Sense and sensibility book review
Sense and Sensibility by Jane AustenThis opening shot in a set of updates hits its target — but is the Austen Project really necessary? The Austen Project has commissioned six bestselling authors to update Jane Austen's six completed works. It's a project which elicits disquiet even though no other novelist has been pursued by as many fan-fiction riffs as Our Jane. Irritation aside, Joanna Trollope is a good choice. A skilled, intelligent and witty novelist whose work is persistently marred by dreadful dust-jackets and sneers about "Aga sagas", she comes from the same kind of upper middle-class world as Austen. In this update, the Dashwood sisters, now an architecture student sensible Elinor , a musician Marianne and a schoolgirl Margaret , are forced like their Georgian originals to leave Norland Park because their arty mother Belle was not married to their father. It's a nice contemporary twist on the issue of male primogeniture which formed the basis of three of Austen's plots and, like Marianne's asthma, makes perfect sense.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen [A Review]
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T his is the much-anticipated first instalment of the Austen Project , a series that rewrites her six novels for the modern age. Sequels, prequels and updating of Austen rarely work, with the exception of the brilliant film adaptation, Clueless , which reworks Emma by modernising the characters, settings and social mores but sticking tightly to the plot. It's an extremely difficult feat to pull off, and Trollope is to be praised for her courageous refashioning of Austen's complex and uneasy first published novel. Trollope knows Sense and Sensibility inside out, faithfully follows the plot and retains all the most important scenes, which are ingeniously reworked. Her contemporary parallels are fresh and funny. The Dashwood women are expelled from their family home, not because of entailed property devolving to the male heir but because the second Mrs Dashwood and her husband never got around to getting married, and so their three daughters Ellie, M and Mags have no legal rights. Rather than arch-villain or "shag-bandit" Willoughby Wills impregnating then abandoning a teenager, as in the original, he introduces "Little Eliza" to drugs, and she languishes in a crack den.