Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Have you heard the news? Netherfield Park is-- oh, wait.

As much as I had hoped that the year 2014 would inspire somebody to make a new—and worthy—version of Mansfield Park (because it is the 200th anniversary), and as disappointing as it is that that doesn’t seem to be happening, there are at least some delights in store, one of which is an old BBC radio version from 2003 of the story being rebroadcast.


Not quite interesting enough for you?  Okay, well, Felicity Jones, who plays Catherine Morland in the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey, will be Fanny Price.  Julia McKenzie, who is in a number of period dramas including Cranford and Little Dorrit will be Mrs. Norris… and, which seem to be the most popular names at the moment... wait for iiiit... our hero Edmund Bertram’s voice will be nobody’s but everyone’s favorite Benedict Cumberbatch (or maybe that should be ‘The One and Only’), while his older brother Tom is David Tennant.  (They’ve both been in period dramas, too… Amazing Grace and He Knew He Was Right, for example, but everyone seems to know them better from Sherlock and Doctor Who.)

I’m not really the Actor Fangirl type, but the fact that those gentlemen were going to be those characters DID excite me greatly, and I do think they’re quite superb actors, sooo… I’m looking forward to this.  Muchly.  Especially since there’s such a lack of good versions of this story.
(And I was a bit of a rebel, I suppose, putting a picture of Felicity Jones and not either of the guys, but... well, that's what everyone else is doing, and besides, we have HER in Regency costume. ;) )

The first broadcast will be May 12th, and every successive weekday for the nine following, and each installment will be fifteen minutes.

This is where you'll be able to listen; the first episode (and probably all of them) will be from 2-2:15 pm their time, which would be 6 am PST and 9 am EST for us Americans.  (If you're in-between, you can figure it out. Heehee.) Which could mean getting up pretty early for some of us, but from the looks of it, the radio at that link seems to have old broadcasts from the last week or so, so we'll probably be able to listen to it afterwards. 

Anybody else tuning in? :D 

*Update: Here is where you can get started, and here is a list of all the episodes.  They're available for seven days from when they were first broadcast, so don't get too far behind!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Excerpt of the Day (and some Janeite rambling)

After the workshop, I drift back to the Emporium, where I am alternately charmed and repelled by the merchandise on display.  For every apron or tea towel or mirrored compact bearing a genuine Jane Austen quote, there seems to be a key chain or plaque or note card adorned with a line found only in an Austen movie.  The real Jane Austen, I’m sure, would have died rather than write anything as maudlin as “Sometimes the last person on earth you want to be with is the one person you can’t be without” or “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another.” Hasn’t anyone around here READ THE BOOKS? I find myself wondering.  The movies had made Jane Austen more accessible than ever, broadening the base of her fandom and diversifying her appeal, and even as I register my silent squawk of protest, I feel a bit churlish… (But really—“Sometimes the last person on earth--?” That one wasn’t even in an Austen movie!  It was on the poster for an Austen movie!)  Once again, I’m face to face with the contradictions of fandom: I’ve come to a Jane Austen conference to enjoy the company of other Janeites, but I can’t help turning up my nose, just a little, at the gross ignorance—the sheer bad taste!—of people whose idea of Pride and Prejudice owes more to Keira Knightley than to Jane Austen.

In my reading of Among the Janeites, there have been moments—many moments, actually—where I groan inwardly, roll my eyes, and think such phrases as “oh, brother” and “ewwww no, stop” and even skimmed a little to get past some stuff.  But the paragraph above… it just spoke to me on a Deep and Personal Level.  (I wonder if that would qualify me as a “real Janeite” according to the ideas of its author, Deborah Yaffe?)

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