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Jane Austen Jumps the Shark?

Jane herself could never do that, but I am beginning to wonder if the publishing world has produced more than enough Jane Austen spin-offs.
I was reading reviews for adult fiction in Booklist (9/1/10), and there, on one two-page spread, were 4 books books based on Jane Austen’s works. That’s 4 out of 12 reviews on those two pages.  They were:
Dancing with Mr. Darcy (short stories)
Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister (the further adventures of Georgiana)
Mr. Darcy’s Obsession  (not sure what he is obsessed with, other than Elizabeth Bennet)
Jane and the Damned (in which Jane Austen herself becomes—what else?–a vampire, and defends Bath against a French invasion.)
Don’t get me wrong—I don’t frown on every book based on the books of Jane Austen. Not long ago I read Austenland by Shannon Hale. It’s a clever light romance about a modern girl who visits a resort in England where everyone dresses and behaves as if they were living in Austen’s world. It not only is a fun read, but it makes the reader think about how you get along in a world where everyone you meet is acting a part.
But if you really want to visit that world, read the source. I recently reread Persuasion, and let me tell you, there is nothing like the real thing.
Posted by Nancy