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The Secret Diary of Lizzy BennetTwo years ago, Bernie Su and Hank Green, the brother of young adult author John Green, started a YouTube Web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which became an overnight success. A modern day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ran for close to a year and 100 episodes. Lizzie’s video blogs, or vlogs, began as a project for her master’s degree in mass communications, but takes on a life of its own as Lizzie’s sisters and friends get involved. Filled with pop culture references, and social media tie-ins on Twitter and Tumblr, the series has now moved into the book world with The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.

 

Lizzie’s diary fills in holes from her vlogs, giving fans insight into her complicated relationship with William Darcy, her relationships with her sisters, Lydia and Jane and her longtime friendship with Charlotte Lu. Readers follow Lizzie as she meets Darcy at the fateful Gibson wedding, to her ill-fated relationship with George Wickham, and subsequent discovery about his true character and to her internships at Collins & Collins and Pemberley Digital. Though Lizzie is a more modern character—tweeting, vlogging and getting her master’s degree—the basis of the story is one that many know well from Pride and Prejudice.

 

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is sure to delight Austen fans looking for a modern take on a classic story. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, much like the vlogs, is a funny, romantic story filled with wonderful friends and family who help Lizzie overcome her prejudices and grow as a character.

Laura

 
 

I really liked the Lizzie Bennet Diaries as they popped up on YouTube twice a week last year. Bernie Su, Hank Green et al did a great job in modernizing Austen's "own darling child". So when this book came out I snapped it up. I enjoyed the glimpse behind the curtain of what was going on between takes of the vlog. Have your dvd's or the YouTube channel cued up because it is a real delight to revisit the vlog, TLB, when prompted to in the book, TSDofLB. (I read the book on my Kindle and was able to seamlessly bounce back and forth between the two. The experience was yet another arrow in Su/Green's quiver of new media expertise -- like the character twitter accounts and fan/vlog interaction that won them an Emmy in New Media. ) Of course nothing beats the original source material, and I'm delighted that this California version of Lizzie is bringing so many new readers to Austen's 201 year old classic! Maybe I'll revisit TSDofLB and the vlogs in a few months, but this time I'll have my copy of Pride and Prejudice in hand.

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Last revised: June 24, 2014