2.14.2017

I Love Jane Austen Week Tag

     It's Valentine's Day. What better day for a little bit of Jane Austen love? I'm participating in this tag, which is really just an excuse for me to ramble on about my favorite author of all time ~ you guessed it ~ JANE AUSTEN! (I made a whole BookTube video about her too.)

1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?

     Oddly enough, for each and every one of Austen's six works, I saw a movie before the book. Kind of ironic considering that my BookTube outro is "The book was better." I do think her books are better, but they don't necessarily have to be read first. Actually, I think watching a movie, which gives faces to characters, will help Austen newbies keep everything straight in her sometimes intricate plots.

     The very first exposure I had to her stories was the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle BBC Pride and Prejudice (1995), which I don't regret in the least. I still think that it is the most wonderful film of any of her works. I don't hate the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, but the BBC version has my undying love.


2.  What is your favorite Austen book?


     Um, EXCUSE ME?

     For this one, I might have to rely on a Danielle {Ever After} quote: "I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens." For a while, I said Northanger Abbey was my favorite, but that was before I'd read a lot of Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey is a non-conventional choice; maybe that's why I like it. I don't know anyone else who claims it as their favorite.

     I think the naivety of Catherine Morland and Mr. Tilney's endurance combined with teasing just stole my heart. They are the best! I also get an insane amount of butterflies over Anne and Wentworth and might, for that reason, consider Persuasion as a close second.

3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best?


     My favorite heroine...is...um...ok, Elizabeth Bennett. It's so clichéd, I know. But she is truly the most independent, kind, brave, witty, and determined of Jane Austen's heroines. If I could come up with a fraction of her clever comebacks and sassy retorts, I would be content.

4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best?


     Ok, so I have a lot of choices here. All of her heroes are at least slightly flawed, which makes them even better somehow. For today, I'll go with Captain Wentworth. He loves Anne years after she is coerced into refusing his proposal. He has these tiny ways that he looks after her (like making sure she gets to ride in the carriage instead of walking back). He knows how truly kind and capable she is, and he recommends her as the most responsible person to care for Louisa after her fall. And by the end, he declares his steadfast love in a beautiful letter.

5.  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work?


     For Pride and Prejudice, BBC all the way.

     For Sense and Sensibility, the Emma Thompson version has overall better acting, but the BBC version is more accurate to the book (and has Dan Stevens!). That's kind of a tied-up game.



     For Emma, the Masterpiece Classic miniseries is where it's at. Sorry, Gwyneth Paltrow.

     For the other three (Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park), I've only seen one version. They are all okay, but I wouldn't mind a reboot. I do have to say that J. J. Field and Felicity Jones are adorable in Northanger.



6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)


     I always liked that BBC Pride and Prejudice, but my Jane Austen love built up over years. The only few steps left are reading Mansfield Park and seeing some not-as-good movie adaptations.


7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?

     I have a Jane Austen journal and a coloring book.

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?


     I would ask her who she loved. Jane Austen never got married, but all those romances had to have come from somewhere. I would have no qualms asking her about her love life.

9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

     I think it would be nice to have another Persuasion.




     Chris Evans for Captain Wentworth.



     Jenna Coleman for Anne Elliot.

     There it is. My life is complete.

10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!



     "It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language." ~Northanger Abbey

     "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." ~Mr. Knightley, Emma

     "'My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.'
     'You are mistaken,' said he gently, 'that is not good company, that is the best.'" ~Persuasion

     "Oh, I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life reading it." ~Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey

     "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." ~Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejuedice
~
     Well, that brings this post to an end. What are your answers to some {or all!} of these questions?

~Madeline

10 comments:

  1. I've been catching up on some of your YouTube videos and just wanted to say that you're so cute! I would be so awkward if I tried to do videos. Also...totally unrelated, and not Austen, but have you seen or read North and South? The book kind of drug on forever but I adore the movie so much more than any Austen film (although I haven't seen quite a few that you mentioned and I do really love the BBC Pride and Prejudice).

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    1. Oh, thank you so much! Sometimes the videos start out awkward, but I just pretend I'm talking to a friend about books. I need to read North and South. Isn't that by Elizabeth Gaskell? I've heard that N&S and Cranford are good to read when you've finished Austen.

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  2. Thanks for helping me understand why you love Jane Austen so much. Maybe I should watch some more of the movies with you. (But I refuse to read the books ;P)

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    1. @Patrick Osigian -- did you know that in the early 20th century, being a "Janeite" was "principally a male enthusiasm shared among publishers, professors, and literati," (according to the book Austen Cults and Cultures) and that Rudyard Kipling wrote a story about WWI soldiers called "Out Among the Janeites" that was all about how British soldiers read and reread Austen's novels and drew courage and comfort from them? It's only silly modern people who have labeled them "girly."

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    2. No I didn't know that, thanks for that cool fact. I don't find Austen books girly. They are just very long and don't interest me. ;P

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    3. Aha! Those are legit reasons to dislike.

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  3. I love that graphic you made about your Austen journey! Very cool.

    I could see Chris Evans as Captain Wentworth. Nice.

    Thanks for joining the party!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw Chris Evans as Captain Wentworth. Thanks for hosting! :)

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  4. It is so hard to pick a favorite Austen novel! It is sometimes nice to choose an unconventional one, though; it sparks more conversation! Mine would be Mansfield Park or S&S, but reading Pride and Prejudice was just so fun. Too many variables! xD

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    1. I agree! Way too many variables, and all her novels are gold!

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Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for making my day brighter with your encouraging words. I cherish each and every comment. If you check back in a day or two, I should have responded to your note. Thanks for dropping me a line!

~Madeline