Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thoughts on Jane Austen


Public Television has been showing Jane Austen movies on Masterpiece Theater lately. I love watching Jane Austen movies. I find her a little harder to read, but worth it. Recently a co-worker and I were discussing various film versions of some of Austen’s work. I expressed a disappointment with the last version of Persuasion that was recently shown on Public TV, but admitted that it was probably due to the fact that I loved the BBC production of the book released in 1995 and starring Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root (available of course at Santa Fe Public Library). We then had to discuss various versions of Pride and Prejudice, starting from the Laurence Olivier version of the 1940’s up to the last feature release starring Keira Knightly. My favorite stands as the award winning version done in 2001 and starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth (in a wet shirt….). My co-worker then recommended the Bollywood version Bride and Prejudice which unfortunately at the moment the library doesn’t have (but we will try to order!). She says she understood much better the relationship between characters after seeing the Bollywood version.

Several attempts have been made to add to the stories written by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice has spawned several modern sequels or versions:

Jane Austen in Boca
by Paula Marantz Cohen
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
Mr.Darcy’s Daughter's by Elizabeth Aston
An Unequal Marriage by Emma Tennant
Presumption by Julia Barrett.

And some related books on the subject:The Jane Austen Book Club (another DVD we must order for the library!) by Karen Joy Fowler
Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece edited by Jennifer Crusie and Glen Yeffeth.

So enjoy a dose of Jane Austen, either in DVD, Video, Books on Cassette or CD or in the book form—readily available at the library.

Posted by KS @ La Farge

1 comment:

Ivonne said...

Let's not forget the film adaptations! In addition to the Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice adaptations mentioned, the library has a number of film versions of Emma and Sense and Sensibility, and one each of Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey. The most recent Sense and Sensibility adaptation (BBC, 2008) comes in a two DVD set which includes the magnificent and thought-provoking "Miss Austen Regrets," with Olivia Williams playing Jane Austen. I find that, whether I enjoy the the movies a lot or not so much, they urge me to go back to the novels, which are a perpetual delight.