Genderswitching the Classics

(This is my Guardian article about genderswitching.)

Earlier this year I had one of those 4am ideas: how easy would it be to get the text of Pride and Prejudice (which, like most out-of-copyright works, is available in multiple places online) and just change all the genders round? It turned out that it was quite easy in one sense – especially with the help of – but quite difficult to do thoroughly. It was, however, enormously enjoyable, a bit like like doing a giant crossword.

My aim was to change as little as possible: this wasn’t fan fiction or creative writing of any kind, but almost a mathematical transformation of the original text. however, questions kept presenting themselves. Should I change just the genders of the characters, for example, or the genders of everyone referenced? I decided to change everything, as it was more fun that way; hence St Paul’s Cathedral, for example, becomes St Paula’s, and any reference to God becomes a reference to the Goddess. I wrote a post about the process here:

A post about genderswitching Pride and Prejudice

After I finished that project I realised I’d become addicted, so I had a go at Sherlock Holmes.

A post about genderswitching Sherlock Holmes

I went on to do a Sister Brown story, as below, and A Christmas Carol, which are also below; I hope you find them interesting.

Prejudice and Pride: A Cover Version

is the text of Pride and Prejudice but with the genders switched around. You can read the first 7 chapters here free, and the entire text is available in e-book or print form on Amazon and Lulu.

The Adventures of Shirley Holmes and Jane Watson

A Genderswitched Scandal in Bohemia

The Woman With the Twisted Lip

The Adventures of Sister Brown

Originally a Father Brown story.

The Queer Feet

A Christmas Carol

Now starring Miss Esmeralda Scrooge.

This project is a genderswitched anthology called James Eyre and Other Genderswitched Stories. There’s a blog post about it here, an extract from The Picture of Daria Gray here, and you can buy the book or ebook here:

The Hobbit Regendered

There’s a blog post about this here, an extract here, and the first three chapters here.


  1. […] site bestaat al een tijdje en heeft weer de site Fausterella geinspireerd om complete romans te ‘vertalen’.  Een voorbeeld daarvan is Sherlock […]

  2. […] covers, one of the easiest ways to change something is simply to turn he into she and vice versa. I’ve been genderswitching out-of-copyright stories all year, and marvelling at the results. Here, for example, is Shirley […]

  3. Lola says:

    Amazing!! I love the idea! Have you read Egalia’s Daughters?

  4. […] Genderswitching the Classics […]

Leave a Reply