On Pride and Prejudice

Any Way You Slice It

By Elisabeth Fairchild

A sheltered twenty-year-old romance writer from the early 1800s helped launch two popular fiction genres from beyond the grave. I’m talking Regency romance and a hot, sassy new fiction genre known as chick-lit. I’m talking about the movies Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion.

How does Jane Austen do it? How do her witty, romantic, quill pen scribblings continue to impress readers after almost two hundred years? What magic convinces the big screen to tell and retell her tales, even morphing them into more contemporary knock-offs like You’ve Got Mail, Clueless and Bridget Jones’s Diary?

The answer is simple: love and onions.

We relish Jane’s work because she wrote romance with biting humor and delving insight. Humankind adores a wonderful love story. Always has. Hopefully, always will. There is undeniable potential for our species as long as love enchants us.

Jane, a kid-gloved feminist, would savor the idea that fresh crops of women’s fiction writers are employed today because of her writing, and in two very different romance genres.

Regency period historical romances owe their roots to Jane Austen. Think Pride and Prejudice and you’ve a good idea of the witty tone, Regency period settings and comedy-of-manners romantic leanings of virtually every book within the genre.

More recently, a fresh crop of authors have sprung into bloom courtesy of Jane cultivating the sassy seeds of new fiction known as chick-lit. Think Bridget Jones’s Diary. Think spicy dialogue, hip attitudes and romantic shenanigans.

Regency romance and chick-lit tell,  …

More from Elisabeth Fairchild

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS