The best Jane Austen fanfiction

Who am I?

I've been hooked on Jane Austen ever since my mom took me to see the movie Pride and Prejudice in theaters. After watching the movie, I bought all of her books and devoured them. I still wanted more, but what do you do when your favorite author has been dead for over 200 years? Well, you turn to fanfiction! After reading numerous sequels, twists, and retellings of my favorite novels, I began writing my own stories. As a stay-at-home mom of three kids, I've been blessed to be able to pursue my passion for storytelling while raising a family. Jane Austen continues to be my primary source of inspiration for my historical and contemporary romances.


I wrote...

Not In Want of a Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

By Amanda Kai,

Book cover of Not In Want of a Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

What is my book about?

Mr. Darcy is not in want of a wife. Tired of being sought for his money, Darcy decides the only way to stave off the fortune hunters is to make himself unavailable. Elizabeth Bennet refuses to marry without affection. Unfortunately, her mother is determined to get rich husbands for her and her sisters. Elizabeth knows it's only a matter of time before her mother pushes her to capture a gentleman like Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth come up with an arrangement: they will pretend to court each other. Darcy gets a reprieve from the relentless fortune hunters, and Elizabeth satisfies her mother with the notion that she has a suitor. But when the time comes to end their partnership, feelings that were an act have started to become a reality.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Hope For Mr. Darcy

By Jeanna Ellsworth,

Book cover of Hope For Mr. Darcy

Why this book?

I would have to say, hands down, that this is the best Jane Austen variation I have read so far. The story begins with Elizabeth Bennet having a near-death experience. The description of Heaven during this experience was so striking and poignant, it brought tears to my eyes and made me think that this was exactly how Heaven ought to be. Throughout the story, Ms. Ellsworth’s message of hope and purpose was inspirational. For me, personally, it was a wonderful reminder of the hope that I have in God and the plans that He has for my life. The story is incredibly romantic, and a very unique approach to the Darcy and Elizabeth drama which I have not seen in any other novel. I also liked that she gave alternate outcomes for Lydia and Charlotte than the fate that Austen originally gave them. A must-read for fans of Regency-era variations on Pride and Prejudice!

Hope For Mr. Darcy

By Jeanna Ellsworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope For Mr. Darcy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Still shaken from his horrible proposal, Elizabeth Bennet falls ill at the Rosings Parsonage upon reading Fitzwilliam Darcy’s letter. In her increasingly delirious state, unfathomable influences inspire her to write an impulsive response. The letter gives Mr. Darcy hope in a way that nothing else could.

As her illness progresses, Darcy is there at her side, crossing boundaries he has never crossed, declaring things he has never declared. A unique experience bridges them over their earlier misunderstandings, and they start to work out their differences. That is, until Elizabeth begins to recover.

Suddenly, Elizabeth is left alone to wonder what…


The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet

By Katherine Cowley,

Book cover of The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet

Why this book?

While most Jane Austen variations center around Pride and Prejudice’s famous couple, Elizabeth and Darcy, Katherine Cowley’s book takes a completely different tactic. The heroine of her book is the often-ignored middle Bennet daughter. After their father’s untimely death, Mary is visited during the night by a pair of distant relations, who invite her to live with them. Lady Trafford and her nephew are training Mary to be a governess—or so she thinks. I loved seeing Mary in the role of a detective, trying to solve the murder that takes place shortly after she arrives in her new home and discovers what Lady Trafford is really up to. Katherine Cowley’s carefully placed clues lead the reader along the adventure with Mary Bennet, and we get to see new sides of this character that were not explored in Austen’s original novel. Other characters from Pride and Prejudice make brief appearances, but Mary is the star here, and she truly comes into her own in this exciting story that had me on the edge of my seat! If you’re a fan of mysteries and Jane Austen, this is definitely one to read! 

The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet

By Katherine Cowley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A 2022 MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD NOMINEE

In Jane Austen’s revered Pride and Prejudice, Mary, the middle sister, is often passed over. Until now…

Upon the death of her father, Mary Bennet’s life is thrown into turmoil. With no fortune or marriage prospects, Mary must rely on the kindness of her relatives. When a mysterious late-night visit by an unknown relative—a Lady Trafford from Castle Durrington—leads to an extended stay and the chance for an education, Mary gratefully accepts the opportunity.

But even as she arrives at the castle, she’s faced with one mystery after another. Who is Lady Trafford…


The Phantom of Pemberley

By Regina Jeffers,

Book cover of The Phantom of Pemberley

Why this book?

This book also falls into the mystery subgenre of Jane Austen variations. The story takes place as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, with Elizabeth and Darcy at the center of it. I found this story to be completely chilling, with a surprise twist at the end that I did not see coming. Ms. Jeffers delivered a page-turner that I couldn’t put down!

The Phantom of Pemberley

By Regina Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Phantom of Pemberley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HAPPILY MARRIED for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anything interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phantom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.

Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is attempting to murder them. But Pemberley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could…


A Thousand Letters

By Staci Hart,

Book cover of A Thousand Letters

Why this book?

This was a modern-day retelling of Persuasion. I’ll admit, Persuasion has long been my least favorite Jane Austen novel. But Staci Hart finally made me fall in love with it. The story is told in first person, alternating between the perspectives of the hero and heroine, which made me feel that I was given a glimpse into their minds and hearts, something that the original novel failed to do. The added complication of the hero’s father being terminally ill really added depth and emotion to the story. I was completely wrecked—in the best way, of course!—by the end of this book. Read it with a box of tissues!

A Thousand Letters

By Staci Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thousand Letters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I lost him with a word.

A thousand letters couldn’t bring him back.

He’s home for his father, not me, that much is painfully clear. But I barely recognize the man he’s become, though I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his…


Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

By Shannon Winslow, Micah D. Hansen (illustrator),

Book cover of Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

Why this book?

In Shannon Winslow’s Regency retelling of Pride and Prejudice, we finally get to experience the story from Darcy’s perspective. The story closely follows the original novel, but with some added scenes that fill in the gaps during the time when Darcy is apart from Elizabeth. Ms. Winslow cleverly added an original character as a rival love interest for Darcy. I enjoyed seeing a totally different side to Austen’s most famous novel and witnessing Darcy’s character growth as he struggles to overcome his own pride and prejudice and find true love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words

By Shannon Winslow, Micah D. Hansen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What was Mr. Darcy’s life like before he met Elizabeth Bennet? – before he stepped onto the Pride and Prejudice stage at the Meryton assembly? More importantly, where is he and what is he doing all the time he’s absent from the page thereafter? And what is his relationship to a woman named Amelia?

With "Fitzwilliam Darcy, in His Own Words," the iconic literary hero finally tells his own story, from the traumas of his early life to the consummation of his love for Elizabeth and everything in between.

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Jane Austen, King George III, and Mr. Darcy?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Jane Austen, King George III, and Mr. Darcy.

Jane Austen Explore 40 books about Jane Austen
King George III Explore 12 books about King George III
Mr. Darcy Explore 14 books about Mr. Darcy

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Jane Austen Society, Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen, and The Real Jane Austen if you like this list.