10 Must-Reads for Die-Hard Jane Austen Fans

    There’s more to discover outside of your favorite author’s six books.

    Being a Jane Austen fan is a blessing and a curse. In the author’s lifetime, she only published four novels and a work of short fiction, and two of her famous books—Northanger Abbey and Persuasion— were published posthumously in 1818. But before you pick up Pride and Prejudice for the 100th time, check out one of these related reads sure to give you the Austenian feels.


    Buy Jane and Prudence at Amazon

    Jane and Prudence

    By Barbara Pym

    Barbara Pym and Austen fans are what Emma Woodhouse would’ve called a perfect match. In her book Jane and Prudence, Pym’s riff on the eponymous spinster is called Jane Cleveland. Like Emma, she enjoys playing matchmaker for her younger, unlucky-in-love best friend— Prudence—only to see her plans foiled. As Jane continues to meddle and Prudence sets her sights on a married man, the novel becomes a witty comedy of manners, family, and female friendship. Hailed by the New York Times as one of the most underrated authors, Pym’s work reminds us all that “life is full of mild, durable disappointments [and] it can even be funny.”

    Jane and Prudence

    By Barbara Pym

    Buy Jane Eyre at Amazon

    Jane Eyre

    By Charlotte Brontë

    Lovers of Austen will enjoy the slightly darker story of Jane Eyre. The novel follows Jane throughout her troubled childhood being brought up by abusive relatives, as she finds comfort tutoring the young ward of the brooding Mr. Rochester. Misunderstanding and mystery all play into this Gothic novel.

    Jane Eyre

    By Charlotte Brontë

    Buy Middlemarch at Amazon

    Middlemarch

    By George Eliot

    Middlemarch follows four intersecting stories of the people living in the fictional town of Middlemarch, located in the Midlands region of central England. The different characters all have plots of their own—which include love, scandal, and disgrace—much like many of Austen’s story lines.

    Middlemarch

    By George Eliot

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    Buy Jeffrey Eugenides at Amazon

    Jeffrey Eugenides

    By The Marriage Plot

    This popular contemporary romance novel centers around three Brown university students in the 1980s. English major Madeleine Hanna is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot’s ‘marriage plots’ that lie in their great English novels. But as real life unfolds and Madeleine is torn between two suitors of her own, the trio is forced to reevaluate real life in comparison to these age-old tales.

    Jeffrey Eugenides

    By The Marriage Plot

    Buy Eligible at Amazon

    Eligible

    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    The very recently published modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice gives us sisters Liz and Jane, a magazine editor and yoga instructor, respectively, living in New York City. After their father has a health scare, the two sisters return to their childhood home in Cincinnati. Much to their mother’s delight, a new eligible doctor with an interest in Jane has moved in next door—though Liz finds his neurosurgeon friend to be anything but charming.

    Eligible

    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    Buy Far from the Madding Crowd at Amazon

    Far from the Madding Crowd

    By Thomas Hardy

    Thomas Hardy’s most famous novel follows the life of Bathsheba Everdene, as she filters through a seemingly endless line of suitors. Though loved by many, she finds that her pride gets in the way of accepting help—much like Austen’s characters. Deceit, proclamations of love, and dramatic gestures all play a part in this classic book.

    Far from the Madding Crowd

    By Thomas Hardy

    Buy Pemberley Manor at Amazon

    Pemberley Manor

    By Kathryn Nelson

    This follow up to Pride and Prejudice checks in with the Darcys during their first year of marriage. Can two seemingly incompatible souls work it out? Readers reunite with favorite characters, including Jane, Bingley, and Colonel Fitzwilliam, as Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy learn some much needed lessons about married life.

    Pemberley Manor

    By Kathryn Nelson

    Buy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Amazon

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

    While some may not enjoy zombies being added to their favorite book, Seth Grahame-Smith’s take on Pride and Prejudice is more comedy than anything. The book follows the Bennet sisters, who are trained zombie-fighters, as they try and keep the English countryside safe. Who has time for romance when there are zombies on the loose?

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

    Buy Dear Mr. Knightley at Amazon

    Dear Mr. Knightley

    By Katherine Reay

    Samantha Moore is used to reading her favorite stories, and in turn has forgotten to write her own. But when an anonymous benefactor, calling himself Mr. Knightley, offers to put the 23-year-old through Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism—with the catch of writing him frequent letters detailing the progress—Sam must learn how to tell a story of her own. The modern-day take resonates with anyone who has ever gotten lost in Austen.

    Dear Mr. Knightley

    By Katherine Reay

    Buy Wives and Daughters at Amazon

    Wives and Daughters

    By Elizabeth Gaskell

    Though Frederick Greenwood finished the story due to Gaskell’s untimely death, it is still one of her finest novels. The life of Molly Gibson is the focus of Wives and Daughters, as she is sent to live with a wealthy family and soon befriends their youngest son Roger. Much like Austen’s novels, there are several women trying to wed eligible men, and the themes of status, love, and loss all play large parts in this book.

    Wives and Daughters

    By Elizabeth Gaskell

    Buy The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at Amazon

    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    By Anne Brontë

    Another Brontë sister makes our list, but probably not the one you were expecting. The lesser-known novels of Anne Brontë have similar tones to Austen’s novels. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall takes place during the arrival of a mysterious widow, Mrs. Helen Graham, and the book’s narrator Gilbert Markham is intrigued by her story. Though she has a troubled past, Gilbert is still drawn to her in this story full of love and mystery.

    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    By Anne Brontë

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    Featured Photo: Still from "Far from the Maddening Crowd" (2015), via Fox Searchlight

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