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The Characters in The Dashwoods of Frenchmans Bay

I love Jane Austen’s stories. Sense and Sensibility is very good, though not quite as good as Pride and Prejudice. In S&S, my favourite character is Elinor Dashwood, so it was inevitable that she should be the central character in my tale. I tried to update my character’s names, but left them similar enough, so you can recognize them.


I was always exasperated by Marianne, as although she had sensibility, and a pretty face, there was very little else to recommend her. I chose to rewrite her to make her more intelligent and independent. When she grows up, she will be quite a woman.


As for Colonel Brandon, he was wasted on Marianne. As a mature, intelligent and wealthy man, he was trapped into marriage with someone, who just looked like the daughter of his lost love. Someone of his intelligence would have been more likely to esteem Elinor. I investigated whether that would happen.


John Willoughby. How would a man with his values behave today? It was easy to cast him as the villain of my piece. Mrs Jennings was recast as aunt to the Dashwoods. I imagined her as plump, cheerful, always helpful, but with an imp of mischief as well.


I tried several times to introduce the Ferris family, but was forced to leave them as part of the backstory. Maybe Edward Ferris would have been a teacher, if there was no rich person to make him a curate. Who knows?


I wonder how you imagine S&S characters, if they lived today?


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