Jane Austen has given us many memorable characters and the countless plays, TV series, movies, prequels, sequels, mash-ups, and spin-offs have added to their presence in our minds. These characters have become sex symbols, comic relief, and scandalous gossip fodder. But what if the characters where authors? What books would they write? Here are some tongue-in-cheek suggestions for a few from Pride and Prejudice.
Mr. Collins’ Compliments by Reverend William Collins: How to complement any woman with a reference to her ladyship, Lady Catherine De Bourgh, because what woman could fail to appreciate the distinction of finding herself the subject of a flattering observation as being second only to one of such high status. Chapters cover flattering unattached ladies as well as married ladies. No woman should be over looked, unless her reputation is such that no society should admit her.
The Proper Way by Lady Catherine De Bourgh: Lady Catherine’s guide on how to do anything and everything from packing a trunk to tending a parish. No task is too great or small to escape Lady Catherine’s keen attention or condescension.
Flirt Your Way To Marriage by Lydia Wickham: Be the first of your sisters to marry regardless of age or birth order. Regiment in town? Red coat romances are the way to go. In a no holds barred approach including heedless attention to decorum and scandalous elopements Lydia shares her tips and tricks for igniting interest and fanning the flames of infatuation with a bit of entrapment thrown in for good measure.
Blooming Betrothals by Mrs. Bennet: Having successfully married off three of five daughters within a twelve month, Mrs. Bennet blithely shares how such things can be done. Her fool proof methods include exuberant wishful thinking, careless gossip, and tactless comments.
The Cunning Capture by Charlotte Collins: Charlotte Collins’ tell all book on how she successfully married when all others had relegated her to spinsterhood. Mrs. Collins shares her practical approach to matrimony from basic requirements to comfortable expectations. There are no sloppy seconds cast off by friends, only opportunities to be nurtured through cunning and clever flattery.
Set For Life by George Wickham: Wickham’s guide to living the good life at the expense of others. Chapter one discusses the necessity of cultivating charm as the key to the good life. Subsequent chapters deal with living off credit, how to avoid creditors, and eluding chaperons. There is even a section covering unfortunate situations and how to make the most of them.
Would you read any of these? Have any suggestions to add for characters from this or any Austen novel?