Jane Austen and Dragons
Pride and Prejudice, a favourite novel, was often on my own curriculum during my many years in the classroom. I loved the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s 2019 Christmas production “Christmas at Pemberley”, a solid production from all points of view.
The context was events following the marriages concluding the novel. The focus of the play was the one daughter not prominent in it, Mary. It was great fun.
Recently I was introduced to a set of novels that retold the events of Pride and Prejudice in an entirely new context. For those who enjoyed reading Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern Books, Maria Grace’s Jane Austen’s Dragons Books # 1, #2, #3. ( Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon. Longbourn: Dragon Entail. Netherfield Rogue Dragon.) are a treat.
The events of the novel transpire within an England that includes an entire culture of many species of dragons and their commerce with special ‘warm bloods’ whose history reaches back to the famous Pendragon who forged an agreement between dragons and humans governed by a balanced authority in an organization, the Blue Order.
(Of course, as with the ‘muggles’ in the Harry Potter novels, the general population is unaware of dragons’ existence.) Structures, and stringent rules and regulations govern relationships between the intelligent beasts and their non-deaf humans (those are able to communicate with dragons).
Peace and harmony of the entire country depends on the adherence of all to them. Once launched into Grace’s transformed Austen world in Book #1, Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, you may be so intrigued to continue to be involved in Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship with one another and with the many ‘warm bloods’ and species of dragons like I was, to leap to Book #2, and then to Book #3.
The series is a curious blend of classical literature, fantasy, romance, and even mystery!
(Then you may find yourself reading the short Book #4 of Jane Austen’s Dragons, A Proper Introduction to Dragons, like I’m doing right now!)