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Pride and Prejudice: The Scenes Jane Austen Never Wrote Paperback – January 8, 2014
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A lot of authors worked together in this anthology and it's lovely to see the fellowship and cooperation in this age of ruthless competition. This was, obviously, a labor of love and it shows. There were a few editing errors and a curious tendency to repeat paragraphs. There is even a story that, I swear, is in there twice (unless my Kindle did some unusual jumping around on its own).
Abigail Reynolds, my usual favorite P&P variation author, had an odd (and not altogether pleasant) variation on Charlotte that I'm still not too sure about, but it was certainly original and I'm not complaining.
I highly recommend this collection: it has a little of everything; it's very entertaining; the love and commitment of the authors shows through in their work; and, would it be crass to say that it's a GREAT value for the price?
Most of the entries follow the original story and seems to fit well. The ones that did not fit were those about Charlotte Lucas’ secret prospect. These entries are not only out of character for Charlotte but also greatly weaken Jane Austen’s theme of the challenge faced by young women who must marry well to maintain their place in society. Charlotte, an aging young woman with no prospects and no fortune, makes the point that a prudent marriage is better than none at all and that to expect affection also is unrealistic and risky. Charlotte’s original situation makes this point much more clearly than all of Mrs. Bennet’s nagging.
The collection follows the action of “Pride and Prejudice,” but it is not a retelling of the novel. The “Introduction” that can be read by using the “Look Inside” option before purchase explains the variations found in the writings of different authors. The book includes a complete table of contents listing titles and authors in order and another list of authors followed by the titles of their entries. Unfortunately, these lists are at the end of the book. They cannot be accessed by the “go to function”; but the “search” function can locate them.
“The Scenes Jane Austen Never Wrote” is an enjoyable supplement to the original novel. Readers who would like more insight into the main characters’ thinking as well as minor (and some invented ones) characters’ reactions to the events will enjoy this book.