Today marks the very first Jane Austen Day – which would also be the author’s 239th birthday were she still alive. While a lot of websites have been celebrating by listing 30 tips from Jane Austen for a successful life (“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid”) or the top 8 modern film adaptations of her work, I’d like to go with just a couple of adaptations hopefully off the beaten path of your normal Austen experience, based on her most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. Here, in no particular order, are some Austen suggestions:
1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith (pictured above). This mashup of zombie horror and classic literature is surprisingly faithful to the original. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters also comes highly recommended. And who knows, you may find new and unexpected depths to your favourite Austen text – or, if you’re coming at it as a horror fan, you might discover just how hilarious Austen and her writing was.
2. Jane Austen paper dolls, which also come in a specifically Pride and Prejudice variety. Now you can reenact classic Austen stories – and make up your own – in the safe (and private) context of your own home.
3. Anything by Pemberley Digital, but specifically their Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. This excellent adaptation of Austen’s novel brings Pride and Prejudice into the digital age, and with its bite-sized format it’s a great thing to turn to in your spare time (or in the train to work, which is where I watched most of it). You can watch the pilot episode below:
I’d love to read your Jane Austen suggestions. If you know of a strange adaptation or homage to Austen’s work, post it in the comments!