25 Days of Sense & Sensibility: Day 18 – What Ifs

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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!

-R

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14 thoughts on “25 Days of Sense & Sensibility: Day 18 – What Ifs

  1. If Sense and Sensibility had been written by Agatha Christie.

    Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, with their mother and younger sister, leave their home Norland after the mysterious deaths of their wealthy uncle and their father, leaving the entailed estate and money to their half brother John and his scheming, grasping wife Fanny (née Ferrars) Dashwood.

    The Dashwood women retire to Barton Cottage, but their quiet lives are interrupted by the advent of the dashing but mysterious Willoughby and the quiet, and thoughtful Edward Ferrars, brother to Fanny. An attachment developes between Willoughby and Marianne, and between Edward and Elinor, but both are interrupted by the two mens’ departure for London.

    Marianne and Elinor follow them, but Willoughby rebukes Marianne, and Edward, shockingly, is discovered to be secretly engaged to another woman. Heartbroken, the two women return to Barton, where Marianne falls desperately ill, while Elinor narrowly escapes death in a series of suspicious mishaps.

    Shortly after their arrival, Colonel Brandon, a local gentleman of property who became acquainted with the Dashwoods when first they came to Barton, arrives and tells Elinor that there is trouble afoot, and she must come at once with him to Norland.

    Upon arrival they find Willoughby in residence nearby, and in the climactic scene in the Norland Drawing Room, Brandon reveals that he (Willoughby) is in league with Fanny Ferrars in a scheme to eliminate the Dashwoods (having killed their uncle and their father), including John, to secure the inheritance of Norland, and to disgrace or destroy Edward Ferrars, (having killed off her other brother) to secure that family’s fortune for them also. Willoughby attempts to flee across country but is killed when he is thrown from his horse, and Fanny, disgraced and cast out of polite society, is sent to retirement at a distant farmhouse, where she develops a putrid fever and dies.

    Edward and Elinor are married and move into Norland, John Dashwood having left the country to live on the continent, leaving his young son in their care. Brandon and Marianne marry and retire to his estate, where, united both in affection and good sense, they lead an adventurous life solving Regency Crimes in High Society.

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  2. This is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever read. And I am begging you to write some of these because I want to read them!

    FACE TO FEET ams 🙂 Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If Sense and Sensibility were written by Charles Dickens, Marianne would be the perfect and brainless ingenue with zero personality, and Edward would fall in love with her instead; sadly, he is a penniless orphan who doesn’t realize that he’s actually heir to a fortune. Col. Brandon is a wealthy landowner who is saved from a band of thieves by the pathetic starving Edward. He then adopts Edward, instinctively knowing that he is actually a long-lost relative.

    After Edward receives an inheritance from a mysterious benefactor, he weds Marianne who then dies of consumption. After a sufficient mourning period, Edward marries Elinor and realizes she was his One True Love. The Palmers and Mrs. Jennings would be the humorous but poor side characters. John and Fanny would be the dastardly relatives who cheated Edward out of his inheritance and left him at an orphanage when he was a wee child. Eventually they would lose all their money and be sent to the workhouse.

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  4. If S&S were written by Margaret Mitchell – despite all (sloppy) efforts of the Dashwoods and the charity of relatives, the three sisters plus the matriarch are left penniless with nothing but a few squares of raw land and a small cottage, barely enough to survive another forthnight. Taken by rage, desilluded with the low rank of women in society, Elinor swears to God she will never allow herself and her loved ones to be treated like white trash ever again! She then proceeds to soil the lands with her own bare hands, forces Marianne and Margareth to halfheartedly do the same, while the mother must go to town make inquiries about which products are sold by higher prices. Within two years, the small barren land is turned into a farm and Dashwood’s fruits, specially strawberries and peaches, are the most expensive treats of the entire England.

    If S&S were written by Thomas Hardy – desolated with the loss of her beloved Willoughby, crushed by the news that Edward has been engaged to Lucy these four years, Marianne finally loses the grip and decides to put an end to the sufferings of the entire family. One dark evening, she lays off cianuret over the 5 o’clock tea, killing herself, Elinor and Mary. Margareth is spared, since she declined the tea to go play outside, only to go back inside and find the three corpses. Horrified and deeply traumatised, Margareth is raised as the poor nephew of John and Fanny, being often humilliated by her mean cousin. Margareth grows into a bitter woman with the seule fixation of avenging the honour of her deceased family, so she decides to go after Willoughby, Edward Ferrars and Lucy Steele, whom she stabs multiple times in a moment of madness, only to be arrested, found guilty of multiple murders and hanged, to the eternal shame of the Dashwoods.

    If S&S were written by Charlotte Brönte – betrayed by the tainted love of Edward, trecherously engaged to Lucy while implicitly conning her, Elinor decides to leave in the middle of the night and runs from the family manor prior to the Dashwoods moving to Barton Cottage. Disguised as a poor and orphan governess, she wanders through the countryside until she is found harmed and half starved by a fanatic, self righteous and über moralist preacher, who then proceeds to care for her until he proposes. Elinor then realises she cannot undone the affectionate ties with her beloved family, and suddenly listens to an uncanny whisper of ‘Come back to me!’ during a walk to the mountains. Miss Dashwood rushes back to her family, finding the Manor destroyed by a fire, the only survivors being Marianne, Mary and Margareth who had by then already been installed in Barton Cottage. Suddenly an heiress, since there are no men left in line of sucession, Elinor is greeted with the high regard of society and the devoted love of Edward, finally freed from Lucy, who is already married to Robert Ferrars, also made an unexpected heir.

    Boy, that was fun! Great idea, fellow Janettes!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ok if Sense & sensibility was actually am Ian Fleming novel Willoughby would be the main character, there would be about five pages dedicated solely to his gambling technique and claret vs. Port preferences. His contact in Devonshire (where he is dispatched) is sir John middelton. Hos mission in devon is to investigate the mysterious goings on surrounding the construction of a new heavily gunned warship, supposedly being built for England’s defence against the ever more threatening France. Before he heads to Devon, he is instructed to visit Major Palmer, droll and snarky quarter master who out fits willoughby with gages such as a new, up-to-date pistol with a state of the art rifled barrel and a newspaper that stops musket balls. marianne and Elinor’s last name would be a thinly veiled euphemism for something more than definitely improper (something like “Strokewood” etc). Elinor and Lucycling Steel would be the subject of a clunky lesbian sub-plot that would end with Lucy being unceremoniously dispatched the middle of the story and never mentioned again after it is revealed that she was an enemy informant. Elinor would then suddenly turn out to have never been a lesbian at all and run off with with Edward Ferrars, col. Brandon’s Secretary. Col. Brandon is the head of MI6, code named “B”. After being captured and tortured by the novel’s real villain, Madam Grey, Willoughby narrowly succeeds in his mission to stop the Warship “Fanny” from being set upon England itself, but resigns from MI6 due to a sudden existential crisis as he realises he is a pretentious arse. Marianne is a completely unrealized female character who does one useful thing and looks pretty for the entire story. “B” tells Willoughby that though he is an arse and hates him, but he is the best sword in the service and it would be a damn shame to lose his talents. Willoughby agrees to stay with the service and is given two months paid vacation to recover from his torture ordeal, which involved a carpet beater. He spends this time at his villa in Jamaica “Allenham”. Marianne spends sone of this time with him before leaving in the night. She returns to London and marries B.

    Fun facts that inspired me ( I just read three James Bond novels, elements of all three were included in this.

    – there really is a torture sequence in Casino Royale which involves a carpet beater. I thought this was a great tie-in to the 08′ S&S, though Willoughby wasn’t present for the carpet beating.
    – Dominic Cooper (of 08 S&S fame) has actually played Ian Fleming
    – the Elinor x Lucy subplot is inspired by a similar plot point in Goldfinger.
    – The third James Bond novel, Moonraker is the only one in the series set entirely in England and much of the novel takes place in Devon.

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  6. I’m so not witty enough to do a synopsis by my favorite author, Gabriel García Márquez, but the Correo-Madera bit cracked me up!!! 😂😂

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  7. If Sense and Sensibility was written by Diana Wynne Jones…
    The Dashwood sisters are kicked out of their own home by a witch named Fanny, who may be responsible for their father’s death.

    They are welcomed into the Jenning’s magic community, where they become friends with the Palmers the palmists, a warlock called Brandon and Magician Middleton.

    Marianne meets Wizard Willoughby who teaches her magic until one day suddenly disappearing, leaving her heart broken.

    Elinor discovers her one true love Edward has been enchanted by a witch name Lucy Steel.

    They go on a quest to London to win back their men, but after a series of battles they leave defeated.

    The witches meet each other and start a small war.

    Marianne is caught in the crossfire and becomes deathly sick. Elinor must keep her alive long enough for warlock Brandon to find an antidote.

    Meanwhile, witch Anne Steel betrays her sister Lucy to Fanny, and her death ends the enchantment over Edward allowing him to search out Elinor.

    Brandon discovers that the wizard Willoughby is behind Marianne’s illness as he drains her magic to make himself more powerful. Brandon and Elinor trick Willoughby into revealing his weakness and are able to defeat him and send him into the Grey.

    Marianne recovers and Edward arrives, still groggy from his enchantment. He and Elinor are reunited and the novel ends, leaving it to the reader to speculate if Marianne and Brandon get together or not.

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  8. Sense and Sensibility by JRR Tolkien:.

    Marianne and Elinor walk to London on a quest to retrieve Marianne’s lock of hair from Willoughby. Col Brandon sails up the Thames on a black ship to meet them, with an army of the dead as back-up. While he reclaims his throne and saves London from an onslaught of orcs, the ladies are lead to Willoughby’s townhouse by a shrunken/deformed Gollum/Lucy Steele. They retrieve the lock of hair. Willoughby and Lucy fall into a volcano. Edward arrives on an eagle. And there are Elves.

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  9. As You Sense It by William Shakespeare: Marianne and Elinor are devastated when, in the same day, their brother kicks them out of their house, and Elinor’s true love Edward leaves town without proposing. With nowhere to go, they travel together to Devon to rent a small cottage where they live in disguise; Elinor as a shepherd named Dashwood, as she figures it’s safer for one of them to pretend to be a man, and Marianne as his sister Eloise. To their surprise, Edward moves into the neighborhood, desperate to get away from his awful sister and his awful fiance. He befriends Dashwood and soon begins to confide in “him” about his doomed love for Elinor. In the meantime, the Jennings hold court on the moors; the melancholy Mr. Palmer delivers the famous “All the world’s a stage” speech. The wealthy Colonel Brandon falls in love with Eloise but worries his father won’t allow him to marry a poor shepherdess. Wackiness ensues.

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    1. Oh, and mustn’t forget: when the Misses Steele unexpected show up in Devon, Anne Steele, who hasn’t a thought in her head other than beaux, immediately falls for the handsome Dashwood, and Elinor can’t figure out how to discourage her without giving away her secret identity.

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  10. Sense and sensibility by Agatha Christie. After the Dashwood ladies are unceremoniously evicted from their home by either evil step brother they settle in a quiet countryside cottage. At a party at the lodge of the rich cousin there is a murder of one of the kitchen maids! who did it? Was it the dashing young Mr. Willoughby, was it the stoic but secretive Colonel, or the seemingly sweet but backstabbing Miss. Steele? Possibly just the butler. The Dashwwod ladies are on the case!

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  11. If Sense & Sensibility was from Jules Verne: Margaret would have to travel around the world with her faithful companion Edward whilst Miss Dashwood and Marianne explore the depths of the Earth to find Willoughby (who escaped after stealing Marianne’s finest bonnet).

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