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June 7, 2011 |  1:46 pm

Promotional materials for a new rewritten version of Jane Austen's much-loved novel "Pride and Prejudice" arrived today, proclaiming the arrival of a "raunchy new version of the Jane Austen classic!" But wait, there's more:

In this no-holds-barred account, men are not necessarily the only dominating sex. This time Mr. Bingley and his sister both have designs on Mr. Darcy’s manhood; Elizabeth’s dear friend Charlotte marries their family’s strange relation, discovering that her husband’s pious nature extends to worship of a different sort; and, in this telling, Lady Catherine de Bourgh takes the disciplining of those in the parish very seriously. As for the handsome Mr. Wickham, he’s wickeder than ever! And of course there’s plenty of good old-fashioned bodice ripping that shows no pride or prejudice and reveals hot hidden lusts in every scandalous page-turning chapter. This is the book Jane Austen would have written, if only she’d had the nerve!

But... would she? And if she didn't back when she was making those final edits in 1812, must she now?


Was it not enough that Austen has already endured the onslaught of zombie hordes? Now, poor "Pride and Prejudice" stands to face something possibly more destructive to the author's Austen-ness: plain old consummation.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: What if Mr. Bennet were looking at a dirty cartoon? He's not -- it's the 2005 version of "Pride and Prejudice." Credit: Alex Bailey / Focus Features