Today, I discovered something new, thanks to Amazon and its friendly suggestions. Amazon knows that I own the DVD of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South, and since I have the original novel on my wish list, Amazon decided that maybe I’d like to read a sequel or two. I was aware that people had written unauthorized sequels to many classic novels — Pride and Prejudice comes to mind first, though I’m sure there are endless others. But I was still surprised to find that there were at least six different North & South sequels in the Kindle store.

I put several on my list of items to consider, but I couldn’t help having mixed feelings. I know that if I were a descendent of Gaskell, I wouldn’t be very happy about enterprising strangers appropriating the story my ancestor had devoted so much time to create. But I am excited by the prospect of seeing the story continued — so much so that I’m almost certainly going to invest some time and a few dollars in at least one e-book.

Does anyone else have opinions on breathing new life into another author’s material? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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