Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Question and New Poll

Fellow readers of Jane Austen: have any of you read any of the completed versions of Jane Austen’s unfinished novels The Watsons and Sanditon? What would you recommend? I would love to hear anyone’s opinions on what author finished them the best.

And, here we have a new poll.
It has been my observation that there seems to be different categories of Jane Austen fans, as far as their favorite of her books go. For instance, I often see Pride and Prejudice and Emma or Sense and Sensibility as the top 2 favorites, but I have never heard of someone’s favorites being Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. So, the new poll will be: Which are your two favorite novels by Jane Austen?Vote on the sidebar! I think it will be interesting to see the results. (I’ll leave the poll up until there is a sufficient number of votes.)

P.S. I'd really like to know which one you vote for! If you feel inclined to tell me, please leave a comment. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Villain in Emma

[My apologies...I scheduled this post to publish on the 24th, but it didn't work.]

Since there was more than usual discussion about this poll, I thought I should do a post about the results.

 "Who was the villain in Emma?"
-Frank Churchill - 3 votes
-Mr. Elton - 10 votes
-There was none - 4 votes

 And, do you know, this is one of the few times I voted for something else than what won. I voted for Frank Churchill, because:

 Frank Churchill was openly trying to deceive people and pretending to be something he was not - Mr. Elton didn't do either of these things. I think in general, Frank caused more purposeful pain than did Mr. Elton. Mr. Elton was very rude when he slighted Harriet at the ball, but that was an act of conceit and not deceit. Frank was not only flirting with Emma in front of his fiancĂ©e, but (probably behind her back) was actually criticizing her any way he could. And then, at least on the movies, I think he has this pompous air about him which is quite appropriate for a villain. He seems more similar in following the villain pattern - he made other people think he was interested in the heroine, when he really wasn't. (Like Wickham, and like Willoughby before he had real affection for Marianne.) I have more thoughts on the subject, but I can't think of them at the moment.
One thing interesting to me is that when I ask people in "real life" this question, most of them say Frank Churchill! They just didn't vote in the poll. ;)

Anyways, I do agree that Mr. Elton is a total jerk, and I think he probably deserves the title “villain”. Well, almost. Maybe neither of them do – or maybe both of them. It can be considered that there are TWO villains in Emma, as Mel mentioned.

In any case, I think that Frank is a rascal (at best) and they are both scoundrels, if not villains.

However, I do not agree with some that Emma is in the villain in Emma. I think she’s just a mistaken heroine-to-be who has a few lessons to learn, and she does learn them.
Besides, how could Mr. Knightley love a villain? ;-) (Or villainess, I suppose.)

Thanks to everyone who voted! It’s been fun.
And Mr. Elton – congratulations! You win the award for Most Abhorred.

 I was thinking of something the other day...each of the 3 main ladies in Emma were at some point either suspected of or they actually were in love with both the 2 main gentlemen, and/or vice versa. If Mr. Elton was thrown into the mix, the only one that missed the suspicion of being a match with him was Jane Fairfax, but then she wasn't in Highbury soon enough.
Allow me to demonstrate:
Before I end this post, I will also add that I should be starting my section on Persuasion in 1-3 weeks.

P.S. This is very off-topic: but, am I the only one who thinks "Dashwood" when I see "Dashboard" in the corner? Oh dear...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mansfield Park Quotes

“But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.”

“I pay very little regard to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.” –Mrs. Grant

“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” –Mrs. Grant

“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” –Fanny

“I think the man who could often quarrel with Fanny must be beyond the reach of any sermons.” –Edmund

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” –Mary Crawford

“Could she (Fanny) believe Miss Crawford to deserve him, it would be – Oh! how different it would be – how far more tolerable! But he (Edmund) was deceived in her, he gave her merits which she had not; her faults were what they had ever been, but he saw them no longer.”

“A woman can never be too fine when she is all in white.” –Edmund

“Sir Thomas could not dissent, as it had been his own arrangement, previously communicated to his wife and sister; but that seemed forgotten by Mrs. Norris, who must fancy that she settled it herself.”

And this concludes my section on Mansfield Park.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

The story in this book is simply a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, so I needn’t say any more on that subject. It starts a couple months earlier than Pride and Prejudice, though, in the summer rather than early fall.

I enjoyed it as a whole. I read at least half of it in one day, and finished it within three. I can’t remember the last time I went through a book that fast – but we were on vacation, and I had a lot of spare time just to read, and read…it was quite nice.

However, it didn’t capture Mr. Darcy quite the way I think of him – I didn’t think it got the character as well as in Mr. Knightley’s Diary, which I just finished.

One thing I did appreciate is that, wherever possible, the quotes came straight out of Pride and Prejudice; If you ignore the fact that there were no italics whatsoever, which, I thought, lessened the meaning of some quotes. Also, it often happened that the whole conversation was not included – which is understandable, but disappointed me in several spots. For example, at Netherfield when Jane was sick, a conversation was cut off before Elizabeth says “[Y]our defect is a propensity to hate everybody,” to which Mr. Darcy answers (with a smile) “And yours is willfully to misunderstand them.” The instance that made me most sad is that the spot of the second proposal doesn’t include Mr. Darcy calling her “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.” I don’t know about you, but that seems to me to be a very important Darcy quote!

There were a few other things that bugged me, too. One is Mr. Bingley. This book makes him out to be extremely inconsistent and fickle, especially where young women are concerned. I know he was supposed to be that way to a certain extent, but I don’t remember it being quite that exaggerated.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with how Mr. Darcy, it seemed, almost ‘accidentally’ proposed to Elizabeth the first time. It’s like he never actually acknowledged to himself that he was in love with her until that moment—he’d just thought himself too attracted to her…it’s hard to explain, but it’s not the way I would have pictured it.

And Lydia! I have always disliked Lydia, but she was made to be quite disgusting in here, I thought. “He did not make me elope with him, it was I who made him elope with me. Brighton was growing boring,” she declares to Mr. Darcy when he finds her and Wickham in London.

When Darcy tells Wickham he must marry Lydia, Wickham says “Come now, Darcy. You know I cannot do that…I need to marry an heiress.”

“Do you hear this?” Mr. Darcy asks Lydia, who answers “It does not signify. An heiress would bring us some money, then we could have a better house.”

Lydia is very irritatingly silly and senseless, but I wouldn’t imagine her saying that sort of thing.

One more thing: Jane, Bingley, Elizabeth, and Darcy have a double wedding. There was a double wedding in the 1995 movie too, but I don’t remember it being in the original novel. Am I wrong?

Anyways, it was very fun to read, and I recommend it to Jane Austen fans—especially those who already have a high opinion of Mr. Darcy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Take a look at this ePattern giveaway!

Royal Daughters of the King is having a giveaway for...

The Elegant Lady's Closet ePattern from Sense and Sensibility Patterns! Now, isn't that a lovely prize?

   I encourage you to check out the blog and the giveaway! (If nothing else, just to look at the pretty pictures of the dresses...I could look at pictures of costumes all day...hehe.)
   Two of the dresses look like Marianne's in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and I've always loved those costumes. =)

"Royal Daughters of the King Ministries is a website that is truly designed for all beloved Daughters of King Jesus. Here, as we fellowship together, our ultimate aim is to glorify God, and bring His Daughter's closer to Him."
~From their blog

The giveaway ends on July 30th!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mansfield Park: Recognizable Actors

Here are the actors/actresses on Mansfield Park movies who I recognized from other old-fashioned films.

(* means I haven’t actually seen it (or all of it); therefore I may not approve of it, but I always hear about that person being in that movie, or may have recognized them from the portions I saw.)

Marianne Thornton
(Amazing Grace)
   Sylvestra Le Touzel (Fanny Price) – Mrs. Allen on *Northanger Abbey (2007), Marianne Thornton on Amazing Grace
   Nicholas Farrell (Edmund Bertram) – Mr. Musgrove on Persuasion (2007), Henry Thornton on Amazing Grace
   Samantha Bond (Maria Bertram) – Mrs. Weston on Emma (1996 A&E)
   Anna Massey (Aunt Norris) – Miss Stanbury on He Knew He Was Right  
   Jonny Lee Miller (Charles Price) – see below

Molly Gibson
(Wives and Daughters)

   Jonny Lee Miller (Edmund Bertram) – Mr. Knightley on Emma (2009), Charles Price (Fanny’s little brother) on Mansfield Park (1883)
   Justine Waddell (Julia Bertram) – Molly Gibson on Wives and Daughters, Estella on Great Expectations (1999)

   Blake Ritson (Edmund Bertram) – Mr. Elton on Emma (2009)

Would you rather hear the story...

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