Guest Post by Jennifer Becton and Charlotte Collins giveaway
I am so happy to have Jennifer Becton on my blog today. Jennifer is the author of Charlotte Collins, A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Charlotte Collins is one of my favorite books that I've read this past year. If you have not read this book yet, you definitely should get a copy.
Ever wondered why Jane Austen’s works have endured in popularity for so long? Why do readers almost 200 years later still sigh over Mr. Darcy and yearn to walk the halls of Pemberley?
And is it just the characters of Lizzie and Darcy that draw some much of our attention?
At first, I thought so. I couldn’t get enough of them. I read sequels and watched the movies, but then I started seeing elements of Pride and Prejudice in other movies and books: Twilight, Bridget Jones’s Diary, You’ve Got Mail, and many more. These all share themes of P&P, but the characters are not necessarily the same.
So it had to be something more than just Lizzie and Darcy that drew me.
Here are some of the reasons I think Jane Austen’s work is—and will remain—so popular.
Characters: Yes, they are vital, and Austen wrote so many wonderful ones. Her heroines are all strong women with great passion, though it is sometimes hidden as in Anne Elliot and Elinor Dashwood. Her heroes are always good gentlemen, though they may have a bit too much pride at first.
Even Austen’s minor characters sparkle. How often have you quoted Mrs. Bennet? Admit it. You’ve warned someone about your “poor nerves” in an overly dramatic way. Well, I have at least. I even loved Mary Bennet and her moralizing and thoughtless Louisa Musgrove. And I always wondered what happened to Colonel Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Lucas. Even Austen’s minor characters live in our memories.
Universal themes: Austen’s characters are not dealing with epic tragedies or natural disasters. They deal with more intimate problems, smaller scale woes that all people in all generations face. How do we find love? How do we deal with money issues? Did we misjudge someone? Where is our place in society? These problems may not work for a big special effects blockbuster movie, but they speak directly to our hearts.
Happy Endings: In most cases, Austen’s books end just as we hoped they would. Our favorite characters fall in love and live happily ever after. Lots of literary critics would have us believe that this is somehow a flaw and that “true literature” must reflect the human condition and end tragically in death. Well, I just don’t see that way, and I’m glad Jane Austen didn’t either. I see a happy ending as a divine transcendence of the human condition. Hope endures despite tragedy.
So for me, the Jane Austen Experience is about more than two great characters. It’s about a story well told. It’s about themes that apply to me now just as much as they did to Austen almost 200 years ago. And it’s about hanging on to hope throughout life’s peaks and valleys.
What is the Austen experience to you?
Please visit Jennifer’s website to learn more about Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Free domestic economy shipping is available on all signed copies through December 24. Her novel is also available on Amazon.com, BN.com, and Smashwords.com
Thank you Jennifer Becton for stopping by today and sharing your Austen insights with us. Have I mentioned this was one of my favorite books this year? Because it is, I want to share this book with one lucky reader. Good luck and may the odds be in your favor.
To enter all you have to do is fill out the form below.
You Must be over 13 years of age to enter
This is open to US addresses only.
You don't have to be a follower, but it is appreciated
Contest Ends Monday, December 20, 2010