What is a Jane Austen Sequel?

Portrait of Jane Austen by J. Bone, circa (2007)Jane Austen sequel is a general term used to define fiction that is inspired by English author Jane Austen (1775-1817) and her works. It is a sub-genre in fiction that can also be called Jane Austen fan fiction, or the acronym JAFF, used by many online fan fiction websites and their readers, Austenesque fiction, or Austen para-literature. There are also sub-categories of Jane Austen sequels that narrow down the main theme by time frame or subject. They are sorted according to the story’s main theme:

  • Prequel: Historical fiction based on Jane Austen, her characters, or her plots, that include events which began before one of her original works.
  • Sequel: Historical fiction based on, or including, characters or events which begin after one of Jane Austen’s original works concludes.
  • Retelling: Historical fiction based on one of Jane Austen’s original works which retells the same narrative in a new light. It could be a straight retelling, or from the perspective of another character from the original story.
  • Variation: Historical fiction based on one of Jane Austen’s original works in which the narrative takes a a new twist in the plot. Also called “what- if”.
  • Continuation: Historical fiction which completes the story of one of Jane Austen’s unfinished novels: The Watsons or Sanditon.
  • Mash-up: Historical fiction that uses parts of, or all of, Jane Austen’s text, or characters, from her works interjected with new text written by another author. This could also be a combination of multiple characters from her novels joined into one new story line.
  • Inspired by: Historical or contemporary fiction incorporating part of Jane Austen’s life, plots, themes, or characters into a new work. It must be significantly linked to her life, characters or plots to qualify.
  • Paranormal: Historical or contemporary fiction in which Jane Austen, her characters, or her plots are primarily based on paranormal or supernatural elements like: ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, angels, time travel, or all-around Gothic creepiness and the like.
  • Bio-fic: Historical or contemporary fiction based on Jane Austen or her family’s actual life. It could also include any previously unknown novels that she wrote that are discovered by modern or historical characters.
  • Mystery: Historical or contemporary fiction based on Jane Austen, her characters, or her plots that have a strong mystery element as the main theme of the story.
  • Young Adult: Historical or contemporary fiction based on Jane Austen, her characters, or her plots that are written for teens, but also read by adults.
  • Anthology: Historical or contemporary short fiction or novellas inspired by Jane Austen, her characters, or her plots that are compiled into one volume.
  • Contemporary: Fiction based on Jane Austen, her characters, or plots that is set after 1945.

© 2014 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose.com