Explore some of the best books inspired by Jane Austen that are not only fun, witty, and swoon-worthy but will deepen your appreciation for her work while also helping you find new favorite authors from around the world.
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Best Jane Austen-Inspired Books To Read
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Updated June 15, 2023, by Jella Erhard.
Luckily to Janeites and all Jane Austen fans, her work has inspired countless writers over the years so it’s fairly easy to find new Jane Austen-inspired books in all genres.
Thanks to imaginative authors you can explore your favorite Austen stories with a fun or spooky twist and even travel around the world or explore magical fantasy lands with dragons and heroes. As well as witty and touching books about friendship, family, and love.
You’ll find here all kinds of books inspired by Austen including contemporary romance, retelling, historical fiction, chick-lit, fantasy YA books, and even murder mysteries. These thrilling and heartwarming books pay homage to Austen’s classic novels while also exploring new themes and ideas.
However, you’ll also find here some brilliant non-fiction books about Jane Austen that’ll help you get to know her life and the way she lived.
25. What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett
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Published: June 2023
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett is a delightful romp through the lives of Maddy Shaw, a Jane Austen fan and journalist, and her cynically charming crime writer neighbor, Cameron Massey.
In this hilarious romantic comedy, Maddy inherits a country home and finds herself in charge of a village literary festival and living next door to Cameron.
Sparks fly when Maddy challenges Cameron to try romance writing, culminating in a funny, heartwarming tale celebrated for its Austen-inspired wisdom and wit.
What Would Jane Austen Do? is one of the funniest new books inspired by Jane Austen that’ll surely make you laugh out loud.
24| Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev – 2020
Recipe for Persuasion is a contemporary romance novel that follows the story of Ashna, a struggling chef who enters a cooking competition to save her failing restaurant. To win, she must be paired with a celebrity partner, and she is shocked when her former flame, Rico, is chosen.
Rico is a famous soccer player who left Ashna years ago to pursue his career. The two of them have a complicated history and must confront their unresolved feelings while working together in the competition.
Meanwhile, Ashna’s mother, suffering from a terminal illness, is pressuring Ashna to marry and settle down. As the competition heats up, Ashna and Rico must navigate their feelings for each other while also dealing with family drama and the pressure of the competition.
Recipe for Persuasion is one of the most heartwarming Jane Austen-inspired books with a touching story of second chances and family bonds.
23| The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – 2020
Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” set in contemporary Pakistan. The story follows the Binat family, which consists of five daughters and their mother, as they navigate the social and cultural expectations of their society.
When the wealthy and eligible Bingley family moves to their town, Mrs. Binat sees an opportunity to marry off her daughters, particularly her eldest, Alys, who is a strong-willed and independent teacher.
As Alys and her sisters attend various social events, they encounter the aloof and proud Valentine Darsee, who initially clashes with Alys. However, as they get to know each other better, Alys begins to question her own assumptions and prejudices about love and marriage.
Unmarriageable is one of the most delightful and wittiest Jane Austen-inspired books that combines the charm and humor of Austen’s original story with a fresh and modern perspective. It explores themes of identity, class, and gender roles in a society that is both traditional and changing and celebrates the enduring appeal of Austen’s timeless tale.
21| Heartstone by Elle Katharine White – 2017
Heartstone is a fantasy novel that reimagines Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” in a world of dragons, gryphons, and other mythical creatures.
The story follows Aliza Bentaine, a headstrong and independent woman who lives in the village of Merybourne with her family. When the wealthy and handsome Mr. Darcy arrives with his retinue of dragon-riding soldiers, Aliza is initially put off by his pride and arrogance.
However, as she gets to know him better and they both become embroiled in a dangerous mission to protect their village from an ancient and powerful evil, their feelings for each other begin to change.
Heartstone is one of the most thrilling and imaginative Jane-Austen inspired books for fantasy lovers filled with adventure, and romance.
It features a strong and capable heroine, a brooding and complex hero, and a cast of colorful supporting characters, as well as breathtaking descriptions of a world filled with magic and wonder.
20| Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld – 2016
Eligible is another brilliant modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice.” The story is set in contemporary Cincinnati, where the Bennet family – consisting of five daughters and their parents – faces financial difficulties and social pressures.
When the wealthy and eligible Chip Bingley moves to town to star in a reality TV dating show, he becomes the target of Mrs. Bennet’s matchmaking schemes.
Meanwhile, Chip’s friend Fitzwilliam Darcy, a neurosurgeon from a wealthy family, develops a complicated relationship with the sharp-tongued and independent Liz Bennet. As their feelings for each other deepen, they must confront their own prejudices and misunderstandings.
Eligible is one of the wittiest and most entertaining books inspired by Janet Austen’s story with contemporary references and themes. It explores issues of class, gender, and family dynamics in a modern context, while remaining true to the spirit of the original.
17| Longbourn by Jo Baker – 2013
Longbourn is a historical fiction novel that offers a new perspective on Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice.” The story is told from the point of view of the Bennet family’s servants, particularly Sarah, a young housemaid with dreams of a better life.
As she goes about her daily duties, she witnesses the dramas and scandals of the Bennet family, including the romantic entanglements of the five Bennet sisters and the arrival of the mysterious Mr. Bingley and his friend, Mr. Darcy.
As Sarah becomes involved in the lives of the Bennets, she also navigates her own personal struggles, including an unexpected romance and the discovery of secrets about her own past.
Longbourn is a beautifully written and atmospheric novel that explores the hidden lives of those who worked behind the scenes in Austen’s world. It delves into themes of class, social hierarchy, and the pursuit of happiness in a society that often stifled individual aspirations.
16| The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn – 2017
15| The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel – 2016
The One That Got Away is a contemporary romance novel that tells the story of Rebecca Holwell, a successful New York City businesswoman who unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend, Max, at a wedding in London.
As they reconnect and reminisce about their past relationship, Rebecca is forced to confront the unresolved feelings she still has for Max and the reasons why their relationship ended.
14| Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay – 2013
Prom & Prejudice” by Elizabeth Eulberg is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” set in an elite private school in Connecticut. The novel follows Lizzie Bennet, a scholarship student at Longbourn Academy who is determined to succeed academically and secure her future despite the prejudices and snobbery of her wealthy classmates.
When Lizzie’s best friend Charlotte invites her to attend the prom with her wealthy cousin, Will Darcy, Lizzie is initially reluctant but eventually agrees.
As they navigate the intricacies of high school social politics and confront their own biases and assumptions, Lizzie and Will find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences.
Prom & Prejudice is one of the most fun and engaging YA books inspired by Jane Austen that captures the wit, humor, and romance of Austen’s original while also offering a fresh and modern twist. It celebrates the power of love and friendship to transcend social barriers and challenge stereotypes in a world that often values status and appearance over substance and character.
12| Austenland by Shannon Hale – 2007
Austenland is a romantic comedy novel that follows Jane Hayes, a thirty-something New Yorker who is obsessed with Jane Austen’s novels and has had a string of failed relationships.
When she inherits a trip to an exclusive resort in England called Austenland, where guests can experience life as if they were characters in Austen’s novels, Jane jumps at the opportunity.
As she immerses herself in the Regency-era world of Austenland, complete with handsome gentlemen, elegant gowns, and romantic intrigues, Jane finds herself torn between two suitors: the charming and flirtatious Mr. Henry Nobley and the dashing and mysterious gardener, Martin.
Along the way, she learns important lessons about love, self-acceptance, and the power of imagination to transform reality.
Austenland is a delightful and whimsical novel that celebrates the enduring appeal of Austen’s works and the joys of escapism and fantasy. It offers a witty and insightful commentary on the modern obsession with romantic love and the role that literature and popular culture play in shaping our expectations and desires.
11| Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James – 2011
Death Comes to Pemberley is a murder mystery novel that takes place six years after the events of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are happily married and settled at Pemberley, their estate in Derbyshire. However, their peace is shattered when a shocking murder occurs on their grounds, and Wickham, Elizabeth’s former suitor, is the prime suspect.
As the investigation unfolds, secrets are revealed, old wounds are reopened, and the Bennets and their friends must navigate a web of deceit and suspicion to uncover the truth.
Along the way, they confront their own prejudices and weaknesses and are forced to reassess their relationships and loyalties.
Death Comes to Pemberley is one of the most clever and spookiest Jane Austen-inspired books that blends the familiar characters and settings of Austen’s classic with the intrigue and suspense of a murder mystery. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of Regency England and explores themes of love, loyalty, and the consequences of our actions.
10| The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler – 2005
The Jane Austen Book Club is a novel about a group of six people in California who come together to form a book club dedicated to reading and discussing the novels of Jane Austen.
Each member of the group is dealing with their own personal challenges, and as they delve into Austen’s works, they find solace, insight, and inspiration in her timeless stories of love, family, and human nature.
As they navigate the ups and downs of their own lives, the members of the book club also learn from one another and form deep bonds of friendship and understanding.
Along the way, they discover that Austen’s novels are not just about the past, but also have relevance and resonance in their own modern lives.
The Jane Austen Book Club is one of the most charming and wittiest books about Jane Austen that celebrates the enduring appeal of Austen’s works and the power of literature to connect people and transform lives. It offers a poignant and insightful commentary on the complexities of human relationships and the importance of empathy, understanding, and acceptance.
9| Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright – 2017
Lies Jane Austen Told Me is a contemporary romance novel about a young woman named Emma Pierce who is recovering from a recent breakup. Emma is a devoted fan of Jane Austen’s novels, and she turns to Austen’s works for comfort and guidance during this difficult time.
When Emma meets a charming and handsome man named Blake Hampton, she is convinced that he is the hero of her own Austen-inspired love story.
However, as she gets to know him better, she realizes that he may not be the perfect gentleman she imagined him to be. Emma must grapple with the discrepancies between Austen’s idealized romances and the messy, complicated reality of modern love.
Lies Jane Austen Told Me is a delightful and lighthearted novel that blends elements of romance, humor, and literary analysis. It celebrates the enduring appeal of Austen’s works while also acknowledging the limitations of her perspective on love and relationships. Emma’s journey is relatable and endearing, and her insights into Austen’s novels offer a fresh and insightful take on these beloved classics.
8| Pride by Ibi Zoboi – 2018
Pride is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” set in Brooklyn, New York. The novel follows the story of Zuri Benitez, a proud Afro-Latina teenager who is deeply connected to her family, culture, and neighborhood.
When the wealthy Darcy family moves into the mansion across the street, Zuri’s life is turned upside down.
Zuri is immediately drawn to Darius Darcy, but their first encounters are fraught with tension and misunderstanding. As Zuri and Darius navigate their complicated relationship, they must confront issues of class, race, and gentrification in their community.
Pride is a rich and vibrant novel that reimagines Austen’s classic story in a contemporary context. Zoboi’s writing is lyrical and evocative, capturing the rhythms and flavors of Brooklyn life. The novel explores important themes of identity, family, and community, while also paying homage to Austen’s timeless romance.
7| Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge – 2017
Jane of Austin is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Sense and Sensibility” set in contemporary Texas. The novel follows the story of Jane Woodward and her sisters Celia and Margot, who are forced to leave their beloved San Francisco after their father’s business fails.
In Austin, the sisters find a new home and community, but also encounter new challenges and opportunities. Jane meets the handsome and charming musician Sean Willis, while Celia falls for the reserved architect Grayson Carter.
As the sisters navigate their new lives and relationships, they must also confront family secrets and financial pressures.
Jane of Austin is a delightful and heartfelt novel that captures the spirit of Austen’s original story while also adding fresh twists and turns. Lodge’s writing is warm and engaging, and the Texas setting adds a distinctive flavor to the narrative. The novel explores important themes of love, loyalty, and sisterhood, while also celebrating the power of music, food, and community.
6| Unequal Affections: A Pride and Prejudice Retelling by Lara S. Ormiston – 2013
Unequal Affections is a retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” from the perspective of Mr. Darcy. The story follows the familiar plot of the original novel, but delves deeper into Darcy’s inner thoughts and motivations.
Darcy’s obsession with Elizabeth Bennet is explored in greater detail, as are his struggles with his own pride and social expectations.
The novel also introduces new characters and plot twists, including Darcy’s relationship with his childhood friend Anne de Bourgh and his dealings with his conniving cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.
Unequal Affections is a well-written and engaging retelling that offers a fresh perspective on Austen’s classic story. Ormiston’s writing captures the tone and style of Austen’s original, while also adding new depth and complexity to the characters. Fans of “Pride and Prejudice” will appreciate this thoughtful and thought-provoking retelling.
5| The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet Bernie Su, Kate Rorick – 2014
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice“. The story is told through Lizzie Bennet’s personal diary, in which she shares her thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Lizzie is a 24-year-old grad student struggling to make sense of her life. Along with her sisters, Jane and Lydia, and her best friend, Charlotte, she navigates the challenges of modern dating, family drama, and career aspirations.
When the wealthy and handsome Bing Lee moves into town, Lizzie finds herself drawn to him, despite her initial prejudice against him.
As Lizzie’s relationship with Bing develops, she also faces conflicts with her mother, who is obsessed with marrying off her daughters to wealthy men. Through it all, Lizzie learns about love, friendship, and the importance of staying true to oneself.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a charming and witty modern adaptation of a beloved classic, with relatable characters and a fun and engaging format.
4| The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne – 2013
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things is a biography that explores Jane Austen’s life through a unique perspective – her personal possessions. The author examines various objects and possessions that belonged to Austen, including her jewelry, letters, and home furnishings, to gain insight into her personality, interests, and experiences.
The book covers Austen’s life from her childhood to her death, discussing her family, relationships, and writing career. Byrne delves into Austen’s struggles and triumphs, providing a detailed look at the author’s life and times.
She also examines the historical context in which Austen lived and wrote, shedding light on the social and political issues of the time.
The Real Jane Austen is one of the most exciting books about Jane Austen that offers a fresh perspective on the beloved author and provides readers with a deeper understanding of Austen’s life and works.
3| Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin – 1997
Jane Austen: A Life is a biographical portrait of the famous English novelist. The book presents an intimate and engaging account of Jane Austen’s life, providing insight into her personality, her writing process, and her relationships with family and friends.
Shields examines Austen’s upbringing, her education, and her early attempts at writing. She also delves into Austen’s personal life, exploring her close relationship with her sister Cassandra, her romantic experiences, and the challenges she faced as a woman living in Regency England.
Throughout the book, Shields analyzes Austen’s works, highlighting their unique qualities and exploring their impact on the literary world. She concludes by reflecting on Austen’s legacy and the enduring appeal of her novels.
Jane Austen: A Life is one of the most fascinating books about Jane Austen that offer a compelling portrait of one of the most beloved writers in the English language.
2| Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley – 2017
Jane Austen at Home is another brilliant biography that offers a new perspective on Jane Austen’s life by focusing on the places where she lived and the homes she created.
Worsley takes the reader on a journey through Austen’s life, from her early years in Steventon to her final days in Chawton, exploring the ways in which her surroundings influenced her writing.
Drawing on a range of sources, including Austen’s letters and diaries, Worsley paints a vivid picture of the author and her world, revealing the challenges she faced as a woman living in Regency England and the ways in which she navigated them through her writing.
Along the way, Worsley also explores the themes and characters that have made Austen’s novels so enduringly popular, showing how they reflect the world in which she lived and the values she held.
Jane Austen at Home is one of the most fascinating and insightful books about Jane Austen that will appeal to Austen fans and anyone interested in the life and times of this beloved author.
1| Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding – 1996
Bridget Jones’s Diary is probably the most popular modern take on the classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. The book follows the life of Bridget Jones, a single woman in her thirties living in London, who is struggling with her weight, smoking, and her love life.
Bridget keeps a diary in which she records her daily struggles and frustrations, as well as her attempts to find love and improve her life.
Bridget’s life becomes more complicated when she falls for her boss, Daniel Cleaver, who is also her mother’s younger lover. At the same time, she meets Mark Darcy, a man who seems to embody everything she dislikes, but with whom she shares a connection.
As she navigates her love life, Bridget also deals with her own insecurities and self-doubt.
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a humorous and relatable exploration of modern dating and relationships, and the challenges faced by single women in their thirties.
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