Arthur assumes her readers will be familiar with at least a film adaptation of the novelher guide mentions both the 1995 miniseries and 2005 feature film versionsthough she supplies annotated lists of characters and locations in an appendix just in case.Smiths use of Austen culminates in her nonfiction advice book What Jane Austen Taught Me about Love and Romance (2007), in which she relates the moral dilemmas of Austens characters to those faced by contemporary evangelicals, including herself.Writing to her brother Francis, she declared her earnings “only mak[e] me long for more.” The longing for financial success did not mean a longing for fame.
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The target audience for these two advice books and six novels has certain similarities to the one Austen herself had in view: these anticipated readers are English-speaking Christian women partial to love plots.
Unlike the predominantly Anglican readers of fiction in early nineteenth-century England, however, the readers addressed by my two writers, Sarah Arthur and Debra White Smith, are evangelical Protestant women in todays United States who enjoy romance novels and romantic films. Darcy: A Smart Girls Guide to Sensible Romance (2005), published by Tyndale, a Christian press, coaches young evangelical readers through reflections on themselves and their potential marriage partners, using Pride and Prejudice as a touchstone.
Fortunately the first edition sold out its 750 copies, a modest success that netted her £140.
She would sell the copyright to shortly after for a smaller but more certain £110.
In other words, such adaptations implicitly rely on the perceived universality of Austens primary concerns.