In some random searching today I discovered that come December, there will be yet another Austen sequel in the mix. Titled The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet: a Novel, the book is by Colleen McCullough of Thorn Birds fame and will be published by Simon & Schuster. You can pre-order it at Amazon. [note that it will be published in Australia in early October by HarperCollins…read their synopsis and pre-order here.]
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 another kind; Kitty is much in demand in London’s parlours and ballrooms; but what of Mary? Mary is quietly celebrating her independence, having nursed her ailing mother for many years. She decides to write a book to bring the plight of the poor to everyone’s attention. But with more resolve than experience, as she sets out to travel around the country, it’s not only her family who are concerned about her. Marriage may be far from her mind, but what if she were to meet the one man whose own fiery articles infuriate the politicians and industrialists? And if when she starts to ask similar questions, she unwittingly places herself in great danger?[quote from Fantastic Fiction]
Yea! I knew this one was in the queue, but you have given me so much new info Janeite Deb. I must buy an Australian edition. Who can wait until December for a book written by Colleen McCullough about Mary Bennet, one of my fav characters? Who indeed?
Cheers, Laurel Ann
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So glad to know there are more MARY Bennet fans out there; always think she gets short-shrifted!
It seems a new McCullough has been years and years ago – but then I’ve read nothing but Thorn Birds… Hope to hear good reports on this novel, then.
I’d always wondered what happened to Mary B.
I’m lucky enough to live in Australia and, when I saw an advertisement on the back of a bus last week, ran across the road (dodging cars etc) to the nearest bookshop to buy a copy. I spent my weekend ignoring everyone in order to finish it.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I thought I was a Jane Austen purist and, at first, was quite miffed about what had transpired during the 20 years since the end of P&P. However, the naughty way in which Colleen McCullough tackled this sequel really tickled me. Be prepared for some upsetting situations, some character assassination, a little amusingly bad language and a bit of a romp.
Don’t read it if you are not prepared for some of your favourite characters to be besmirched a bit.
Sorry to be vague, but I don’t want to wreck it for you.
Thanks for your comments! I have heard that “Austen purists” as you say will take issue with McCullough’s book, but I am more inclined to agree with you, so very glad to hear your thoughtful take on it…and I appreciate you not giving too much away! I will hopefully be able to read it soon, and you have given me reason to do that sooner rather than later!