It is a truth universally acknowledged that the sun can only be looked at indirectly, by looking at the reflection of its light. In the case of Jane Austen, simply reading her novels is considered defective and in want of commentary, both by professional critics and the general public. However, they react to this predicament each in their own fashion: critics need secondary material to enjoy the primary texts, and Janeites want more of the primary texts. As always, intellectuals can only enjoy something through something else, and the general public by having more of the same. So the one party provides itself with books and articles on Jane Austen, whereas the other party helps itself with film versions and dramatic adaptations of Jane Austen, with completions of the unfinished and continuations of the finished works, with fictionalized lives of the author, sometimes filled in with apocryphal material, sometimes even continued into the present.
Of course, many novelists have been dealt with in this way, particularly in England and America, for instance Daniel Defoe, the Brontė sisters, Charles Dickens and Margaret Mitchell. But Jane Austen is a special case in that the creative adaptation of her works is very much a contemporary phenomenon. Most of the titles in question were written, most of the films produced in the last few years.
The following bibliography is an attempt at listing these items. It is thus a tertiary reflection of secondary primary material. Despite their being twice removed from Jane Austen, I hope that the checklists will be found useful by those interested in her works and in completions, sequels etc. in general, both historically and theoretically.
While this part of the bibliography, Part A, aims at completeness - it will almost certainly have failed to achieve it -, the second part does not. Part B, consisting of three checklists of secondary material, cannot even hope to come near to completeness and neither should it. To try and trace every review worldwide of the film Emma or of the German translation of Joan Aiken's Jane Fairfax would be futile. Nevertheless, I trust that the information gathered in these lists will also prove helpful for further research in the field.
|Lady Susan:||first draft 1794, untitled, addendum 1805, first published 1871 under the title "Lady Susan", first edition 1925|
|Sense and Sensibility:||first draft 1795 under the title "Elinor and Marianne", revised 1797 under the title "Sense and Sensibility", revised again 1811, first edition 1811|
|Pride and Prejudice:||first draft 1796 under the title "First Impressions", revised 1812 under the title "Pride and Prejudice", first edition 1813|
|Northanger Abbey:||first draft 1798-99 under the title "Susan", revised 1802-03, revised again 1815-16 under the title "Catherine", first edition 1818 under the title "Northanger Abbey"|
|The Watsons:||first draft 1803-05, untitled, first published 1871 under the title "The Watsons", first edition 1927|
|Mansfield Park:||written down 1811-13, first edition 1814|
|Emma:||written down 1814-15, first edition 1816 (released in December 1815)|
|Persuasion:||written down 1815-16, first edition 1818|
|Sanditon:||first draft 1817 under the title "The Brothers", first published 1871 under the title "Sanditon", first edition 1925|
B Secondary Material
I General bibliographies and studies of the theory and history of completions, sequels, adaptations and fictionalizations, in alphabetical order (selective)
II Bibliographies and general studies of completions, sequels, adaptations and fictionalizations of Austen texts, in alphabetical order (selective)
III Studies and reviews of completions, sequels and adaptations relating to individual Austen texts, the original novels; studies etc. of individual items that cannot be related to any single Austen text; studies of individual fictionalizations; all in alphabetical order within each group (selective):
In deciding what material to include and what to exclude, some difficult choices had to be made. I am aware of the fact that there are many borderline cases. The bibliographical entries refer to first editions only. No mention is made of reprints and further editions, as this would have blown up the checklists disproportionately. Some entries are merely adaptations of sequels or adaptations of adaptations; this has not been made explicit. Two kinds of unpublished texts are included: manuscripts if they are kept in the British Library and unpublished scripts of plays that have been staged publicly. Excluded are: post-texts in languages other than English; adaptations of single scenes from the novels; abridgements of the novels for school use; readings on the radio and audio books; radio and TV versions of existing stage adaptations. Texts submitted for competitions in literary composition, as regularly run by Persuasions, the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America, have also been excluded. Interested readers, however, are referred to the journal itself. The closing date for the entries of the second edition was the summer of 1999.
The designations 'adapter' and 'director' behind a name, apart from signifying what they do, point to the fact that the work in question is a play, adapted from a novel, respectively a film, based on a novel by Jane Austen. All other names designate authors of books.
In undertaking this bibliography, I was assisted by a number of colleagues and students of mine. I am much obliged to Charis Goer, Silke Hagemann, Dina Huber, Werner Huber, Andree Lüke, Julia McIntosh, Anja Müller, Nicole Neveling, Beate Rübner, Heike Stallo. Special thanks go to Heike Haase, Beatrix Hesse and Vera Mühlenkord, who took care of innumerable book orders and inter-library loans and helped with the final version of the typescript.
I know that I will have overlooked relevant items and made mistakes. Therefore, I should be grateful to anyone who would care to point out errors and omissions.
1 The "Three Volumes" of juvenilia can be disregarded in this context.