It started with Bridgerton. Well, it actually started with the January ’21 lockdown, which resulted in a Netflix binge, and then I inhaled the Bridgerton books from Daphne through to Hyacinth in a week. What next? Giddy from the pleasure of reading Regency Romance, I turned to Pride and Prejudice, where I discover the strange new world of Pride and Prejudice variations.
First was The Other Bennet Sister, Janice Hadlow’s imagining of Mary Bennett’s search for a place in the world after she is left virtually homeless and quite alone following the marriages of her sisters and the death of her father. It is a delight. I wanted more and I discovered that there are hundreds of Pride and Prejudice variations, ranging in genre from modern romances to murder mystery and fantasy, and covering every imaginable character perspective from younger sisters to lovers, friends and servants. #fanfictionfebruary has begun in earnest.
Next to dragons. Darcy and Elizabeth are Dragon Keepers to the major dragons Pemberley, Longbourne and Netherfield in this fast-paced and fun fantasy trilogy by Maria Grace.
Following on from the dragons, it was a complete change in tone to unblushing romance with Elizabeth as the ghost that a love-struck Darcy is equally maddened and fascinated by in KaraLynne Mackrory’s Haunting Mr. Darcy – A Spirited Courtship.
Where next? Vampires, of course, in Julie Cooper’s Tempt Me, a romantic and sensuous tale of the deep bond forming between a vampiric Darcy and the human Miss Elizabeth as they battle to protect their friends and family from dastardly bloodsucking enemies. Classic vampire tropes are found here – daywalking, bloodlust, ageless immortality and transformation – with the added delight of weaving in the familiar characters from Pride and Prejudice as, variously, vampire spawn, supporter and fodder (poor Mr. Collins….).
And now a brief reading break to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.