Too Classy for Romance?

How do you feel about classics like Jane Austen’s books repackaged as erotica romance?  The rewriting of Austen’s classics by various authors has been going on for years, but only recently have the characters found themselves hot and steamy in a 21stCentury ebook way.

Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair is “the classic novel with an erotic twist.” The back cover assures you that “this is not your mother’s Jane Eyre.”  And, Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and Their Forbidden Lovers by Ann Herendeen, is touted as “the book Jane Austen would have written, if only she’d had the nerve!”

The list goes on with Wuthering Nights, the impassioned tale of Heathcliff and Catherine with a bondage imagery made popular by Fifty Shades of Greywhile Mr. Darcy’s Bite capitalizes on the success of the trendy vampire romances.

You know, for our great-grandmothers, the original Jane Eyre was certainly considered scandalous in its Victorian time period, but will the new versions be a societal no-no?  The conservative website, Aleteia, weighed in with this point:  “It’s a shame, really – young people who have never been exposed to these classics outside of a classroom might now take up the initiative to read them only if they come with the promise of sexual escapades scrawled across the back cover,” wrote a blogger.

As one publisher of the spiced-up Austen novels said, “We recognize it’s a bold move that may have a polarizing effect on readers but we’re keeping the works as close to the original classics as possible.  It’s not our intention to rewrite or distort them but to create a whole new experience, enhancing the novels by adding deeper relationships, character development, and the ‘missing’ scenes for readers to enjoy.”

What do you think?