Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Five famous books with sequels…

...which were not written by the original authors.

1. Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues, by Linda Berdoll
Desire and Duty : A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, by Ted Bader
Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, by Diana Birchall

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Jane Austen published six novels, but there are over sixty sequels to these in print.

2. Gone with the Wind

Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley
Rhett Butler’s People, by Donald McCaig

Margaret Mitchell refused to write a sequel herself; as far as she was concerned, the story ended where it had to end. The show did not have to go on. I think she was right. With GWTW’s inimitable ending, readers can imagine how it might have continued, and what we dream up for ourselves is often more compelling and satisfying than someone else’s creation.

3. Rebecca

Mrs de Winter, by Susan Hill
Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman

4. Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff: The Sequel to Wuthering Heights, by Lin Haire-Sargeant
Return to Wuthering Heights, by Anna L'Estrange

5. Peter Pan

Peter Pan in Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean
Wendy, by Karen Wallace

Nothing for Captain Hook? :(


Anonymous said...

Margaret Mitchell was correct not to write a sequal. GWTW ended beautifully.

Not only do other authors write sequals, they also write prequals. I'm thinking of "Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys. It tells Bertha's story. (Rochester's mad wife from Jane Eyre). I haven't personally read it, but have heard it's a magnificent novel.

While I am curious to read it one day, I really wonder if anyone should take another person's work. Surely if Ms. Rhys wanted to show racial inequality, mental instability, womens rights, etc...why not just create her own characters to do so?

For instance, Daphne du Muir was a huge Bronte fan. Her, "Rebecca" plays homage in some places to Jane Eyre. But is, entirely its own novel.

Marian Perera said...

I had to study Wide Sargasso Sea for A'Level Literature, and while it's not easy to get into, it's a wonderful and moving story when you do.

One interesting thing about it for me is that compared to other sequels/prequels, WSS touches very lightly on Jane Eyre. Jane is never mentioned and Rochester is never named. Unlike, say, Rhett Butler's People, the events of the first novel are not altered.

At the same time, though, I think WSS needs the first novel. You know going in that the unnamed man is Rochester of Jane Eyre - if you didn't know that, WSS might seem odd. There would be less significance to the protagonist being courted by this particular man. And yet, leaving him unnamed fits into the style of the novel and lends a disturbing quality to it.

So I don’t think Jean Rhys could have told the story she intended to tell without the groundwork laid by Jane Eyre - that book sets up both a backstory and a dark sense of inevitability (which Rhys develops beautifully in WSS). At the same time, though, WSS is definitely its own novel with its own themes and story. It’s like a daughter which is very different from its parent. I don’t think I’ve read any novel quite like it.

JH said...

I had no idea fanfiction was such an institution before the Internet.

Marian Perera said...

What's ironic is that the authors of the GWTW sequels aren't fans.

That's probably why Ripley altered her Scarlett so drastically. I'm not reading the other book; the reviews on Amazon were painful enough.