Ever Wonder What Pride & Prejudice Would be Like as a Harlequin Presents? + Poll!

by Amy Wilkins, Harlequin Digital

I’m a huge — HUGE — Pride and Prejudice fan. The Colin Firth/Jennfier Ehle miniseries came out when I was 10 and made quite the impression. I eagerly gobble up any and all adaptations of. I’m not such a fan as when other people try to write Austen’s characters, but I do love when stories are inspired by P&P and retell it (with new people) in a different way.

That’s why I  was excited to see that Cathy Williams’s October Harlequin Presents Extra, In Want of a Wife?, was inspired by Pride and Prejudice. And you’ll probably recognize the title comes from P&P’s famous opening line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” In this version, Mr. Darcy is businessman Louis Jumeau and Elizabeth Bennet — rechristened Lizzy Sharp — rides a motorcycle.

In Want of a Wife? is the newest North American release in The Powerful and the Pure series — all books inspired by a classic literary romance. Other books in the series include:

The Forbidden Wife by Sharon Kendrick (Jane Eyre)

The Matchmaker Bride by Kate Hewitt (Emma)

The Return of the Stranger by Kate Walker (Wuthering Heights, also out next month)

Poll time! Which other classic novels do you think would be good inspiration for a Harlequin Presents? And please share other suggestions in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=5506537]

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Comments ( 5 )
  1. Ros
    September 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I adore the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but it’s really not a romance. In a way, it’s the anti-romance, showing what happens after the good girl marries the rake and it all goes wrong. I know Helen does get her happy ending eventually, but the focus of the book is so much on the failed relationship rather than on the successful one that I can’t see it translating successfully into a Presents.

    I love Persuasion, too, but I don’t want anyone to mess with that ever! You can have Rebecca (which I do think would make an awesome Presents) and North and South (though that’s going to need seriously abridging!).

  2. Kate Hewitt
    September 29, 2011 at 11:58 am

    When I was originally approached to rewrite a classic, I wanted it to be Rebecca! Sadly copyright laws did not allow that to happen. However I had great fun retelling Emma and have enjoyed the other stories immensely.

  3. Alexander
    September 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    You are right. I totally agree with you. And I`m the biggest fan of Pride and prejudice!!!!!!!!!

  4. Kate Walker
    September 30, 2011 at 2:48 am

    I’d agree with you Ros about Tenant -I tought of that novel when the series was discussed but although it is a love story in the end that central relationship in the past betwen Helen and her alchoholic husband is much more of the story than her present day love.

    I found something of the same problem with Wuthering Heights – it isn ‘t really a love story – defnitely not a romance with no trace of a happy ending (unless you count the ghost haunting the moors.) The real love story in the second generation between young Catherine and Hareton is often forgotten in dramatisations. Si it was a challenge to give Cathy an Heathcliff their happy ending.

    Interesting that originally, I was asked to consider reworking North and South (the Mrs Gaskell story) but I had concerns that some American readers might think of the John Jakes book – ane the TV Programme starring Partick Swayze. Certainly, some people I asked thought of that book immediately.

    Anyway, I ended up with Wuthering Heigths which I’ve loved for year – and like the other Kate, I’ve enjoyed the challenge – and seeing what my fellow authors created by using these famous book as inspiration for modern day romances.

  5. Kate Hewitt’s MR AND MISCHIEF | Me and My Books
    October 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    […] is a Mills & Boon’s (or Harlequin’s, depending on which side of the pond you sit) miniseries inspired by classic literary romances, including EMMA, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, JANE EYRE, and WUTHERING […]