On January 28, 1813, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published for the first time. After two centuries, Austen's story of beautiful, clever and poor Elizabeth Bennett and arrogant Mr. Darcy continues to persist as both a canonical and popular novel.
Proof of the lasting influence of Pride and Prejudice is its impressive number of film and literary adaptations. There are movie and television versions, including the 1940 release starring Laurence Olivier, the 1995 BBC series starring Colin Firth, and the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. There are also numerous novels that continue the story or tell it faithfully from another character’s point of view, such as Pemberley by Emma Tennant and Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe.
Then there are the more imaginative departures. There are mystery adaptations, including P.D. James’ recent Death comes to Pemberley, and horror spin-offs such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. Austenland by Shannon Hale, a popular 2007 novel about a Darcy-obsessed young woman vacationing at a Pride and Prejudice-themed resort, has recently been adapted into a film that debuted last month at Sundance. There are sexier versions (Pride/Prejudice by Ann Herendeen), young adult offshoots (Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik), and even a Bollywood film (Bride and Prejudice). This list of adaptations on Wikipedia is enough to make your head spin.
Posted on 2/15/2013 by Christy Thomas, Librarian, Main Library