Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Proclaimed, “an Austenesque box of bonbons” by the Seattle Times, join 1000s of satisfied readers who have made this short story collection a bestseller. 

Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is a short story anthology containing twenty two new stories by best selling and popular Austenesque and historical romance authors. Edited by Laurel Ann Nattress it was published by Ballantine Books (Penguin Random House) in 2011.


  • Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint.”Romance Junkies
  • “Ms. Nattress has provided an Austen-inspired fiesta with Jane Austen Made Me Do It.” The Book Diva Reads 
  • “…a diverse and whimsical collection of Austen-inspired short stories that will entertain and delight Austen fans. 5 stars.”— Curled Up with a Good Book
  • “Anthologies appeal to a variety of tastes, and I found it remarkable how many in Jane Austen Made Me Do It captivated me.”— Jane Austen Centre online Magazine 
  • “5 STARS… so utterly entertaining…a very clever collection of short stories written a wide array of genres and subjects that take us from gothic romance to fantasy.”— Romancing the Book
  • “A Truly Outstanding Compilation!”— Meredith Esparza, Austenesque Reviews
  • “All these writers know their Austen.”— Historical Novel Society
  • “…a brilliant tribute. Janeites and historical fiction readers alike will inhale this book!”— Christina Boyd, Quill Ink


Stories by: Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter • Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James • Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley

“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” 

If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world. This delightful collection inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world—features an introduction and twenty-two never-before-published stories written by twenty-five authors from a diverse range of interests and writing experience; their uniting link is their admiration and love of the literary great, Jane Austen.

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise; and one story from a debut voice, Brenna Aubrey, the Grand Prize winner of the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.

Special features:
• Selected Jane Austen quotes
• Reading Group Guide


Hosted by the esteemed Jane Austen website, The Republic of Pemberley, the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest was held January through March of 2011. Open to unpublished authors, 88 debut writers submitted stories for the chance to be selected for one open slot in the anthology. After popular vote, the Top Ten finalist were announced on March 1st. On September 1st we were very pleased to reveal that “The Love Letter” by Brenna Aubrey was selected as the Grand Prize winner and was included in the anthology.


The stunning cover for Jane Austen Made Me Do It was designed by Random House artist Casey Hampton and includes an inset from the 1823 portrait by Thomas Sully of the Misses Mary and Emily McEuen, now displayed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the creator/editor of Austenprose.com, a blog devoted to the oeuvre of her favorite author and the many books and movies that she has inspired. Nattress is a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and has contributed to Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine, Masterpiece PBS, and the Jane Austen Centre online magazine. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present is the director of Austenprose PR offering online marketing services to authors and publishers. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a 1912 craftsman cottage in Spokane, Washington.


  • Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
  • Ballantine Books (11 October 2011)
  • Trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook (464) pages
  • ISBN:978-0345524966
  • Genre: Austenesque, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Short Story Anthology


Cover image courtesy of Ballantine Books © 2011; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2011, austenprose.com. Updated 7 January 2023

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