First Impressions: Writing a contemporary Australian adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

Holmes, Susan (2013) First Impressions: Writing a contemporary Australian adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis consists of two components, the novel, which is 70% of the total and the exegesis, which is 30% of the thesis. Together, the novel and the exegesis are an exploration of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of a creative writer working to understand and adapt Austen’s writing style. The focus on the concept of Emotional Intelligence is a deliberate strategy with two objectives, firstly to bring new insights into the reading and analyses of the novel and secondly to use this form of analysis to enhance the writing of a contemporary Australian adaptation. Thus this modern concept from the field of psychology is being used by a creative writer to explore Austen’s unique character development and depiction in an original way. My original research question of “what insight and contribution can Emotional Intelligence make to our reading of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and to the writing of a contemporary novel” has informed the entirety of this thesis. First Impressions shares the romance plot of Pride and Prejudice in that the central focus is for the protagonists to eventually unite, despite their preconceptions. However, although some of the characters are roughly based on those in Austen’s novel, First Impressions diverges at many points due to the vast differences of modern social settings, group dynamics, education and employment. One major difference is the gender reversal of the major characters. The exegesis outlines the importance of the source novel to my own creative processes. I reflect on the subtle balance between keeping resemblance to the original and a deliberate reshaping of characters and social situations. Although the exegesis is an integral part of the whole thesis, the starting point for the reader would ideally be the novel, First Impressions, as my aim is for my novel to stand alone but to have an additional resonance for those familiar with Austen’s work.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords Jane Austen, novels, literature, First Impressions, emotional intelligence, Australia
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