I also recently read another short story that deserves mention here: “Resolve and Resistance,” by S.N. Dyer (collected in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Ninth Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. This came to my attention in a comment thread elsewhere on this book log. It’s an alternative-universe sequel to Pride and Prejudice, in which Napoleon has won and Lord Nelson is a crippled beggar in Hyde Park. A Norfolkman recognizes Nelson and whispers to him, “Darcy. Pemberley,” giving him a purpose and a destination.
Nelson is crushed to arrive at Pemberley and discover that Mr. Darcy was killed by the French and that the Bennett sisters appear to be collaborators. Of course, the “Darcy” referred to was actually Elizabeth; the Bennett sisters are running the resistance in their area, and have a plan to invade London.
I really enjoyed this, though it’s somewhat different than described in the aforementioned comments thread (most notably, no Caroline Bingley)—up to the very end. I found the last section absolutely infuriating. The shortest way to explain why is its opening line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of the gratitude of her nation must be in want of a husband.” Which it takes seriously!
A hint for aspiring writers: contrary to what many appear to believe, it is not actually necessary to end your story by marrying everyone off, particularly when doing so will require you to completely ignore your characters’ personalities as they have been established to date.
If you just stop reading at the end of the invasion, you’ll be fine. Pretend the rest doesn’t exist.