What if… Jane Austen wasn’t the author of Sense & Sensibility?
If Sense & Sensibility were a Wilkie Collins novel:
Marianne would get pregnant by Willoughby but no one would know it was him, and she’d die in childbirth, bequeathing her baby daughter a single silver ring inscribed with a “W”. Her daughter would grow up to wander the moors at night in a flowing white dress, quoting Shakespearean sonnets; and by day, she’d enlist the help of Elinor’s son (who would fall in love with her). No one would believe her (and yet somehow, the male cousin who is clearly taking advantage of her delirious mental state would always be believed) and try to send her to an asylum. They’d finally find Willoughby, but just a few days too late — after he took his own life, living in shame and guilt for 20+ years. (But not before he amassed a large fortune that he left to his unknown daughter.)
If Sense & Sensibility were an Isabel Allende novel:
The novel, now called “La Casa de Sensibilidad,” would detail the life of the Correo-Madera family, spanning four generations, and tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Devonshire. The youngest daughter, Margarita, has paranormal powers. She predicts the death of her sister, Marianna the Beautiful, who is killed by poison intended for their mother. Marianna’s fiancé, a landed gentleman named Juan, is devastated and attempts to mend his broken heart by devoting his life to restoring his family’s hacienda, La Casa Cumbia Magnito. The story charts the up and down relationships of his family after he marries Margarita, and they have several children.
If Sense & Sensibility were a Hunter S. Thompson novel:
Elinor and Marianne would steal a carriage and go on a wild ride to London, where they’d try opium, bleeding, and Georgian-era snakeoil cures in too-large doses and have wild dreams about flying starched cravats trying to attack them in strange formations. At the end of it all, Elinor would write everything up and publish it anonymously, and somehow still get paid — much to the annoyance of writerly-minded young ladies ever since.
If if Sense & Sensibility was written by J.M. Barrie:
Margaret would fall asleep while writing a pirate fantasy, and suddenly find herself in it. She would fly away on the sails of a particularly large bonnet, and befriend a talking atlas that constantly fusses over her on the way. Her family would search in vain for her, but finally, after battling the evil Pirate Queen (who looks suspiciously like Fanny Dashwood) she’d come to realize that family is the best adventure of all and return home, into the loving arms of her mother and sisters.
If Sense & Sensibility were written by J.K. Rowling:
The novel would start with young Margaret on the cusp of heading to Bartonwarts, a school for young ladies in Devonshire. Both of her sisters attended and have since graduated, but are suspiciously close-lipped about what sorts of things she’ll learn there. Once she arrives, she soon learns the finishing school is actually a training ground for well-bred lady ninjas. Her favorite professor, whom all the students call “Colonel,” teaches her how to accomplish goals and lessons while still having fun… and a little bit of mischief.
If Sense & Sensibility were written by Ian Fleming:
Code Name “Colonel Brandon” is a tough international spy who never lets his heart gets in the way of his head… that is, until he meets England’s Poet Laureate, Marianne Dashwood. He’s tasked with guarding her life, but what seems like a simple job in the service of His Majesty King George — becomes more complicated the more time they spend unraveling each others’ secrets… and her corset stays. Set between thrilling scenes of London’s underground crime syndicates, is a romance novel unlike any you’ve ever read before…
Together, they can save the world…
Or each other.
But not both.
If Sense & Sensibility were written by Margaret Atwood:
Elinor and Marianne Dashwood may seem mild-mannered polite young ladies, but in reality, they are the leaders of the Resistance, an underground paramilitary they formed to fight the patriarchy inherent in the English nobility. Together, they plan devastating attacks on the wealthy men who are keeping them in corsets and under the thumb of outdated inheritance laws. But when they’re sentenced to prison… and Marianne falls in love with one of her captors, the whole game changes…
Your turn! Leave a rewrite in the comments!