Posted by: gillarbuthnott | October 13, 2013

Leave Jane Alone!

aarghAm I missing something? What is it with this Austen project? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is a project to have Jane Austen’s books rewritten by leading contemporary authors, such as Joanna Trollope and Alexander McCall Smith. I have nothing against any of the excellent writers involved in this, but, to use one of my son’s favourite phrases, where’s the need? I’m fairly sure that Jane Austen already made a pretty good job of writing her own books, and they really don’t need help to be appreciated.

There seems to be a mania for things like this at the moment, with new Bond novels (though that seems slightly different, as presumably the object is really to produce new film plots) and Jeeves and Wooster stories. I have a particular problem with that: Jane Austen only produced 6 books, it’s true, but there are yards of Wodehouse books, all of them glorious.

Just imagine if all these people just got on with… oh, I don’t know… producing something wonderful and new  instead.

And while I’m in rant mode, why is Julian Fellowes messing around with Shakespeare’s words for the new film of Romeo and Juliet? The popularity of Baz Luhrman’s version among young people shows that original doesn’t have to be a barrier. Have some faith in your audience!

Right, I’ll shut up now.



  1. I see your AAARRGGH and double it. In spades. (At which point you may guess I don’t entirely understand poker, but I DO entirely agree with what you’re saying!)

    • Whatever that card game is though, I like sound of it. We should meet for a drink and invent it properly.

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