As Karen’s post on Alice in Wonderland demonstrates, there is no shortage of Victorians in film these days. I haven’t had a chance to see Burton’s new film yet, but I did see Sherlock Holmes, which was entertaining despite being more like a combination Holmes-tribute, action film and Dan Brown novel than an actual Conan Doyle story. I stumbled across an even stranger example of twenty-first-century revisions of nineteenth century works today. Many of you will have heard of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk Books, 2009), which imagines the Bennet sisters battling the undead. (And, yes, I know Austen’s novels are not technically Victorian, but, like most Victorianists, I claim her as an important precursor and so will suggest that works like Grahame-Smith’s count as almost neo-Victorian.)  This mash-up was followed by Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and will soon be followed by, I kid you not, Android Karenina.

And it doesn’t end there. There is now a sequel to the original novel, called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and another novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. How will Lincoln compare with that beloved TV vampire slayer, Buffy? Can he possibly be as sexy (or creepy, depending on your point of view) as Twilight‘s vegetarian vampire, Edward? In order to pique our interest, someone (presumably from the publishing company) has posted “trailers” for these books on youtube, and I have posted them below. They are quite funny, but I’m not yet convinced that these will make for great reading. I have to admit, though, Android Karenina does sound intriguing.

(As a sidenote, when it comes to contemporary re-imaginings of Lincoln’s life, I prefer Jen Kirkman’s creative retelling of the relationship between Frederick Douglass and Lincoln. It is part of a comedy sketch in which the narrators get quite drunk and relate historical events, while comedians act them out. Not exactly high brow, but quite funny. Here is a teaser.)


3 thoughts on “Neo-Victorian Monsters Run Amuck

  1. I believe the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series also has a mash-up called Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. I haven’t read it, though, but it makes sense to me.

    Android Karenina sounds very intriguing!!

  2. I can’t believe I didn’t know about Android Karenina until just now! I’m reminded of Linda Hutcheon’s claim that we “postmoderns” inherited our penchant for adaptation from the Victorians, who “had a habit of adapting just about everything.”

    I also can’t even describe how much I love the idea of creating a movie trailer for a book parody, mostly because these clips validate my long-held belief that the movie preview is a genre unto itself.

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