Category Archives: Jane Austen

>If You Love Pride & Prejudice, You’ll Love North & South

>If you swoon whenever Mr. Darcy appears or melt when Darcy and Elizabeth finally get together, then I think you will love North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. A contemporary of Dickens (he was a big fan of her work), Gaskell does not get the attention that other authors of her time do, though she certainly deserves it. North & South, one of her best novels, is a romance complicated by politics, attitudes, and misunderstandings.

Margaret Hale has been forced to move to a fictitious mill town in northern England under unpleasant circumstances with her family. She’s resentful and harbors prejudice against northern ways. She’s been raised as a lady, living a good portion of her life in London, and starts out as a bit of an uppity-up. John Thornton owns one of the mills and is a rough, working class kind of guy. The two collide amidst a backdrop of restless mill workers ready to strike and hard family times.

Margaret and John follow similar character paths as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and are rather similar in some ways. One of my favorite aspects of the story, however, is that Gaskell tells the story from both Margaret’s and John’s perspectives so you know exactly how both of them feel.

If you’ve been looking for more books like Pride & Prejudice, go get a copy of North & South today.

What novels would you recommend that are similar to Pride & Prejudice?

>Weekend Read: Lost in Austen

>Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster is a fantastic interactive adventure, mashing up all of Austen’s books. You play as Elizabeth Bennett and have to make choices at different story crossroads. Should you go ahead and marry Mr. Collins? Will you accept Darcy’s invitation to dance? Your decisions affect you and your family’s futures. While following the basic Pride & Prejudice story line, you also run into familiar faces from Mansfield Park, Emma, and even Becoming Jane. The format is fun and addictive, and the author’s style has a playful, sometimes acidic sense of humor. Extra quizzes about the life and times of Regency era inhabitants can either give you points or subtract from them. You don’t necessarily have to keep score but it’s more fun that way. And I would suggest playing some of it with your friends for a good laugh.

If you want some entertainment this weekend mixed with a little interactivity, pick up a copy of Lost in Austen this weekend.