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10 Book Sequels Not Written by the Original Authors

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LiteraryTiger.Wordpress.com

1. Pride and Prejudice

There are a host of sequels to and adaptations of Jane Austen’s most famous work, but the one that turns the beloved story on its head is P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley. The celebrated mystery writer sets a murder at the home of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy with the dastardly Mr. Wickham cast as the prime suspect.

2. Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Never Grew Up

J.M. Barrie left the rights to all his works—including Peter Pan, published in 1911—to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In 2004, the hospital held a competition to write the official sequel, which it awarded to Geraldine McCaughrean for her manuscript, Peter Pan in Scarlet. The book follows the adventures of Peter Pan, the Darlings, and the Lost Boys in 1926. Captain Hook, having escaped the crocodile, makes his malevolent appearance as well; the book ends with Pan and Hook still in Neverland, Hook plotting his revenge.

3. Gone with the Wind

The zaniest of the four sequels to Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War saga is Scarlett, the authorized follow-up by Alexandra Ripley. In it, Scarlett endures Mammy’s death, sex in a cave following a shipwreck, and a return to her roots when she moves to Ireland and rebuilds the old family estate, Ballyhara. 

4. The Godfather

In 2004, author Mark Winegardner wrote The Godfather Returns, which picked up immediately where The Godfather left off and has the events of the film The Godfather: Part II as its background. Two years later, Winegardner wrote The Godfather’s Revenge. Just as the first book’s Johnny Fontaine was an analogue of Frank Sinatra, Winegardner’s books feature analogues of Joseph, John, and Robert Kennedy.

5. Rebecca

In Susan Hill's Mrs. De Winter, the ever-nameless narrator of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca returns to England with her husband 10 years after the burning of Manderley. The couple continues to feel the weight of Rebecca’s ghostly presence and find themselves threatened by a revenge-seeking Mrs. Danvers. In essence, nothing has changed.

6. The James Bond series

Just like in the movies, Ian Fleming’s super-spy never ages—he just adapts to the technology and weaponry of the times. Since Fleming’s death in 1964, authorized sequels have been written by seven different authors ranging from the literary lion Kingsley Amis to the latest, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd.

7. Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë’s only novel gets a follow-up as labyrinthine as the original in Nicola Thorne’s Return to Wuthering Heights. In it, Catherine’s nephew Hareton and daughter Cathy wed, only to have their passion disrupted by the arrival of Heathcliff’s secret son. Romantic (and melodramatic) troubles ensue. 

8. The Boxcar Children

In 1924, Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first of 19 books about the Boxcar Children, a family of four orphans who fashion a home from an abandoned boxcar in the forest. When they are adopted by their grandfather, he moves the boxcar to his own property so that they can use it as a playhouse. There are now more than 150 books in the series, including two scheduled for publication next year. While the original books were set in the 1920s and 1930s, the recent books are set in the present day. 

9. The Foundation Series

Isaac Asimov wrote the Hugo Award-winning Foundation trilogy about the rise and fall of two empires, a thousand years apart. He later expanded it with four other titles and peripherally encompassed within it the Robot series and the Empire series. Following Asimov’s death in 1992, seven additional novels were written by other authors to expand the series, lengthening the time covered in the original series by more than 20,000 years.
 

10. The Catcher in the Rye

The Salinger Trust took a dim view of Swedish author Frederik Colting’s sequel to the famed novel of teenage angst.  In 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a septuagenarian “Mr. C.” escapes from a nursing home to return to the Manhattan haunts of his youth. The book cannot be published in the United States or Canada until the copyright on The Catcher in the Rye has expired.

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George C. Beresford/Getty Images
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12 Facts About Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
George C. Beresford/Getty Images
George C. Beresford/Getty Images

Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella about venturing into the moral depths of colonial Africa is among the most frequently analyzed literary works in college curricula.

1. ENGLISH WAS THE AUTHOR’S THIRD LANGUAGE.

It’s impressive enough that Conrad wrote a book that has stayed relevant for more than a century. This achievement seems all the more impressive when considering that he wrote it in English, his third language. Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, Conrad was a native Polish speaker. French was his second language. He didn’t even know any English—the language of his literary composition—until age 21.

2. HEART OF DARKNESS BEGINS AND ENDS IN THE UK.

Though it recounts Marlow's voyage through Belgian Congo in search of Kurtz and is forever linked to the African continent, Conrad’s novella begins and ends in England. At the story’s conclusion, the “tranquil waterway” that “seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness” is none other than the River Thames.

3. THE PROTAGONIST MARLOW IS CONRAD.

The well-traveled Marlow—who appears in other Conrad works, such as Lord Jim—is based on his equally well-traveled creator. In 1890, 32-year-old Conrad sailed the Congo River while serving as second-in-command on a Belgian trading company steamboat. As a career seaman, Conrad explored not only the African continent but also ventured to places ranging from Australia to India to South America.

4. LIKE KURTZ AND MARLOW, CONRAD GOT SICK ON HIS VOYAGE.

Illness claimed Kurtz, an ivory trader who has gone mysteriously insane. It nearly claimed Marlow. And these two characters almost never existed, owing to their creator’s health troubles. Conrad came down with dysentery and malaria in Belgian Congo, and afterwards had to recuperate in the German Hospital, London, before heading to Geneva, Switzerland, to undergo hydrotherapy. Though he survived, Conrad suffered from poor health for many years afterward.

5. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY ALLEGED KURTZES IN REAL LIFE.

The identity of the person on whom Conrad based the story’s antagonist has aroused many a conjecture. Among those suggested as the real Kurtz include a French agent who died on board Conrad’s steamship, a Belgian colonial officer, and Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley.

6. COLONIZING WAS ALL THE RAGE WHEN HEART OF DARKNESS APPEARED.

Imperialism—now viewed as misguided, oppressive, and ruthless—was much in vogue when Conrad’s novella hit shelves. The "Scramble for Africa" had seen European powers stake their claims on the majority of the continent. Britain’s Queen Victoria was even portrayed as the colonies' "great white mother." And writing in The New Review in 1897, adventurer Charles de Thierry (who tried and failed to establish his own colony in New Zealand) echoed the imperialistic exuberance of many with his declaration: “Since the wise men saw the star in the East, Christianity has found no nobler expression.”

7. CHINUA ACHEBE WAS NOT A FAN OF THE BOOK.

Even though Conrad was no champion of colonialism, Chinua Achebe—the Nigerian author of Things Fall Apart and other novels—delivered a 1975 lecture called “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” that described Conrad as a “thoroughgoing racist” and his ubiquitous short classic as “an offensive and deplorable book.” However, even Achebe credited Conrad for having “condemned the evil of imperial exploitation.” And others have recognized Heart of Darkness as an indictment of the unfairness and barbarity of the colonial system.

8. THE BOOK WASN’T SUCH A BIG DEAL—AT FIRST.

In 1902, three years after its initial serialization in a magazine, Heart of Darkness appeared in a volume with two other Conrad stories. It received the least notice of the three. In fact, not even Conrad himself considered it a major work. And during his lifetime, the story “received no special attention either from readers or from Conrad himself,” writes Gene M. Moore in the introduction to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: A Casebook. But Heart of Darkness managed to ascend to immense prominence in the 1950s, after the planet had witnessed “the horror”—Kurtz's last words in the book—of WWII and the ramifications of influential men who so thoroughly indulged their basest instincts.

9. T.S. ELIOT BORROWED AN IMPORTANT LINE.

Though Heart of Darkness wasn’t an immediate sensation, it evidently was on the radar of some in the literary community. The famous line announcing the antagonist’s demise, “Mistah Kurtz—he dead,” serves as the epigraph to the 1925 T.S. Eliot poem “The Hollow Men.”

10. THE STORY INSPIRED APOCALYPSE NOW.

Eighty years after Conrad’s novella debuted, the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now hit the big screen. Though heavily influenced by Heart of Darkness, the movie’s setting is not Belgian Congo, but the Vietnam War. And though the antagonist (played by Marlon Brando) is named Kurtz, this particular Kurtz is no ivory trader, but a U.S. military officer who has become mentally unhinged.

11. HEART OF DARKNESS HAS BEEN MADE INTO AN OPERA.

Tarik O'Regan’s Heart of Darkness, an opera in one act, opened in 2011. Premiering at London’s Royal Opera House, it was reportedly the first operatic adaptation of Conrad’s story and heavily inspired by Apocalypse Now.

12. THE BOOK ALSO SPARKED A VIDEO GAME.

In a development not even Conrad’s imagination could have produced, his classic inspired a video game, Spec Ops: The Line, which was released in 2012.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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