In recent years, as part of a project that has paired six writers with Austen’s six novels and asked them to reimagine them for the twenty-first century, we've seen Alexander McCall Smith bring out Emma, Joanna Trollope write a new Sense and Sensibility, and Val McDermid setting Northanger Abbey at the Edinburgh Fringe. This summer it's the turn of Curtis Sittenfeld who has taken what is arguably Austen's best loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, and brought it a couple of hundred years forward in time; planting the Bennet clan in Cincinnati. The new Pride and Prejudice book is called Eligible, and in it Lydia and Kitty are gym-obsessed, Mrs Bennet is a shopaholic and Elizabeth is a journalist.
And the big issue in Eligible? There's still a burning need to get married, but the other big problem is that of 40 year-old Lizzy and Jane's ticking biological clocks and their desire for babies. Whatever the various opinions may be of the new version of Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, one thing that most people can agree on is this: as everyone gets hold of their copy to see what the fuss is about, Eligible looks set to top the summer book charts.