20 – 29 May

Reimagining Austen: Jo Baker and Joanna Trollope

Jane Austen’s story and Joanna Trollope’s voice make the perfect marriage.”
Sophie Kinsella

“Baker not only creates a richly imagined story of her own but recasts Austen’s novel in a startlingly fresh light.”
The Guardian

Chairperson: Edel Coffey

In recent years Jane Austen’s work has inspired a host of new novels, from PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley to Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. But what are the pitfalls of adapting classics for the modern age? Should you expect your readers to know the originals, and what happens when you change the point of view? Jo Baker certainly does: Longbourn reimagines the story of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ point of view. Sarah is a housemaid at Longbourn House, where the servants are ruled with an iron fist by Mrs Hill, but the arrival of a new footman turns the Bennet household upside down. Joanne Trollope is one of the UK’s best-loved and most successful authors. Her Sense & Sensibility is the first novel in the Austen Project: a publishing venture designed to bring Austen’s work to a new generation, and Trollope brings the story of the Dashwood sisters bang up to date, complete with drugs, depression and internet trolls.