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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Old Friends and New Fancies - Sybil G. Brinton

This book, written in 1913, is billed on the cover as the first ever sequel to Jane Austen’s work. It’s definitely an ambitious story. Characters from all six of her completed novels appear within the pages.

The action mainly centers around Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, and their interactions with their various friends as they move between Pemberley, Bath and London. The locational changes bring ample opportunity to meet the other characters from the other books, and for plenty of match-making.

The match-making takes up the main part of the story. The book inexplicably starts out with Georgiana Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam engaged, but they’re thankfully quickly broken up by Elizabeth Darcy, when she realizes they’re not happy with the engagement. From then on, it’s a march through Jane Austen’s worlds to determine who those two, as well as Kitty Bennett, with marry. The author’s choices are completely obvious very early on, even though she tries to throw some suspense into the mix. Some choices, I agree with. One in particular, I’m fairly sure Miss Austen would have abhorred, but what can you do?

Is this one of the better Jane Austen sequels I’ve read? No, but it’s an enjoyable romp through Austenland, and I’d never recommend against reading it.

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