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New to me, but probably not to you, is The Austen Project, which will see updated versions of JA’s great canon. The first is Joanna Trollope’s ‘Sense & Sensibility’. You can hear Joanna T talking about it on the 24 October edition of Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ – at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dvbyp (first item). She recognises that Austen purists might not approve of such modernised versions and so advises them not to read hers. Her book was also covered in the ‘Times’ (and no doubt other newspapers) on 25 October. One of the changes she makes is that Willoughby drives an Alfa Romeo instead of riding a magnificent horse; and Edward Ferrars is looking for work in the charity field instead of seeking a parish where he could be vicar.

As there has even been a version of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ involving zombies JA probably fares rather well at the hands of JT!

Joanna Trollope says in the ‘Woman’s Hour’ interview that she feels that Jane Austen rather loses interest in her happy endings. That is the impression I got in ‘Northanger Abbey’, which I’ve just reread after 45+ years. There the loose ends seem to be tidied up in remarkably good time and fortune suddenly smiles on almost all.

Joanna Trollope’s version of S&S is out now. Go to http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17349163-sense-sensibility for more info.

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