The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet


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Lizzy Bennet married Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley - but what became of the middle daughter, Mary? Discover what came next in the lives and loves of Jane Austen's much loved Bennet family in this Pride and Prejudice spin-off from an international bestselling author Readers of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE will remember that there were five Bennet sisters. Now, twenty years on, Jane has a happy marriage and large family; Lizzy and Mr Darcy now have a formidable social reputation; Lydia has a reputation of quite ...

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Victoire S

Sep 24, 2010

Cynical view of Jane Austen

Imagine an author, Colleen McCullough, whose bestsellers have made her rich and famous. Imagine another author, Jane Austen, whose novels did not make her rich and who became famous only decades after her death. This author inspires a booming industry 200 years later that makes a profit for other authors who have been busily spinning off sequels and prequels.

Whatever impulse made Colleen McCullough jump on the Jane Austen bandwagon should have remained inside of her. This novel purports to be about Mary Bennet, the least pretty or interesting of the Bennet sisters. The book placed Darcy's and Elizabeth's marriage in jeopardy, turned Jane Bingley into a breedow sow, and made an independent spirit of Mary. Lacking any of Jane Austen's light touch or wit, the plot plods along.

Had this book been another Colleen McCullough contribution, with the association to Pride and Prejudice erased, it would have stood on its own as a brand new creation that was not beholden to another author. As it stands, the characters that appear in this uninteresting tale in no way give off even a whiff of a resemblance to Jane Austen's characters or the future she had envisioned for them.

I don't need happily ever afters in my books. Still, the cynicism that went behind this production is breathtaking - the publisher and McCullough probably raked in a great deal of cash before the public realized that this was a cash rip off, not an homage to Jane.

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