Celebrate a 200-Year Literary Legacy on Jane Austen Day

It’s been more than 200 years since the British author died in 1817, but every year we find new ways to celebrate the legend that is Jane Austen. 

In 2014, December 16th was declared Jane Austen Day, which is the same day the author was born. With only four books published in her lifetime, and two published posthumously, Jane Austen’s works have proven to withstand the test of time, as they are still considered to be relevant today. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t still be reading her books, making film adaptations, and talking about them to this day. 

Despite being written over two hundred years ago, Austen’s novels contain themes of love, relationships, and family, things that we can all relate to and still have relevance in our daily lives today. Many writers are often given the advice of ‘write what you know’ and Austen did exactly that. Her stories are inspired by her life, and her characters are almost lifelike with their personality quirks and idiosyncrasies  

No matter how many authors have written Pride and Prejudice or Emma retellings, there is always an author who wants to do it again. There are many modern retellings of Austen’s most famous novels, and some of the best ones take Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse out of England and into cultures and eras that they have never travelled to. And that’s the joy of reading a retelling of an Austen novel, despite the modern era and different culture, the themes which she wrote about shine through the stories. 

Here are some retellings of Jane Austen’s novels for you to celebrate Jane Austen day, all available to borrow at WPL. 

Ayesha at Last 

In this modern, Canadian and Muslim retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Ayesha abhors the idea of an arranged marriage and does everything she can to avoid it. But she keeps running into rude and condescending Khalid, who may be her Mr. Darcy after all… 


Have you ever wanted to dress up in Regency clothes and imagine that you’re living in Jane Austen’s world? Well, that’s exactly what American Jane Hayes gets to do when she travels to England to travel to Austenland, an immersive Jane Austen resort. But when she gets there, she realises that petticoats and balls aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and that her Mr. Darcy may be closer than she’s realised. 

Sense & Sensibility 

Elinor and Marianne are unscrupulously kicked out of their house by their half-brother and his wife, along with their little sister Margaret, in this retelling of the same name. Cast out of their beloved home, the sisters must learn how to make their way in the world without their father’s protection…that is if they don’t kill each other first. 

Prom & Prejudice 

A fun teen romp that takes place in high school, as scholarship student Lizzie Bennet struggles to find a date to the Winter dance. Her best friend Jane thinks she may have found one in Charles Bingley, who’s newly back from London, while Lizzie argues away with his best friend, Will Darcy. Will Lizzie find a date to the dance? 


When Lizzie’s father has a health scare, Liz and her sister Jane leave New York and head back to their childhood home in Cincinnati. But things are dire there, as none of her younger sisters are capable of growing up and handling things. As Jane approaches her fortieth birthday, Mrs. Bennet is on the hunt for an eligible bachelor, which is when the family meets Charles Bingley, a handsome doctor in town. But it’s his best friend, the neurosurgeon Darcy, that gets on Liz’s last nerve. Will she ever find her own happy ending?