Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane...

Editor's Choice

September 09, 2001|By Michael Pakenham

Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen, by Arielle Eckstut and Dennis Ashton (Fireside Books, 146 pages, $12).

For any addict of the novels of Jane Austin -- and even for those with faint but indelible memories from undergraduate days -- this thoroughly respectful spoof should be a delight. Filling the gap in Jane Bonnet's mysterious illness in Pride and Prejudice is a bedroom scene that's as decorous as it is lubricious -- and ridiculous and charming. An elegant episode added to Mansfield Park extends the theme of incest well beyond Fanny and Edmund. And so on. These convincingly contrived "lost" scenes were ostensibly discovered by Eckstut and Ashton in a hidden box in an ancient English estate. They are scholarly in execution, deft in their delicacy.

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