Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart
By Laurel Ann Nattress
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345524966, 464pp.)
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Stories by: Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter • Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James • Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley
“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world.
In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.
Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.
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A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the author/editor of Austenprose.com, a blog devoted to the oeuvre of her favorite author and the many books and movies that she has inspired. Nattress is a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and a regular contributor to the PBS blog Remotely Connected. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a professional bookseller. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Seattle, Washington, where it rains a lot.
"Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint." --Romance Junkies
"If you love all things Austen, I think you will find this quite diverting and enjoy the fun that the authors had with the wealth of material that Ms.Austen supplied throughout her writing career. I truly enjoyed this little visit into different dimensions of the Jane Austen universe. I gave it 4 stars." --Ex Libris
"This anthology has a little something for every Jane Austen fan." --Rakehell
“The overall quality of the collection is high, and rare will be the reader who fails to find a few favorites to delight an Austen-loving heart.” --Just Janga
"I was impressed with all the clever approaches in which Austen themes can be recreated, intriguing and entertaining me with new characters and their stories. This collection of stories is a must for all fans of Jane Austen, and it is a great tool for introducing the authors of the Austenesque genre as well." --Burton Book Review
"All the stories were enjoyable, but some had that little quirk that really made me think or laugh. Laurel Ann Nattress has created a volume that will have something (more than one something, of that I'm sure) for everyone." --Citivolus Sus
"I tip my hat to Laurel Ann for overseeing this ambitious and very worthwhile project, for this is her first book. I give Jane Austen Made Me Do It five out of five Regency tea cups!" --Jane Austen's World
"Jane Austen Made Me Do It was another Anthology that I loved. . . there is a little bit of everything for everyone." --A Buckeye Girl Reads
"Each story in this anthology is very unique. I had so many favorites among them that it was really hard to pick just two. If you're a Jane Austen fan, you have to read Jane Austen Made Me Do It!" --Popcorn Reads
"I am all praise for Laurel Ann Nattress who has collected a fine group of writers, and a fine volume of stories showcasing everything from historical to contemporary to young-adult fiction to paranormal." --The Little White Attic
"I enjoyed this collection of short stories more than I anticipated. It had everything, really – continuations; spin-offs; stories about Jane; stories inspired by Jane; even a couple stories where Jane's ghost was involved." --Readin' and Dreamin'
"For fans of "Austenesque" fiction, this collection will be a box of bonbons." --The Seattle Times