Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House

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Overview

An anthology of the winning entries for the Jane Austen Short Story Award

Two hundred years ago, Jane Austen— traumatized by her parents’ decision to give up the rectory in Hampshire where she grew up, and unable to write for a decade—accepted her brother Edward’s offer of a permanent home in his Chawton House estate. It was there that she picked up her pen once again . . . and gave the world some of themost beloved and enduring novels ever ...

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Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House Library

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Overview

An anthology of the winning entries for the Jane Austen Short Story Award

Two hundred years ago, Jane Austen— traumatized by her parents’ decision to give up the rectory in Hampshire where she grew up, and unable to write for a decade—accepted her brother Edward’s offer of a permanent home in his Chawton House estate. It was there that she picked up her pen once again . . . and gave the world some of themost beloved and enduring novels ever written.

The Jane Austen Short Story Competition celebrates the immortal author and her works, and the blessed home that afforded her the peace and security to create them. Judged and chosen by Sarah Waters, bestsellingauthor of Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, Dancing with Mr. Darcy includes the winning selection and nineteen runners-up, as well as introductions from Waters and Rebecca Smith, the great-great-great-great-great niece of Jane Austen.

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Editorial Reviews

Syrie James
“What a wonderful collection! Each story is like a little treasure just waiting to be unwrapped, bringing its own unique and engaging perspective to the Austen mythos. A real treat for Jane Austen fans.”
Booklist
“A lively and diverse collection”
Infodad.com
“Taken together, the tales in Dancing with Mr. Darcy show both why and how Jane Austen’s work continues to resonate in a far faster-paced, far more intense world than hers.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061999062
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/19/2010
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 449,178
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters has a Ph.D. in English literature and has been an associate lecturer withthe Open University. She has won a Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, the South Bank Show Award for Literature, and her books have been short-listed for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the Man Booker and Orange prizes. In 2003, she was named Author of the Year three times andwas chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This book reminds us to stop and reflect on what inspires us

    Everyone has a memory about a Jane Austen book, a special phrase or sentence that brings a smile to your face. This book takes that inspiration and explores from a writer's perspective how the works of Ms. Austen moved them. It is different stories of fiction based on muse of one writer walking in the shoes of another.

    Would Jane ever have to face her characters in the afterlife? Would any of us be able to deal with repercussions of turning away a potential suitor? Could we talk about our life changing experiences with clarity and emotion and not evoke pity?

    These authors have taken the concept of what inspires you and proven that every author and reader for that matter has any number of writers and books that serve as comfort in bad times, warmth on a long winter night and dreams of what life might have been like in another time and place. Wonderful read - enjoy the story and the short explanation from each author as that completes the thought.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    this is a fabulous trbute as all the tales are fun and varied

    The twenty stories that make up this entertaining anthology were part of a competition with defined rules. Simply put, the entry had to be associated with Jane Austen and self contained. All the entries meet the criteria and are well written especially for fans of the great author as the writers pay homage to Jane with ther contributions. In "Snowmelt"by Lane Ashfeldt, a librarian fears the extinction of the bound book is upon us as she visits the Chawton House Library while "Cleverclogs" by Hilary Spiers makes a strong case for holding a book while reading in your own silent world. The winner of the contest is "Jane Austen Over the Styx" by Victoria Owens; Jane is on trial in Hades with a jury of the dead demanding she explains the accusations by six of her female characters. Elsa A. Solender's "Second Thoughts" has Jane knowing she must tell Mr. Harris Bigg-Wither that though she accepted his proposal yesterday she declines it today. Elinor Dashwood Ferrars (see Sense and Sensibility) is a detective in "The Delaford Ladies' Detective Agency" by Elizabeth Hopkinson; and Mrs. Grant (see Mansfield Park) stars in "Somewhere" by Kelly Brendel. Finally there are entries like Stephanie Tillotson's "Second Fruits" that bring Persuasion to a modern day. Obviosuly targeting the Austen faithful, this is a fabulous trbute as all the tales are fun and varied.

    Harriet Kalsuner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    2 good short stories, the rest...not so much

    All the rest dripping with too much teenage angst. All by English writers (mostly unpublished) that use so many British school references, this American found it hard to understand. No JA sequels, prequels, or variations here. Mostly tenuous links to JA or Chawton as "inspiration".

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great collection of short stories.

    Note: I received an ARC of Dancing with Mr. Darcy through a giveaway on Goodreads. Dancing with Mr. Darcy is a collection of 20 short stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House, the "best of the Jane Austen short story competition." Sarah Waters is the editor and one of the judges on the panel (there are 4 others). I don't typically read many short stories, but this book made for a fairly quick, enjoyable read; I found that I very much enjoyed the majority of the stories, and there weren't any that I outright disliked. It was a perfect book to read on my commute to and from work (25 minutes on a subway) since the shorter stories lend themselves well to shorter reading sessions. Some of the stories were more obvious in their connection to Austen, with characters pulled straight from the pages of her books or using Austen herself as the central character, but there were also quite a few with more tangential ties to Austen's work and it was interesting to see the ways in which the different writers were inspired by Jane and her characters. The story that won the grand prize in the competition - "Jane Austen Over the Styx" by Victoria Owens - was my favorite in the collection. It takes the reader along with Jane into Hades, where she is confronted and judged by a panel made up of older female characters from her novels (Mrs. Bennett, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mrs. Ferrars, Mrs. Churchill, Lady Russell, and Mrs. Norris). It was clever and entertaining, and a great emulation of Jane's own style of writing. Others that I especially enjoyed: "The Jane Austen Hen Weekend" (about a girls' weekend gone wrong), "Second Thoughts" (in which the writer tries to give us what was going on in Jane's head when Harris Bigg-Wither proposed), and "The Delaford Ladies' Detective Agency" (a great little mystery with Mrs. Edward Ferrars as it's detective).

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted November 28, 2010

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