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Pride and Prejudice the Sequel….by P.D. James?

I’m agog, and possibly aghast, and therefore must share. Jane Austen’s well-beloved classic Pride and Prejudice was first published almost 200 years ago, in 1813. For those unfamiliar (is that a real thing?), the story is a witty, well-written romance novel. Oh yes, it is too. I know it’s an excellent book, but it is indeed a romance novel, even if it’s less pining and swooning than its lesser and modern-day equivalents.

Today I learned from CBC News that there is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice in the works – by none other than mystery-crime writer P.D. James. The one responsible for the chilling, strange and dystopian novel Children of Men. THAT P.D. James.

The novel, titled Death Comes to Pemberley, is due out on November 3rd, and picks up about six years after Pride and Prejudice left off, with the murder of Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, and its ensuing investigation.

Isn’t that strange? Part of me wants to harrumph and be curmudgeonly and scoff about how there shouldn’t be a sequel to such a classic novel nearly two centuries after the fact, and they should leave well enough alone, and also, get off my lawn.

But P.D. James is a hell of a writer. I confess, I’m curious. And a little bit excited.

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