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Elizabeth Won’t Trade a Sword for a Ring in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Trailer

I have a soft spot for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, even though the original book adaptation was essentially created in a lab to please fangirls. It came out back in 2009, when zombies still had a certain cultural cachet; Quirk Books editor Jason Rekulak wanted to find a way to incorporate “popular fanboy characters like ninjas, pirates, zombies, and monkeys” into public domain works, like War and Peace.

Eventually, writer Seth Grahame-Smith came up with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s Jane Austen’s book, with very little changed, but a lot of new stuff added in—such as a zombie apocalypse, which has struck Great Britain (and the rest of the world, presumably). Elizabeth and her sisters are well-trained zombie hunters, as is Darcy and everybody else. Except, institutional sexism still exists—because apparently women still can’t inherit property, and they still need to get married in order to keep themselves housed.

Back in 2009, when this book came out, I was only just starting to get my feet wet in the world of feminism. The idea of a “strong female character,” complete with problematic stereotypes, felt like enough for me in my 101-level days, and that’s more or less what Lizzie Bennet is in the redux version of this book. I had only skimmed reading the original Pride and Prejudice before, having dismissed it as a shallow rom-com story that was “too girly” for my liking (I know, I know). So, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came at just the right time for this self-hating femme. I apparently needed a couple of dudes to show up and give Elizabeth a sword and a bunch of zombie fights before I could understand that, actually, she’s smart and human and has a lot of cool one-liners in this book that are Austen’s doing, and she’s stuck in a society that doesn’t respect her, and that’s what the book is supposed to be about.

Maybe the movie will help some other clueless gals out there and convince them to read the actual Pride and Prejudice—and watch all the other cinematic adaptations of that, because there are some great ones. This one has zombie fight, which is fine if you need that sort of thing to get you through your first Jane Austen story.

(via Comic Book Resources)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).