Thanks so much for your comments about Gothic novels! From Mysteries of Udolpho to Northanger Abbey, Frankenstein to Dracula, the nineteenth century was blessed with some awe-inspiring novels of terror, adventure, and romance.
And they inspired a whole slew of current novels too!
It’s no secret that Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice stands as the prototype for many a romantic hero. Now his story is being taken to a whole new level, blending with the terrifying, in no less than two novels! Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange was out this August from Sourcebooks. According to its publisher, the story “starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read.” Sounds intriguing, eh? (Well, maybe to some of you. Full confession time—I overdosed on horror novels in the third grade, and I haven’t been able to force myself to read one since! I write YA, and I can’t convince myself to read Twilight.)
Regina Jeffer’s Vampire Darcy’s Desire, out from Ulysses Press just this month, also sees the dangerous Mr. Darcy as a vampire. The teaser is “Two lovers trying to overcome that which separates them: their pride, their prejudice, Darcy's vampirism and the evil workings of master vampire George Wickham.” Hm, maybe I might bite, er try this one.
But wait, there’s more!
Jane Austen’s novels seem to scream paranormal to a whole bunch of folks. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, anyone? No? What about Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters? I haven’t read either, but supposedly they are wildly popular. Not sure they’re my cup of tea, er blood, er sea water.
Still want more? The end of December, Ballantine will release Michael Thomas Ford’s Jane Bites Back. The teaser? “Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it's because she's the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.
"To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?” Okay, you may get me to read this one!
If you truly want the feelings of a nineteenth century novel, with the spice of the Gothic, I definitely recommend Carrie Bebris’ series. In these the married Darcys take on paranormal mysteries. With such lovely titles as Pride and Prescience, Suspense and Sensibility, North by Northanger, and The Matters at Mansfield, you know Carrie has some of Jane Austen’s wit along with her own imagination and impressive writing skills.
Have you seen others? Or is there a Jane Austen character you’d love to see taken to Gothic extremes? Let us know, and happy Halloween!