“‘You made us too perfect’ said Elinor”
“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.
I thought I could keep an open mind about fan fiction. It lasted as far as the second story; I rather liked the first, a nightmare of Jane’s in which she finds herself in Bath, meeting all of her characters – Marianne is incensed that she was portrayed as so emotionally useless, Elinor and Fanny that they were too perfect, Lizzy and Jane are delighted with the husbands she gave them. Another very clever episode was an exchange of letters between Lydia Bennet and Maria Lucas (Charlotte’s younger sister) – two very minor characters in the novel and the retelling from their perspective was amusing, if somewhat predictable.
After that, there were rather too many re-imaginings; I wasn’t that happy with the idea of pursuing the characters of P&P after their wedding in Death Comes To Pemberley (review to come soon), but most of these stories reinforced all of my snobby ideas about fan fiction – one-dimensional, far too many dared to set themselves from Jane’s perspective, and everyone wants to get with Darcy (WHY??? He may have £10,000 a year, but not even Colin Firth made him attractive!).
I know that there are fan fiction fans out there, and to them I heartily recommend this volume. It is a diverse and yet entirely Austen-focussed collection.
I just don’t get the point.