Monday, 21 March 2011


The formidable Jane Austen has, it seems, the ability to reach across the centuries and assist with the complexities of modern relationships. The publisher Hodder has recently acquired - in what is reported to have been a 'fierce' rights auction - a novel in which a freelance journalist, reaching a mid-life crisis and anxious to find a mate, decides to use the Austen novels as guides for so doing. The book will be published in 2012.

It's an interesting approach and one less likely to end in tears, I imagine, than following the romantic template of Edgar Allan Poe, whose stories, it has often been observed, seem to suggest that there is no more desirable woman than a beautiful one who happens to be expiring from an ill-defined malady. I've just been rereading Poe's stories (a choice selection of which is presented in our very own The Dupin Mysteries) and finding them exquisitely well-written and faultlessly timed. Curiously the poetry, which I've also revisited and was anticipating more eagerly, has left me cold.


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