Monday, June 16, 2008

On Jane Austen Fanfiction

Jane Austen's work, much like the work of other great authors has inspired countless knock-offs, 'sequels' and 'prequels'. Such work is called fanfiction.

The first of these works was released in 1910 and was a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. More soon followed, and today, there are over 100 published fanfiction sequels, prequels, or altered retellings of Jane Austens's works. More still call the web their home: nearly 1000 'fanfictions' exist on the online fanfiction site Hundreds of thousands (1) more reside all around the web at specialized Jane Austen fanfiction sites such as 50 miles of good road, The Derbyshire Writers Guild, Pen and Ink, The Republic of Pemberly, Longbourne Loungers, and

And then, of course, one must not forget the famous Jane Austen Fanfiction Index of high acclaim, where one (after typing in a username and password affiliated with your favorite Jane Austen site- I use the username JFFReader and the password Universal- both are case-sensitive) can specify exactly what type of fanfiction they are searching for, what kind of altered plotlines or sequels or points of view they want to read.

For Pride and Prejudice alone there are a multitude of options. One can look under the altered partnership option and choose if you want to read a story where Elizabeth was decieved by Wickham and married him, or if you want Jane and Mr. Darcy to end up together. If altered partnerships aren't your thing, you can always look under the Altered Backstory category to find options to read fics (slang for fanfictions) where, among other things, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy met prior to the beginning of the novel, there were previous relations between the two families, or just different meetings altogether.

The question being asked through this fanfiction is 'What if?' While Jane Austen wrote a perfectly fabulous story, it is natural to wonder what would have happened if such-and-such had been allowed to occur. These questions are addressed in full through, and Pride and Prejudice categories for fanfiction proceed through what-ifs during the novel, expanded scenes, altered family background, altered follow-ups, prequels, sequels, and even retellings of Pride and Prejudice set in the 1930s!

Below are some links to various Jane Austen fan sites I have enjoyed over the years.
(1) It is impossible to know the exact number of fanfiction works relating to Jane Austen that are not on because of the difficulty in counting them all: more are uploaded every day even every second, and only actually publicizes their numbers. However, it is my guess that there are nearly 10,000 works of Jane Austen fanfiction on the Derbyshire Writers Guild site alone.