As anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows, I have a huge thing for Pride and Prejudice. I love the book. I love the sequels and prequels, the fanfiction and the adaptations. I love the movie and the BBC dramas and everything about it.
But what about Sense and Sensibility? Some might feel that it is the lesser of the romance stories; the poor man’s pride and Prejudice as it were. but they would be wrong.
Although not as popular, Sense and Sensibility is a gem all in itself. It has everything that you need from a romance or even a adventure story. It has A flighty heroine who is led by her heart, a strong heroine who is ruled by her head. It has riches to rags, a fight against poverty and a villain. It has love and loss and heartbreak and renewal and it deserves its place alongside Pride and Prejudice as an example of wonderful literature.
Recently I was granted a ecopy of The Secret of Dartwood manor by N. A Triptow (review to come) from MTCM Tours and the author and it made me wonder about other S&S retellings. So here are 10 adaptations and retellings that you might not have heard of.
1) Secrets of Dartwood Manor by N. A Triptow
Take Sense and Sensibility and add a touch of Charmed, a murder mystery and a witch-hunt and you get the tangled web of The Secret of Dartwood Manor. With great research into witches throughout different cultures and a wonderfully modern setting, any fan of Sense and Sensibility would love to read it.
2) Secrets and Splendor by Melissa Stone
A beautiful retelling where magic meets regency in a fantasy setting. Although it does deviate slightly from the original, this only manages to add to the characters that we know and love. Definitely one for the regency romance club.
3) Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh
One of the strongest parts of Sense and Sensibility for me was always the relationship between the sisters and this takes it to the next level. In this retelling the whole narrative revolves around the fractured relationship between sisters Ginny and Plum. As someone who has had that love/hate relationship with my siblings I felt that I could relate even more to the Dashwoods.
4) Sense and Sensibility in Space by Sybil Nelson
Did I read that right? In space?? Yes, you did but don’t worry. This tale does not descend into slapstick but its a real futuristic romance set among the stars. Perfect for our Austenites who like their story with a little atmosphere. (see what I did there?) It is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice in Space so maybe read that first but I would recommend it as a fun take.
5) Elinor and Marianne by Emma Tennant
Back to some classic locations now. This sequel to the original takes place in the form of letters between the two sisters after they are married and has enough of a feel of Jane Austen’s pen to have you entranced.
6) Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev
As a follow on to Sonali Dev‘s other Austen inspired series, this has gained critical acclaim. With a wry wit and a fresh take on the original, this modern day retelling has all of the spice and layers you need. Real emotional connections abound and you can’t help but fall in love with the characters all over again.
7) Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange
I may be a bit biased about this one as I adored Colonel Brandon as well as Amanda Grange’s other books (Darcy’s Diary is my favourite). As Grange retells the story from Colonel’s Brandon’s point of view, we come to a new understanding of what makes him tick, why events happened as they did and backgrounds that were glossed over by Austen. As a fan of ‘behind the classic’ books, I really enjoyed this one.
8) Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe
In Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past. Three years later, Willoughby’s return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Because he’s a jerk and that’s what jerks do.
While not my favourite retelling as it does some mean things to some nice characters, it does show the love between Marianne and Brandon
9) The Dashwood Sisters tell all by Beth Pattilo
I’m going to hold my hand up and say I haven’t read this one yet. I’ve heard great things from all reviews and will definitely get around to it. Two sisters fulfil their mothers last wish to spread her ashes on a Jane Austen tour. When they arrive they find their mother’s first true love holds the letters of Cassandra Austen, letters from her sister Jane. Through these letters the two sisters come to understand each other better.
10) So Into you by Cecilia Gray
The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school. Again, I haven’t read this one, but as I was always a fan of boarding school stories like St. Clare’s and Malory Towers maybe I’ll give this one a shot too. Very much a YA read, apparently but that doesn’t diminish the story itself.
So there you have some adaptions of Sense and Sensibility that might make good beach reads for those of you who enjoy the heat.
The Secret Of Dartwood Manor is out now to buy on Amazon or read for free on Kindle Unlimited.