December 13, 2011

Jane Austen Birthday Week questions

Yet Another Period Drama Blog


1 - What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
Pride and Prejudice, and I introduced myself to it after watching a few Jane Austen films, which my older sister originally introduced. I knew that, of course, the books must be even better than the movies!

2 - Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why?  (Everybody posts about their favorites... I want to know what's at the bottom of your list!)
My least favorite?! Oh no, you cannot ask me that, I protest! I love them all so dearly, that to pick a least favorite is a near impossibility! But….*sigh*…on the bottom of my favorites list (as far as the main 6 novels go), is probably Mansfield Park at the moment, even though I really love it (and especially dear Fanny Price), just because I like lighter stories better.
Shows you how much I like Jane Austen, when I like my least favorite so well!

3 - Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
Do you know, that is an immensely hard question to answer. Mr Bennet comes to mind as one of my favorites though; he can be extremely amusing at the same time as likeable, unlike some of the other funny characters.

4 - Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?
Henry Crawford. Mind, I don’t like him one little bit, I quite despise him. But it is rather interesting to talk about how much I despise him. Sometimes I just spontaneously burst out with “Ooh, I hate Henry Crawford!”

5 - What's your favorite JA quote?
Probably this one:
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
(~Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey)

6 - If you were to "start" someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Actually, it depends entirely on the person. Some, I might actually recommend a movie if they’re not the bookish type; also it depends on what sort of thing they usually like.
In general, though, probably Pride and Prejudice. It’s the best-loved, and I think, the lightest and most eventful story; also the easiest to read, in my opinion.

7 - What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?
Pride and Prejudice 1995, BBC/A&E (followed very closely by Emma 2009, BBC).
P&P is my favorite movie! Unlike some people, I celebrate the fact that it is 5 hours long, because then it can begin to do justice to the story, and provides all the more to enjoy! It has very good acting, and feels nice and old-fashioned, not that modern feeling some have, and very close to the book. My favorite part of the movie is the visit to Pemberley; and my favorite scene is the one that starts with Lizzy playing the piano and singing, at Pemberley. That scene makes me feel happy; so does the ending. When the movie is over I usually sit there with a silly smile on my face for a few moments. I like the soundtrack, too.

8 - If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA's novels, which would it be and why?
Mansfield Park. There are simply no movies that do it justice, which is why I think it’s one of the lesser-loved. Furthermore, I would write the script with Miss Laurie, and play Fanny myself. ;-)
However, I should also dearly love to see a movie of Sanditon or The Watsons (Jane Austen’s unfinished novels – finished, of course).

9 - Which JA character do you most identify with?
Marianne Dashwood. I also sometimes identify with Fanny Price and Catherine Morland, and I took on Elizabeth Bennet’s way of being amused by things. It can be quite useful in an uncomfortable situation.

10 - If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
One question?! This is cruel! Well, undoubtedly, I would ask her about her mysterious seaside romance; if it was true that this gentleman was the ‘only man she really loved’, what his name was, and the story in general. Then I’d write a book about it.
There are lots of other things I would dearly like to ask her, though. For one thing, I would love to ask about the original versions of Sense and Sensibility {Elinor and Marianne} (was it epistolary?), Pride and Prejudice {First Impressions}, and Northanger Abbey {Susan}.

11 - Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA's books?  What is it and why?
Yes, sadly, I do think so. I think there should have been proposal scenes included in Sense and Sensibility (and more conversations between the heroines and heroes in general), Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park.

12 - If you could have lunch with one of JA's characters today, who would it be and why?
This is incredibly difficult, but perhaps Henry Tilney. Hopefully I could find out all about his sister and her romance which was very vague in the book, and he would amuse me greatly at the same time.

13 - (optional) Why is Miss Dashwood so fond of asking "why"?
Either because she doesn’t want little two-word answers or because she just wants to know.

6 comments:

Miss Dashwood said...

Yes, yes, yes, Mr. Bennet is both funny and likable--in contrast to his shrill and sometimes annoying wife (though the story wouldn't be the same without her, so doesn't that count as liking her?)
I would ask about the mysterious seaside guy too. ;)
By the by, it IS because she doesn't want little two-word answers. Very astute. :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Very surprising that Mansfield Park is your least favorite, but then Pride and Prejudice is my least favorite so that also just goes to show how dear Jane Austen is to us!

I got so so angry at Henry Crawford for bothering Fanny Price and I haven't recovered yet! haha I join you in your dislike of him!

That's probably my favorite JA quote too, but I couldn't resist sharing a few of my other favorites too.

Yes, we must have a new Mansfield Park adaptation one of these days! I wish I could be the director, well co-director with you. :)

Lunch with Henry Tilney, what fun! Can I come too? ;)

Charity U said...

Oh yes, those two movies are the best! I love them both too...and in that order, P&P, then closely following, Emma. :) And I agree that Mansfield Park is a least favorite -- tho Northanger Abbey is close to the bottom of my list too. I should probably read NA again...I've only read it once.

Melanie Boudwin said...

"Sometimes I just spontaneously burst out with "Ooh, I hate Henry Crawford!"

*laughing, laughing, laughing* ... *breathing*

Hilarious! :)

Melody said...

Miss Dashwood,
Glad I got 13 right! ;-) True, P&P wouldn't be the same w/o Mrs Bennet!

Miss Laurie,
I knew I would shock you with that! But I got my comeuppance in knowing that your least favorite is P&P, which is my favorite! ;-) Maybe our lists are exactly opposite? haha

Charity, you really must read NA again! It's very good. =)

Melanie,
I'm glad to bestow diversion upon you! ;-) And it's true. (It's interesting to see people's reactions too...)

Jessica said...

Very enjoyable ?s and answers. ;-) I especially liked your remark about taking on Elizabeth Bennet's way of being amused by things. Hehe

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