In recent months we've heard from the nurse (a minor character) and now Gwendolen (a major one). But surely this vein of literary endeavor has not yet been fully tapped? I humbly offer the following suggestions:
1) Better Service Have I Never Done You: The First Servant's Tale. Who was that anonymous First Servant in King Lear? And what led him to oppose his master, the Duke of Cornwall? In this shocking narrative, told as an extended flashback, the First Servant reveals why a jealous William Shakespeare vengefully consigned him to both anonymity and an untimely death. Lovers of mysteries and codes will be intrigued by the novel's intricate plot, which begins over a breakfast of bacon and eggs when the First Servant announced plans for a trip to Oxford...
2) Pilot: A Shaggy Dog Story. Fans of Lassie and Lad: A Dog will delight in this innovative reinterpretation of Jane Eyre, which retells the classic love story from the POV of Rochester's dog. Charlotte Bronte's anthropomorphism led her to conceal Pilot's central role in the plot, which included knocking Rochester off his horse and tricking Grace Poole into letting Bertha Mason out of the attic. Pilot's own doomed passion for Adele's Maltese forms a melancholy counterpoint to the more familar tale.
3) A Sensible Gentleman: Or, Mr. Willoughby's Narrative. In this new twist on Sense and Sensibility, Mr. Willoughby offers a rollicking account of romantic life at the end of the eighteenth century, when waists were high and moral standards were low. There is, of course, sex.
4) Unexpected. An irate Pip discovers that Charles Dickens has published his autobiography without permission, and with a few significant--and unapproved--edits. The truth is far more exciting...and far more brutal. Readers will thrill to Pip's gruesome stories of life as an accountant, especially his revelations about the role double-entry bookkeeping played in his discovery of the truth about Magwitch.
5) The Nun's Priest's Horse's Tale. Geoffrey Chaucer spent little time on the all-important animals carrying the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. In this twenty-first century Black Beauty, the Nun's Priest's Horse offers--in luminous verse--a touching story about everyday life as a medieval animal. Readers will never look at a haystack in the same way.
6) Ringing the Book. This audacious and ambitious retelling of Robert Browning's The Ring and the Book reimagines the story from the point of view of the Yellow Book itself. In a series of terza rima sonnets, the Yellow Book reflects on the process of its own construction, its fragmentary consciousness of the plot's events, and its eventual appropriation by Browning. Written to be taught in courses on postmodernism, poststructuralist theory, and intertextuality.
7) The Slough of Despond. In this elegiac sequel to Vanity Fair, an elderly Dobbin, still unable to complete his History, reflects on married life, fatherhood, and his secret but passionate affair with Becky Sharp. As the narrative unfolds, the reader realizes that Dobbin's tale is actually addressed to his heretofore unknown love child with Miss Jemima Pinkerton...
8) Lord Henry: My Life. This naughty novel is The Picture of Dorian Gray with all the good bits left in. A boisterous romp through the most decadent homes of the late-Victorian aristocracy, Lord Henry follows the eponymous hero through the heights of passion and the depths of interior decorating. A Fifty Shades of Grey for the more discerning reader.
9) The Dormouse Dozes. The publishing event of the season, The Dormouse Dozes asks us to imagine Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from the perspective of a dreamer within the dream. Told in fragmentary bursts of consciousness, delirious prose reminiscent of James Joyce, and abstract imagery, The Dormouse Dozes heralds our liberation from plot, characterization, genre, and the novel itself.
10) Daniel Deronda. In a scalding rejection of F. R. Leavis, Daniel Deronda retells the events of George Eliot's classic novel with all references to Gwendolen removed.