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Another challenge completed, and in the nick of time!  The Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie’s Written Word — which ran from July 1, 2009, to January 1, 2010 — allowed participants to choose six Jane Austen novels, sequels, retellings, or movies.  And since all things Jane Austen are my guilty pleasures, this challenge was perfect for me.

I read four Jane Austen sequels and/or retellings and watched two movies.  Here’s my list with links to my reviews where applicable:

Books

1.  Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
2.  A Match for Mary Bennet by Eucharista Ward
3.  Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen
4.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith

Movies

5.  Pride and Prejudice (2005)

I’ll always have a soft spot for the first Pride and Prejudice movie I saw in high school, the 1940 version starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson.  I saw that movie in my 11th grade English class, and it began my love of all things Jane Austen.  But I also really enjoyed the 2005 version starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfayden as Mr. Darcy.  I thought the two of them were perfect.  I didn’t really care for Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet, and the actor who played Mr. Collins was more creepy than ridiculous, but I really enjoyed it.

6.  Becoming Jane (2007)

The fact that Jane Austen wrote six of the most popular love stories ever published yet never married fascinates people, and everyone wants to believe that Jane had a love story.  In Becoming Jane, Jane (Anne Hathaway) falls in love with Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy).  Of course, knowing that she died young and unmarried, we know nothing will become of the romance.  Still, I really enjoyed the film and it made me cry — despite there being no evidence that the real Jane and the real Tom were ever romantically involved.  We’ll never know whether the real Jane had a love story, but it’s fun to imagine how things might have gone for her.

I want to thank Stephanie for hosting such a wonderful challenge.  I hope she decides to hold another one this year.  I’d sign up in a heartbeat!

Disclosure: I borrowed the Pride and Prejudice and Become Jane movies from a friend. I am an Amazon associate.

© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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