looks at Holmes from a new perspective--with a wife and later a family.


message 17: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
did any of these help you make your class list?


Sam~~ we cannot see the moon, and yet the waves still rise~~ | 110 comments Since no one's mentioned anything about an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass Wars.


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