Now, we can’t be certain that Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë are rolling over in their graves at the news that their classic works are getting the Fifty Shades of Grey treatment by a publisher of adult fiction. But just the thought of Jane Eyre sneaking away to a playroom with Mr. Rochester—or Elizabeth Bennet discovering Mr. Darcy’s bondage drawer—must at least have their souls (or as E.L. James would put it, inner goddesses) squirming.
The U.K.’s Independent reports that sexed-up versions of books including Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Northanger Abbey and even some Sherlock Holmes stories will be published in digital format as part of the Clandestine Classics collection, aimed at bringing a little erotica to 19th-century prose.
According to the newspaper, Total-E-Bound Publishing’s founder, Claire Siemaszkiewicz, says the new story lines will be written to mimic the original authors’ voices and will include such trysts as Jane Eyre’s “explosive” erotic encounters with Rochester, Catherine’s “bondage sessions” with Heathcliff and a sexual relationship between Holmes and Dr. Watson. The words “Elementary, my dear Watson!” will never be the same.
“People are going to either love it or hate it. But we’re 100 percent convinced that there’s a market there,” Siemaszkiewicz tells the Independent. “We’ll be bringing the classics to a new generation of readers as well as to people who love the classics but would like to see what we have done with them.”
So what will they dream up next? When Jane Eyre Met Christian Grey? You just know someone’s pitching that story right now.
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