30 May 2011
Review: "Old Friends and New Fancies"
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when in need of a trusty comfort read of good quality, one should always go for Jane Austen. There is nothing like a trip to Austen-land when you need to let yourself escape into a good book. Which is why I went through the Austen section of my shelves a few days ago when I had to go to the hospital for a small operation. And today - with my leg still looking like it has been beat up bad and my head being completely untrustworthy from morphine - I finished "Old Friends and New Fancies" by Sybil G. Brinton.
This book is branded as the first ever Jane Austen sequel as it was written in 1913 and of all of the many (!) sequels I have read, this one is one of my favourites. It is not a sequel to a specific book but to all of the popular Jane Austen books. Most of it takes place on the grounds of Pemberley but Elinor Ferrars née Dashwood from "Sense and Sensibility" is now a close friend of Elizabeth Darcy as is Anne Wentworth. On a visit to Bath, Mrs. Darcy also makes friends with miss Mary Crawford who soon attracts the attention of Colonel Fitzwilliam and then it all starts taking off. Romantic entanglements, a furious Lady Catherine, a silly Kitty Bennett and a thoughtful Georgiana Darcy meet and mingle with Tom Bertram, William Price and Mrs. Jennings and true to the Jane Austen style, there is of course a happy ending. Beautifuly written, this is the tale of what happened with all the unmarried characters that were left single at the end of the Austen's most beloved novels and I found it a joy to re-read.
Read it if you like: "Pride and Prejudice", "Sense and Sensibility" and the other Austen novels and don't mind that someone other than Austen have guessed at what happened next...