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Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart (Being a Jane Austen Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Laurel Ann Nattress
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Stories by: Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter • Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James • Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley
“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world.

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.

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From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint." --Romance Junkies

"If you love all things Austen, I think you will find this quite diverting and enjoy the fun that the authors had with the wealth of material that Ms.Austen supplied throughout her writing career.  I truly enjoyed this little visit into different dimensions of the Jane Austen universe.  I gave it 4 stars." --Ex Libris

"This anthology has a little something for every Jane Austen fan." --Rakehell

“The overall quality of the collection is high, and rare will be the reader who fails to find a few favorites to delight an Austen-loving heart.” --Just Janga

"I was impressed with all the clever approaches in which Austen themes can be recreated, intriguing and entertaining me with new characters and their stories. This collection of stories is a must for all fans of Jane Austen, and it is a great tool for introducing the authors of the Austenesque genre as well." --Burton Book Review

"All the stories were enjoyable, but some had that little quirk that really made me think or laugh. Laurel Ann Nattress has created a volume that will have something (more than one something, of that I'm sure) for everyone." --Citivolus Sus

"I tip my hat to Laurel Ann for overseeing this ambitious and very worthwhile project, for this is her first book. I give Jane Austen Made Me Do It five out of five Regency tea cups!" --Jane Austen's World

"Jane Austen Made Me Do It was another Anthology that I loved. . . there is a little bit of everything for everyone." --A Buckeye Girl Reads

"Each story in this anthology is very unique. I had so many favorites among them that it was really hard to pick just two. If you're a Jane Austen fan, you have to read Jane Austen Made Me Do It!" --Popcorn Reads

"I am all praise for Laurel Ann Nattress who has collected a fine group of writers, and a fine volume of stories showcasing everything from historical to contemporary to young-adult fiction to paranormal." --The Little White Attic

"I enjoyed this collection of short stories more than I anticipated. It had everything, really – continuations; spin-offs; stories about Jane; stories inspired by Jane; even a couple stories where Jane's ghost was involved." --Readin' and Dreamin'

"For fans of "Austenesque" fiction, this collection will be a box of bonbons." --The Seattle Times

About the Author

A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the author/editor of, a blog devoted to the oeuvre of her favorite author and the many books and movies that she has inspired. Nattress is a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and a regular contributor to the PBS blog Remotely Connected. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a professional bookseller. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Seattle, Washington, where it rains a lot.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1707 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 11, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JN1DFU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful fun! October 11, 2011
What a fun collection of stories, all inspired in one way or another by Jane Austen! Some feature Jane Austen herself, like one that has her confronted by angry versions of some of her own characters who are extremely unhappy with the personalities she gave them, and another that has her haunting present day Northanger Abbey. One of the more intriguing interpretations of Jane has her compare herself not to the lively Elizabeth Bennet, but to the overly proud Mr. Darcy.

Other stories reveal details about the early days of Emma's marriage to Mr. Knightley as he tries to adjust to living under the same roof as her demanding father, the pre-Persuasion backstory of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth, the inadvertent role Maria Lucas's secret letters to Lydia played in bringing Elizabeth and Darcy together, and the believable and touching reasons behind Mr. Bennet's initial attraction to his animated but silly wife. A wonderfully ridiculous story has the impervious Lady Catherine de Bourgh as a judge presiding over a trial of Austen sequel writers and interpreters, in trouble because their story versions have caused pain and distress to Austen's characters. Because of Collin Firth's famous scene at Pemberley's lake in BBC's Pride and Prejudice and all the new vampire versions of that novel, poor Mr. Darcy finds himself constantly wet-shirted and fanged.

Like any anthology I enjoyed some tales more than others--several stories were so good that as soon as I finished them I bought full length books by the authors.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I love, love, love Jane Austen. I have read every one of her novels, as well as a lot of the sequels, prequels, inspired-bys, etc. When the opportunity arose for me to read this anthology of Austen-inspired stories, I jumped. Some of them were better than others, but they were all different and interesting in their own ways.

I liked how these various authors played with Austen names, and when they used actual characters, they stayed true to the original. One of the ones that I thought was creative was "Intolerable Stupidity" by Laurie Viera Rigler. In this story, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a judge in a hidden court, but what's interesting is that the Austen characters (specifically Mr. Darcy) change appearance based on the perceptions of the audience. So while he always shows up in a dripping wet shirt, sometimes he has fangs (as a vampire hunter), sometimes he doesn't. However, that story was kind of hard to keep everything straight; but part of that may be because I read it over two days.

I also liked "Mr. Bennet Meets His Match" by Amanda Grange. It tells the purported story of how Mr. Bennet came to meet and marry Mrs. Bennet. A relationship that almost all think is a horrible one comes about in an interesting way. "Letters to Lydia" by Maya Slater also tells a hidden side of a tumultuous story. It's the story of Maria's letters to Lydia when they are apart, especially when Lydia is eloping. Interestingly enough, Maria knew where Lydia was before Lydia's family knew. I like to think about how that would have changed the story if Jane had added it.

Several stories are told in the present day - with characters who are Austen fans looking for their "Darcy", and the supernatural (or coincidence) plays a part in their relationship.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"It is only a novel... or, in short, some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language." Northanger Abbey, Volume 1, Chapter 5

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Original Stories Inspired by Literature`s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is a collection of twenty-two original Jane Austen-inspired stories including contributions from best-selling authors Pamela Aidan, Stephanie Barron, Carrie Bebris, Laurie Viera Rigler and Lauren Willig. Editor Laurel Ann Nattress, and blog mistress of Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog, has assembled her dream team of authors and for this anthology asking them to "stay within the theme of exploring Austen's philosophies of life and love by reacquainting readers with characters from her novels or introducing original stories inspired by her ideals. From historical to contemporary to young-adult fiction to paranormal, five of the major novels and Austen's life are featured in this anthology," p. xiv. In addition, one story by a previously unpublished author, Brenna Aubrey, was picked as Grand Prize winner via a contest hosted by the Austen fan site With such a significant range in this compilation, surely one would agree, "One cannot have too large a party. A large party secures its own amusement." Emma, Volume 3, Chapter 6

On my first reading of this anthology, I must admit that I singled out my favorite authors first. Yes, yes. I realize out of order was not how the editor intended it to be read, but, "One man's way may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best." Persuasion, Volume 2, Chapter 1.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked this collection of Jane Austen stories. My mother recommended I read it as I just finished "Pride & Prejudice" this summer. Read more
Published 23 days ago by E Maeve
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and misleading to say the least.
Very few of the stories have anything to do with Jane Austen or her characters. In fact, in most of the stories you could substitute any name of our own choosing; that's how poorly... Read more
Published 7 months ago by KD
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh...
I had been quite looking forward to reading this anthology of stories inspired by Jane Austen and, after reading not even half of the stories, I got really disappointed. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny! Jane Austen take-offs
Some are great, others not so much, but all in all a very enjoyable take on Jane Austen's writing style and characters.
Published 11 months ago by B. Ickes
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak.
Seems like someone went looking for an excuse to sell a book. Most stories are pretty weak and I wondered why I was reading them since there are so many GOOD books out there. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Claire
1.0 out of 5 stars This wasn't really about Jane Austen
I kept reading and finally realized there was nothing about Jane Austen or her time or manners. Poorly written and rather stupid. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyed!
Loved the book. Stories kept my attention and they're a quick read. I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys Austen 's book.
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Collection
Jane Austen Made Me Do It is just that; a book of short stories inspired by Jane Austen. Some are stories of Austen's own life, others are a kind "after the book ends" (for... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Black Plum
3.0 out of 5 stars Spotty
I found some of the stories to be excellent, alas some of them are just not worth reading at all.
Published 23 months ago by Cecilia White
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of stories
Jane Austen Made Me Do It is an anthology of original stories Inspired by, who else, Jane Austen. Some of the stories are follow-on to one of the original Austen novels, a few are... Read more
Published on September 18, 2012 by AmperZen
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