Thursday, 30 June 2011

Guest post: Pride and Prejudice – a Cinderella Retelling by Tia Nevitt + Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Tia Nevitt to Ex Libris, who is the author of The Sevenfold Spell, a retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty unlike any others (for starters the heroine is ugly, has warts and is a poor spinster). When I saw that Tia decided to do a P&P - Cinderella comparison in her guest post I was more than excited and happy! As a die hard P&P fan and whose favourite fairy tale is Cinderella, I was in heaven! So enjoy Tia's casting of the P&P retelling of Cinderella, and you can enter to win a copy of Tia's own Sleeping Beauty retelling: The Sevenfold Spell.

Pride and Prejudice (Restored Edition)
Pride and Prejudice – a Cinderella Retelling
by Tia Nevitt

Although THE SEVENFOLD SPELL is based on Sleeping Beauty, I’m focused on Cinderella because I’m currently working on my Cinderella retelling. And I know it’s been said that every romance is a Cinderella story in disguise. It’s probably the most retold story ever. And comparisons between Cinderella and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice probably already exist. But I’ve never read one, so I thought I’d have some fun by drawing parallels between my favorite romance novel, Pride and Prejudice, and Cinderella.

Cinderella – Of course Cinderalla is Lizzy. Or Elizabeth Bennett. A no-brainer.

The Prince – um … Wickham? Just kidding. It’s a no-brainer again. The name is Fitzwilliam Darcy. A name that is exciting even to write.

The Wicked Stepmother – Mrs Bennett. I bet you thought I’d say Lady Catherine de Bourgh, did you? No, it’s Mrs Bennett. How is she wicked? Well, she’s awfully cruel to poor Mary, simply because she had the misfortune of being born plain. And Mrs Bennett’s one purpose in life is to get all her daughters married off—and happily is optional. She pressured poor Lizzy to accept Mr Collins, and only backed off when Mr Bennett told Lizzy the best line in the novel:

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. -- Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

So yes, Mrs Bennett is undoubtedly the wicked stepmother.

The Ugly Stepsisters – Lydia and Kitty. They are ugly, of course, in their thoughtless behavior. They think only of themselves and men, they have ulterior motives for every good deed they commit, and they care not a fig if anyone gets hurt. Except maybe themselves.

The Fairy Godmother – Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Huh? Lady Catherine is the fairy godmother? That old crone? How so? Well, she was quite the fairy godmother to Mr Collins, even if the eventual Mrs Collins thinks Lady Catherine is the bane of her existence. And she is the means by which Darcy eventually returns to re-propose to Lizzy—even if it is the exact opposite of what she intended. Think of her as a malevolent, bumbling fairy, granting happily ever afters despite her own wishes.

The Ball – Bingley’s ball at Netherfield is, of course, the ball. It is when Lizzy reluctantly dances with Darcy. There are two other balls in the book (at least) but this is the special one, the one we remember. And the one where Darcy fell in love with Lizzy after snubbing her. Aaah – fate is such sweet justice.

The Glass Slipper – In Cinderella, the slipper brings the two of them together. The prince searches the land, with only the slipper for a clue. There is no glass slipper in the story, but the thing that brings them together has to be Darcy’s letter. Lizzy keeps it for months, rereading it over and over. We don’t truly know Darcy as a reader until we see this letter, which gives us a glimpse of his thoughts.

Ok. So that was a stretch.

The Plot – Ok, so the plot isn’t much like a Cinderella story except at its bare essentials—poor and overlooked girl (remember the snub!) wins the heart of a handsome and rich gentleman by means of dancing. And witty conversation.

Ok, my brain hurts.

The Sevenfold SpellWhat I’m trying to say is we love to tell the same stories over and over. When I retold Sleeping Beauty as THE SEVENFOLD SPELL, I did so because I became intrigued by the idea of telling it from the spinster’s point of view, where she owned an illegal spinning wheel. And I did my best to wind the fate of the beautiful princess together with an ugly spinster. I gave them both names found in two versions of the original stories—Aurora and Talia. And I made Talia a study of opposites against Aurora.

What stories have you read that seem to retell a famous fairy tale?

Tia Nevitt had her head in the clouds as a girl, but she was yanked down to earth at the tender age of eighteen when she was standing nose-to-nose in front of a yelling drill sergeant in Basic Training. She found her prince while turning jets as a flightline mechanic, and their happily-ever-after continues to this day. Her prince introduced her to fantasy gaming, which reunited her with fairy tales, and which eventually inspired her to write. Now, her head is back in the clouds.

You can reach Tia at her website, her blog, or on her Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook accounts.


Tia has generously offered an ebook copy of her novel The Sevenfold Spell to a lucky commentator.

The Sevenfold Spell
All you have to do is:

1) answer Tia's question: What stories have you read that seem to retell a famous fairy tale?
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 13 July 2011!

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