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9780007486298The Borough Press, £14.99 We think of Jane Austen as a painter of literary miniatures, but her letters to her sister, Cassandra, are notably trenchant and it is tempting to speculate on the terms in which she might have described the myriad spin-offs that her novels have inspired.

The latest of these, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, is an updated version of Pride and Prejudice. After their father suffers a heart attack the elder Bennet girls, Jane (40) and Liz (38), take leave from their jobs in Manhattan, where Jane teaches yoga and Liz writes…

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