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::: Presumption (Barrett)

OK, I caved. Deserted Dante and Virgil for Elizabeth, Georgiana and Pemberley in Presumption. I have to say I was diverted but not swept away, as I hoped. It wasn't bad but rather clumsily done. The language is close, but there are frequent lapses where it's clear this is a contrived, not a natural, way of speaking. The characters are watered down, too -- thin, tenuous versions of Austen's robust ones. I simple don't believe Caroline Bingley would have run off with an officer -- she was far too conscious of her own superiority. I don't give credence to this invented thwarted romance of Charlotte Lucas' nor do I believe she would have been as unhappy as Barrett makes her (after all, she knew she was marrying a fool in Mr Collins and didn't care). Worst of all, FitzWilliam is absent for most of the book -- he, the best part of the original, relegated to a bit part!! Shocking. I give it at best six or seven out of ten. Adequate, but not masterful.

On the other hand, I was hugely amused to realize that in the end it's nothing but a novel-length fanfic!! As are, for example, Scarlett (the sequel to GWTW) or Mrs. de Winter (the prequel to Rebecca). Heee.

Moral of the story: If you're going to write fanfic, choose a canon that's out of copyright so you can have a shot at publication. I wonder if anyone has written Morris Townsend's story...

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