Arts and Entertainment Carey Mulligan would snap up a role in ITV period drama Downton Abbey if given the chance

The British actress admires Julian Fellowes after he helped launch her career

BEST-SELLERS /Top 10 Most Borrowed Classics

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 MOST BORROWED CLASSICS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Lord of the Rings (J R R Tolkien). . . . . . . . . published 1966 2 Animal Farm (George Orwell). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1971 3 Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1947 4 Catcher in the Rye (J D Salinger). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1951 5 Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1946 6 Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1980 7 Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1975 8 Emma (Jane Austen). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1950 9 Lord of the Rings, II (J R R Tolkien). . . . . . . . . . . . 1966 10 Nineteen Eighty-four (George Orwell). . . . . . . . . . . . .1984 Chart supplied by Registrar of Public Lending Right -----------------------------------------------------------------

THEATRE ? On theatre

In the age of overblown blockbusters, She Loves Me comes as a breath of fresh air. It's the delicate tale of two shop assistants who hate each other, correspond with one another as unknown pen-pals and. . . well, you can guess the rest. But whoever went to a musical for the plot?

BEST-SELLERS / Top 10 Penguin Classics

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 PENGUIN CLASSICS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 . . . Wuthering Heights 2 . . . Jane Eyre 3 . . . Silas Marner 4 . . . Pride and Prejudice 5 . . . Tess of the D'Urbervilles 6 . . . Great Expectations 7 . . . Emma 8 . . . Far from the Madding Crowd 9 . . . The Picture of Dorian Gray 10 . . . Jude the Obscure ----------------------------------------------------------------- Chart supplied by Penguin Books -----------------------------------------------------------------

Letter: The Austen spirit

Sir: In 'The battle for the soul of Jane Austen' (Arts, 8 November) there is no mention of an earlier, in my opinion very good, continuation of Pride and Prejudice: Pemberley Shades by D. A. Bonavia-Hunt, published by Alan Wingate twice in 1949. The style and spirit of Jane Austen were recaptured even if the spelling and grammar were modernised.

The battle for the soul of Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice II: A story of Passion], Recrimination], Book sales]: Starring Emma Tennant, British author of 'Pemberley' and Julia Barrett, American author of 'Presumption'

Currently gripping the literary world is this question: would Mrs Bennet, of Pride and Prejudice, ever discuss vinegar douches as a means of determining the sex of one's child at the dining table? 'Of course she would,' says Emma Tennant, author of Pemberley, the 'sequel' to Pride and Prejudice, published by Hodder and Stoughton this week. 'At the end of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen says that Mrs Bennet went on being very vulgar and silly. If the subject being discussed at the table was childbirth, and whether or not an heir would be produced, this is exactly what Mrs Bennet would do.'

My dearest Emma Tennant

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a single novel in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a sequel. So your letter brings a flush to my cheeks. I scarce had hold enough of my emotions to thank the postman.
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