Saturday, November 01, 2014

Jane Austen-inspired Christmas books

I think people fall into two camps where Christmas is concerned. Some people love it and some people think Bah, humbug! I'm one of those people who love it. The shops look so cheerful with all their bright displays, and in England they are already starting to fill with the sights and smells of Christmas. I enjoy reading Christmas books, too. I adore all the classic novels such as A Christmas Carol, and I also like to read about traditions in Regency England. I have a wonderful book called Jane Austen's Christmas, which I browse through every year as I remind myself of the customs Jane Austen enjoyed.


There's a good selection of novels for readers who love their Christmas books to revolve around Jane Austen's characters. In Jane Austen's time, the celebrations lasted until well after Christmas, and Twelfth Night was a big occasion. It often involved a masquerade and marked the end of the Christmas celebrations. Two of the most recent books about characters from Pride and Prejudice are centred around the twelve days of Christmas. For those unfamiliar with this kind of book, they invent new stories for Jane Austen's characters. There is something for everyone, whether you're looking for a new story about Elizabeth and Darcy, or Kitty Bennet, or perhaps a time slip or a modern Austen-inspired story.

Jennifer Lang's book sees Elizabeth fleeing from her husband, George Wickham, and taking refuge with Charlotte. Mr Darcy, having inherited Rosings on the deaths of Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh, finds a frightened young woman living in the parsonage. Her perfume reminds him of the Netherfield ball. But can the young woman in the parsonage really be the former Miss Elizabeth Bennet? And what will happen when he falls in love with her? 

Maria Grace's book Twelfth Night at Longbourn, centres around Kitty Bennet and follows her over a Christmas in London. In the months after her sisters' weddings, nothing has gone well for Kitty Bennet. Since Lydia’s infamous elopement, her friends have abandoned her, and Longbourn is more prison than home. Not even Elizabeth's new status as Mrs. Darcy of Pemberley can repair the damage to Kitty’s reputation. More than anything else, she wishes to leave the plain ordinary Kitty behind and become Catherine Bennet, a proper young lady.




Maria Grace shared a few of her thoughts about her delightful book with us: "The thing I love about this story is that while writing it, I knew it had to be a Christmas/Twelfth Night story but I didn’t know why until I got to the very end. Then I saw that the plot twist—for a happily-ever-after or course—could only have happened on Twelfth Night. That made it a little magical and very special to me." I'm sure Maria Grace's many fans will agree!

The two books below are set in different time periods, showing the wealth of variety open to Austenesque fiction lovers. Jane Odiwe's book , Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar, is about a young woman, Lizzie Benson, who visits Jane Austen's house in Chawton and buys an advent calendar in the gift shop. But when she opens the first door of the calendar, she finds herself back in time with the characters from Pride and Prejudice.

Victoria Connelly's book Christmas with Mr Darcy, has a modern-day Christmas party with a group of Austen fans. Christmas is being celebrated in style at Purley Hall in Hampshire because renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, is holding a special Jane Austen Conference. But, when a rare first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, the guests have to forget the fun and games and turn detective...
























If you have a favourite Austen-inspired Christmas book, or if you've written one, or are writing one, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Amanda Grange

12 comments:

Jane Odiwe said...

I love Christmas, and it's wonderful to see some new books to put on my Christmas list!

Anonymous said...

There's also Christmas at Pemberley by Regina Jeffers.

www.amandagrange.com said...

Thanks for posting about Christmas at Pemberley.

Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory said...

There's also my Christmas short story set in the Regency,"The Christmas Travellers"

Fenella Miller said...

I have a novella, Christmas at Hartford Hall, on Amazon.
Will look for Christmas at Pemberley -there goes my next year's title. :)

Sharon Lathan said...

I seem to recall a novella anthology titled "A Darcy Christmas" from 2010 that is still in print ;-)

One of those novellas was by you, Amanda! The other was by Carolyn Eberhart, and the third by me. Figured it should be mentioned, don't you think? LOL!

Amanda said...

Yes, I seem to remember that one LOL! I'm hoping people will leave us a good list of titles so that we can do another post later on and create a good list for all Austenesque fiction lovers. So please keep the titles coming.

Unknown said...

There is also _A Hampshire Christmas_ (Christmas anthologies) edited by Sara Tiller

Unknown said...

Just remembered another, "Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy: 'Pride and Prejudice' meets 'A Christmas Carol'" by Barbara Tiller Cole

Amanda said...

Thanks for telling us about these additional Christmas stories

Kerri Spennicchia said...

Just came a cross a new title: Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer, a collection of seasonal, modern-day Austen-inspired short stories https://www.facebook.com/HolidaysWithJane#!/HolidaysWithJane/info

Amanda said...

Thanks for letting us know about it, Kerri.