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The Core Curriculum

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith, 2009

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith, 2009.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies blends Jane Austen's original text with Seth Grahame Smith's ninja/zombie plot. This best-selling adaptation inspired a series of horror-classic novel mash-ups, including Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. The blending of these genres might not be as unexpected as it might seem. Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey, explicitly satirizes the gothic novels of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century.

Virginia Woolf describes Austen's acerbic wit in terms that also suggest that a mash-up with zombies may not be so far-fetched. Woolf writes: "She encircles [her characters] with the lash of a whip-like phrase which, as it runs round them, cuts out their silhouettes for ever. But there they remain; no excuse is found for them and no mercy shown them…Sometimes it seems as if her creatures were born merely to give Jane Austen the supreme delight of slicing their heads off" (Woolf, The Common Reader, 1925).


Grahame-Smith, Seth. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the classic regency romance--now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem. Philadelphia; San Francisco: Quirk Books, 2009.

Woolf, Virginia. The Virginia Woolf Reader. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.

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