MONTY Python had a similar idea nearly half a century ago... Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights updated for semaphore.
Now, an academic is taking it a stage further, with a series of adaptations of the classics with 21st century readers in mind.
A reworking of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will see Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet communicating on millennial apps like Tinder and Twitter, and Tess Of The d’Urbervilles will come with a cover imagining how Thomas Hardy might have written it today.
Miss Brontë’s signature novel will also get a modern-day makeover as part of an attempt to show the negative impact the internet could be having on modern romance. It comes as research reveals that digital devices are among the biggest passion killers for Britons.
The new version of Pride and Prejudice explores how Darcy and Elizabeth’s courtship is affected by the use of WhatsApp, while the latter will inadvertently cause a “Twitter storm of epic proportions” after posting a photo of Darcy emerging from the lake with his white shirt clinging to his chest.
The wealthy bachelor will also be shown having the pick of marriage suitors on Tinder as the Bennet sisters spend their time competing on online games.
Wuthering Heights will see Heathcliff’s choice of ring tone putting doubts into Catherine Earnshaw’s mind as to her feelings for him. Meanwhile, she will download a fitness app to try to get in shape.
Rewritten in a deliberately crass style by literature academic Prof John Sutherland of University College London and a team of writers from the Drama TV channel, the new novels will be available to download this week.
A survey of 2,000 British adults commissioned by Drama found that 54 per cent think people are less romantic today than in the era of Austen and the Brontës, with a third saying digital device distraction was one of the biggest romance killers.