Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Vanity and Vexation

Vanity and Vexation

A Novel of Pride and Prejudice

Kate Fenton

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

A clever and cunning modern day retelling of the adored Jane Austen novel

"Tall, dark, and arrogantly handsome---not to mention distinguished, powerful, and rolling in money. Mr. Darcy? No, that's just the woman director of Pride and Prejudice," reports Nicholas Llewellyn Bevan, impoverished novelist and occasional (reluctant) journalist, when a TV production company trundles into his sleepy North Yorkshire valley. Amusedly he watches these glamorous invaders combine the filming of Jane Austen's romantic classic with the much less modest pursuit, off-camera, of real-life romances with the locals.

Under his very nose, his bashful handsome neighbor John is plucked out of a village dance by the famously gorgeous (and wealthy) leading actress, Candia Bingham, with whom he at once falls completely in love. Our would-be hero manages only to trip over the black-booted foot of the intimidating and imperious director, Mary Dance. So he's amazed---and a little bit alarmed---when her steely eye seems to be straying his way.

A witty and entertaining update on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Austen fans old and new will adore Vanity and Vexation's modern take on her sublime blueprint of the romance game complete with sex, money, and power. With an assured and respectful hand, in the context of the contemporary world, Kate Fenton has penned a riveting story with a hilarious twist.


Praise for Vanity and Vexation

“When I read the concept for this one, I shuddered: It'll never work. Pride and Prejudice updated to the 21st century, with the roles reversed? The Mr. Darcy role taken by a woman, and Elizabeth by a man? English novelist Kate Fenton's witty Vanity and Vexation, however, not only works splendidly, but is consistently inventive and entertaining.... Fenton's adroit use of dialogue and her clever characterization place this one a cut above the usual Pride and Prejudice spinoffs.” —The Seattle Times

“You don't have to have read Pride and Prejudice--much less remember it--to enjoy the rewrite. It works beautifully in its own right. If you do know Austen's novel, you get double the fun.... The tone is witty, the pace quick and the emotions true to the contemporary characters. Austen's original has great bones, and so does Vanity and Vexation.” —The Washington Post

“The result is brisk and entertaining, a good choice for readers looking for something clever, with an English accent.” —Booklist

“A must for any Jane Austen fan!” —Melissa Nathan, author of Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field : A Novel

“An amusing, gender-reversing, media savvy, but still very British update of P&P.” —Paula Marantz Cohen, author of Jane Austen in Boca

“A sparkling, frothy tale... There are neat inversions of Austen's plot, lively characters, intelligent writing and a fun love affair.” —Elizabeth Buchan, bestselling author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman

“Exciting, sexy, funny... This fresh optimistic tale is the perfect summer read... A witty and clever love story that will keep you gripped until the end - guaranteed to get even the most cynical of readers heaving a deep sigh of contentment.” —Company [UK]

“Frothy, humorous and slick.” —Daily Express [UK]

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Kate Fenton

After Oxford, Kate Fenton was employed as a researcher at the House of Commons, by a MP, and played piano on the side. She later worked for the BBC, first as a researcher, then as a features and documentary producer, in Radio Wales, the World Service, and finally Radio 4 in London. She and her husband, actor Ian Carmichael, live with two spaniels in North Yorkshire where she writes her novels. Vanity and Vexation is her first novel published in the United States.

Kate Fenton

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