Fresh from university, Emma Woodhouse arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life with a splash. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorbike to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end watching as Mr. Woodhouse worries about his girls. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige.
But for someone who knows everything, Emma doesnâ€™t know her own heart. And there is only one person who can play with Emmaâ€™s indestructible confidence, her friend and inscrutable neighbour George Knightly â€“ this time has Emma finally met her match?
Writer Alexander McCall Smith – creator of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency mysteries – is working on a contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma for HarperFiction’s Austen Project.
“Writing a contemporary version of Emma is both a privilege and a real challenge,” the author said. “Not only is Emma one of the finest novels in the English language, but it is possibly Jane Austen’s most thought-provoking and interesting book.”
According to HarperFiction,
The Austen Project pairs six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austenâ€™s six complete works: Sense & Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Mansfield Park. Taking these well-loved stories as their base, each author will write their own unique take on Jane Austenâ€™s novels.
In other Emma news, a new Jane Austen horror mashup novel hit Kindles last week. Emma and the Vampires, written by Wayne Josephson, takes another stab at the novel of manners-meets-horror movie literary genre.
Laurie Viera Rigler’s wonderful Austen Addict timeswap novels have inspired a hilarious new Babelgum web series! “Sex and the Austen Girl” premiered today with the first of twenty episodes. Entitled “Meeting Men,” this series introduction features Austen Addict characters Courtney Stone (Arabella Field) and Jane Mansfield (Fay Masterson) discussing the dating differences and similarities between 1813 England and 2010 California.
How can you encourage men to call?
Jane, on 1813: “You wait! You wait and hope!”
Which is pretty much how it goes in the 21st century, too.
How do you meet men?
Courtney: “…you go to parties, you go to bars, you go to restaurants…”
Jane: “…you marry your cousin…”
I guess it worked for Fanny Price.
Anyway, here’s episode 1:
Poking fun at everything from Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl to crazed 21st century Austenites, “Sex and the Austen Girl” is the funniest, most relatable chick-centric web production I’ve seen in a long time.
As the ever headstrong Ms. Emma Woodhouse schemes and plots as matchmaker, a dark and deadly terror descends upon Highbury. A series of bestial murders fills the residents with fear as the ever mysterious Mr. Knightley leads a secret life, unknown to all, combating evils not of this Earth.
Carnage and destruction reign throughout the land, and though the residents of Highbury try to attend to day-to-day matters as civilly as possible, each cannot help but wonder what lurks in the shadows and if itâ€™ll be coming for them next.