Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Jane Austen Monster Show continues!

One of the surprise hits of the literary season was Pride & Prejudice & Zombies(which is being reissued in an "Heirloom Edition" in time for the holidays this fall)and the folks at Quirk Books are not letting the gory grass grow under their feet by any means. The next entry in the Quirk Classics series is a tale of two sisters and their trials in love as well as giant lobster attacks.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
(co-authored by Ben L. Winters) brings the Dashwood girls far from their childhood home to take up residence on a mysterious island surrounded by all manner of vicious underwater creatures.

While they are still able to call upon their neighbors such as Colonel Brandon,who happens to be only half human,and be pursued by the likes of Edward Ferrars and Willoughby,being sociable has more dangers attached to it than the usual risks of the heart:

S&S&SM is set to be on sale at a bookseller near you on September 15 and the deluxe hardcover version of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies will be available this October,making it a rather elegantly frightful time for Austen fans and monster lovers alike. I give plenty of credit to the folks at Quirk for not simply churning out another P&P&Z2 and for thinking of sea monsters to revive as a menace.

Sea monsters are particularly suited to Jane Austen,given that she had a great respect for the Navy due to her two brothers who were in the service and two of her later novels had sea faring connections. While some would have preferred to add those denizens of the deep to either Persuasion or Mansfield Park's inner circles, I do believe that they will liven up the love lives of Elinor and Marianne quite interestingly.

I'm also glad that they decided to hold off on vampires for the moment,especially since there are a number of Jane Austen bloodsucker blended stories about to hit the market shortly,such as Mr. Darcy,Vampyre by Amanda Grange.

Don't get me wrong,I'm a huge vampire fan and would gladly check out any new take on the theme with some Regency flair,but you do have to worry about burnout. It's happened to vamps before and could easily pop up again,despite the new wave of nosferatu on the scene. Not to mention the fact that some remixes don't always lead to a happy ever after for the leading men and ladies of the story:

Also,I really don't think there is a need for Mr. Darcy to be a vampire. Pride and Prejudice is not the only Austen novel with a brooding male love interest and in my opinion,Mansfield Park makes for much better hunting grounds in that sinister sphere.

Henry Crawford is just as predatory as any other eternal lady killer,including Dracula himself and it would certainly give more potency to Mary Crawford's refusal to accept Edmund Bertram's taking of holy orders,plus that key moment when Fanny Price shows up at the ball with her brother's cross on would be even more intriguing.

All I'm saying to future Austen horror reimaginers out there is to not limit your creative horizons and to boldly branch out to the other novels in her cannon,just ready to be artfully updated. Emma,for example,would be made more delightful with some witchcraft thrown into the mix and many Jane Austen/horror genre devotees are eagerly willing to be spellbound by such vividly revised retro delights,so have at it,why don't you?!:

1 comment:

vvb32 reads said...

i laugh everytime i see that s&s&sm book trailer. hmmm, emma and witchcraft would be an interesting twist.