We’ve collected the best novels inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—and you don’t want to miss any of these retellings or spinoffs
No exaggeration: Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest stories that’s ever been told. And we’ve read Jane Austen’s epic love story between Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy more times than we can count—sometimes flipping from the last page to the first page in a continuous loop.
But there’s way more fun to be had. Literally hundreds of authors have used Pride and Prejudice as an inspiration, jumping off point, scaffolding, or template for their own stories. Some people change the time period or location. Some people change the perspective or genre. Some people add zombies. And many of them are completely delightful.
How can you wade through all of the professional-level Pride and Prejudice fan fiction? Don’t worry. We’ve done the work for you. Below, find our top 10 favorite adaptations and rehashings and continuations that can help you continue to enjoy the classic story again and again.
Not going to bury the lead: Bridget Jones’ Diary is our very favorite Pride and Prejudice retelling. If you’ve somehow avoided the books and movies for this long (which have become almost as popular as the original), this pretty loose retelling takes place in modern-day London and introduces Bridget Jones, a woman who is trying to get her life together, but can’t quite. This book is absolutely hilarious and very much keeps the heart of the original tale throughout. We read this one again and again just as much as Austen’s version.
Bonus: This is a series that follows Bridget through her marriage and motherhood, so you have four books to enjoy and not just one.
Our very close second retelling is Eligible, by amazing author Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, Rodham). This modern retelling takes place in romantic Cincinnati, where we meet Liz Bennet, a magazine writer who has returned to her childhood home to care for her family after an illness. This is a delightfully fluffy and fun version (Kitty and Lydia are obsessed with Crossfit; Mary with online graduate degrees) that involves reality television, chili, and the Paleo diet. And the playfulness isn’t the only difference—there are also some steamy Liz and Fitzwilliam sex scenes that we’ve deserved for decades.
Set in Bushwick, this lovingly written retelling of the novel has a full cast of People of Color and centers upon teens Zuri and Darius (Lizzie and Darcy) as they navigate the social circles around them. Written by National Book Award Finalist Ibi Zoboi, this pick is more than just the same old story set in a different place and time—it’s beautifully told and the characters come to life in their own new ways.
Originally a serialized piece of Jane Austen fan fiction, this indie-published Pride and Prejudice variation is all about humor—and review after review attests that it’s laugh-out-loud funny. In this alternate universe, Lizzie and Darcy are found alone in Netherfield Library, with the bodice of Lizzie’s dress ripped. This scandal is solved with a quick and unceremonious forced wedding and Lizzie’s removal to London. Absurd and filled with Lizzie’s wit and observational humor, the book also introduces us to a new cast of characters that add to the fun.
Bonus points: it’s free on Kindle Unlimited!
This is a very loose adaptation of the original Pride and Prejudice, with author Uzma Jalaluddin borrowing the central enemies-to-lovers relationship between her two main characters but jettisoning a lot of the rest. In this retelling, the characters are Muslim, and arranaged marriages thicken the plot. This is a rare book that deftly balances a fun and light-hearted romance with more serious undertones about equality, sex, custom, race, and religion.
Honestly, the title says it all. In this well-known Pride and Prejudice variation, everything is exactly the same as in the original except for the addition of a zombie apocalypse. Expect to read much of Austen’s original work with new sentences and dialogue spliced in, all about the zombie attack that’s affecting the town. The Bennet sisters are all trained zombie fighters—which makes the characters feel more empowered—and Lizzie is no one to mess with even more than in the original text.
This belowstairs retelling of Pride and Prejudice sets its focus on all of the invisible labor that we hardly think about at all when we read Austen’s work: the servants who are constantly at work while the characters are free to sit in parlours and write long letters. We meet Sarah, the Bennet family’s orphan housemaid, whose life becomes much more interesting when a new footman enters the scene. Filled with details about real daily life in Regency England, and with only small glimpses of the original story, this is historical fiction with an Austen spin that is totally worth the read.
One of the coolest types of Pride and Prejudice retellings come from different viewpoints. In this case, we are transported into the brain and heart of Mary, the middle Bennet sister who, unlike Lizzie and Jane and Kitty and Lydia, doesn’t have anyone who quite understands her. Austen (and most of the retellings) don’t paint the best picture of the overly moral and socially awkward Bennet sister, but here we find much more understanding and exploration—and a romance of her own.
Okay, this is what we really want: the whole story of Lizzie and Darcy from the private pages of Mr. Darcy’s diary. Heck yes. This alternate-viewpoint retelling by Amanda Grange is beautifully written and kind to the source material, and the audience gets so much more of Mr. Darcy, which is a lot of what we have always wanted.
And as a bonus, Grange has written several Jane Austen retellings and adaptations from the point of view of the love interest, including Mr. Knightley’s Diaries.
This fun, lavish retelling takes place in modern-day Pakistan during a huge wedding bash—in which the Binat family has a chance to overcome their poor fortune (and worse reputation) and rub elbows with eligible men, like entrepreneur Fahad “Bungles” Bingla and his friend Mr. Darcee. This is a very close retelling—you will recognize everything from character names to famous scenes—but the interest is in the Pakistani overlay and Kamal’s deft writing.
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