How could I call myself an English major if I didn’t talk about Jane Austen? One of my favorite classes at Yale so far has been my freshman seminar titled simply “Jane Austen” where we got a chance/were forced to read pretty much everything Austen ever wrote, from her childhood short stories to all six of her major novels!
If you haven’t read all of Austen’s novels, I highly recommend that you do! Pride and Prejudice is a classic for a reason, but personally, I love Emma! I always swoon for Mr. Knightley. If you have read all of Austen, or you’re a big fan of one or more of her novels and looking for something Austen-esque, check out these books! These are all retellings or adaptations of Austen novels, except for the last one, which is a nonfiction book using Austen to give relationship advice!
I noticed while putting together this book that EVERYONE and their brother has written a Pride and Prejudice retelling. You know how hard it is to find a retelling or modern adaptation of Northanger Abbey or Persuasion? It’s nearly impossible! I love Emma, but there are just not enough retellings and adaptations in literature, though it has seen some movie success (Clueless!)
Of the books I listed below, Eligible and Austenland are my favorites! The Austenland movie was adorable, and I hope that they make Eligible into a movie one day! Eligible was much…raunchier…than I anticipated, but I kind of loved how modern that made it! Also, I’ve recently started watching The Bachelor, so I really appreciate Eligible now! It made me love the other characters just as much as I originally loved Lizzie Bennett, and it’s got some great “modern” plot twists!
On that note, explore these retellings and adaptations on your own and dive back into the wonderful world of Jane Austen!
Austenland by Shannon Hale
A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Bridget Jones’s Diary By Helen Fielding
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Katie Rorick
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler
Emma and Knightley: Perfect Happiness in Highbury by Rachel Billington
Emmalee by Jenni James
The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Kantor