Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WWJD - What Would Jane Do?

The Jane in the title is Austen, of course.  There is no doubt that she is one of the greatest Regency romance writers that ever was.  (Another comes to mind in the form of Georgette Heyer).  After reading one of her books, you have the feeling of being transported back in time.

Even though personally I feel the 'Pride and Prejudice' thing is quite overdone, with all the sequels to "what might have happened," there is no doubt that the reason someone would write these books is the intense interest in her novels.  And rightly so.  She wrote with precision, wit, humor, relationships between men and women, relationships between the haves and have-nots.  There is no doubt her novels are magnificent.

But what would Jane do today?  Would she follow the trend, as so many other writers have done, of not writing Regencies and turning to Historicals?  Historicals seem to give more of a leeway when it comes to books.  You don't have to be as completely accurate in the time (and Regency readers, myself included, can be such snobs when it comes to accuracy).  Would people still buy her books if she didn't lace them with sex?  Let's face it, a great number of historical novels have sex in them, because, as the saying goes, sex sells.

Don't get me wrong: there are plenty of good authors out there who manage to write these books and maintain a decent plot.  Several have successfully made the transition from Regencies to Historicals.  Their books are just as good, but they have been 'tweaked' for a different or new reader, as well as trying to keep their old ones.

Would Jane still remain true to her form and keep writing such as the aforementioned Pride or Sense and Sensibility?  Or would it become a book with a title such as Pride Will Persuade Her Into His Lord's Bed?  A curious question, indeed.

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