meganbmoore: (mansfield: mary)
(for snowdropsandtigers @ tumblr)

This is actually the only Austen novel I haven’t read! (I haven’t read her shorter stuff yet, either.) I’ve watched both the Billie Piper and Frances O’Connor movies and liked both, though, despite some issues. I liked Fanny in the movies and am sad that she’s apparently so hated. (And sideeyeing the fact that Austen’s least popular heroine is the one with the most terrible background.) Fanny’s rejection of Henry Crawford and his “why don’t you devote your life to redeeming me” filled me with delight in both versions. (Fix yourself dude!) I tried to find a youtube clip of that, but it’s all shipper vids because fandom. In general it seems to be a bit darker than most of Austen’s work, and definitely a departure for her other novels, but I can’t really make any deep analysis or comments since I haven’t read the book, or watched either movie in a few years.
meganbmoore: (emma/jane)
 36 x Emma (1996)
35 x Mansfield Park (1999)
25 x Persuasion (1995)
36 x Sense and Sensibility (1995) 

emma 13 mansfield-6 persuasion95-25

here ) .

meganbmoore: (emma: turning brains since 1816)

Longbourn is a novel that attempts to cash in on both the popularity of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey, centering the plot around Sarah, a housemaid to the Bennets in Pride and Prejudice. Which! I actually really like the idea of, and I was looking forward to it, despite having seen some grumblings about the protagonist often sounding like a modern person commenting on the lives of late 18th century servants. I mean, I love Austen, but she isn't exactly perfect, and I thought the idea had potential. Unfortunately, the book itself ended up being dull and predictable, and the omgmajorshocking plot twist that overtook a large chunk of the last 3rd of the book was blatantly obvious from the beginning..

no actual spoilers, but they're very easy to guess just from a description of the setup )
The thing is, it rarely really tries to do things with the plot, and is mostly a predictable Regency romance (albeit about servants, instead of gentlemen and ladies) that occasionally checks in with the plot of P&P. sometimes, Sarah makes comments about how Lizzy has "an obliging disposition" and that Jane was being considerate to get sick somewhere else so she wouldn't trouble her own servants. I think those bits were meant to be witty commentary, but they, and others like them, just fell flat. When it does try to do things, it's doing things that other canons have done before, sometimes the exact same thing, and not in an interesting way, much less as well as its predecessors did. If you've watched either version of Upstairs/Downstairs, Gosford Park, or Downton Abbey (any of it, despite the considerable drop in quality after season 1), you've seen everything it has to say about class, only say a lot more and say it better, and it doesn't begin to compare to Wide Sargasso Sea or The Wind Done Gone in terms of addressing the problems of a piece of classic literature. And it probably isn't fair of me to compare it to the latter two but I think it wants to be seen as the same kind of book, so I will. for that matter, for all it's problems, Lost in Austen did a better job of looking at P&P's issues, even though it had a legion of its own problems.

Technically, it isn't a bad book or anything, it just isn't a good or interesting book, either. It's being marketed along the lines of "Downton Abbey for Jane Austen fans" and i suppose if you just want Jane Austen fanfic, it's fine? But I found it to be a huge disappointment. I also don't think that people who aren't fans of Austen would get much out of it, because, well the writer is obviously a fan of the book, and the criticisms are light the few bits that come close to good deconstruction aren't until very late in the book.
meganbmoore: (northanger: reading)
Not sure who all has been following sarahtales's "Gothic Tuesdays"  (in which she parodies gothic novels) or "Sleuth Thursdays" (in which she discusses ladysleuths- I consider the lack of Laura Holt and Amelia Peabody posts tragic, but that's just me) but they have come to a close with Northanger Abbey, the post for which also includes links to all the other posts, so you can click the link below and spend a few hours laughing more than your ribs would like.

JANE AUSTEN: I hear from the newspapers and dude novelists that ladies are physically incapable of fancying dudes unless the dudes are into them first. Newspapers and dude novelists, you are full of it. Catherine Morland wanted to rock Henry Tilney a) like a hurricane, b) like a wagon wheel and c) all night long. Jane out!

Meanwhile, the internet (or at least my reading lists) appears to be conspiring to get me to watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, so perhaps I should finally get around to that. The question is whether or not I should read the book first.
meganbmoore: (emma/knightley)

This is actually the first of the "Jane Austen Season" from a few years ago that I've seen  (I'll watch Sense and Sensibility next, as I read the book recently.  My thoughts on that are basically "Fun but not as involving as the other Austens I've read, and Ferrars annoyed me a lot.  Which may be why I kind of loved Lucy's horrible "Stuf U!" letter, even though I probably shouldn't.")

Anyway, my thoughts are as follows:

1.  I'm not sure about some plot changes, but that was ridiculously adorable, and Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan (also, wow, did not realize Mulligan was hiding that cleavage in Bleak House and Marple) were basically perfect and J.J. Feild wasn't anything to sneer at either.

2.  I am very glad they toned down Tilney's teasing Catherine to where I don't feel he's almost verbally bulldozing over her.

3.  Catherine's gothic dreams were fabulous.  I really need to read Radcliffe, even though I suspect I'll skim chunks.

4.  It was hilarious watching Feild try to figure out how to kiss Jones without literally bending in half.


meganbmoore: (emma: turning brains since 1816)

This book and its plot are so well known that any sort of synopsis would be rather superfluous.

You know, I knew going in that there would be far less focus on romance than in the adaptations I’ve seen (as near as I can tell, Austen’s main use for it is that her women be happy in their marriages, since marriage was the greatest security available for women of her class, and it wasn’t a security Austen herself had) but wasn’t really expecting there to really be so little of it. Not that I’m complaining, though I did end up rather fond of Darcy. (I think I’m fonder of Bingley, though. He’s sweeter, if a bit adverse to independent thought at times.) I was also initially surprised at how less refined the writing was than Emma’s, though P&P is an earlier Austen, and Emma was much later.

I think what I liked best about this book was Elizabeth’s sense of humor. I mean, it isn’t unusual for heroines of classical literature to appreciate a good joke, but I don’t think I’ve encountered one before who literally saw the humor in almost everything. Especially picking on stuffy men.

more )
meganbmoore: (emma: turning brains since 1816)
Hunh.  I forgot there was an episode of Dollhouse left.  Well, it's over now, and i shall pretend Whedon quit TV altogether after Angel ended.  Now, somebody snap up Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjojak pronto.  Preferably in something fun that doesn't glamorize rape fantasies. I maintain that "spies in love who sometimes try to kill each other" is the way to go.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, why did no one tell me that Emma had also been caught up in the "Jane Austen goes supernatural" craze?

Amazon's description:

Beware the howls in the darkness and the light of the full moon. As the ever headstrong Ms. Emma Woodhouse schemes and plots as matchmaker, a dark and deadly terror descends upon Highbury. A series of bestial murders fills the residents with fear as the ever mysterious Mr. Knightley leads a secret life, unknown to all, combating evils not of this Earth. Carnage and destruction reign throughout the land, and though the residents of Highbury try to attend to day-to-day matters as civilly as possible, each cannot help but wonder what lurks in the shadows and if it'll be coming for them next.

I admit to being way curiouser about this and Mansfield Park and Mummies (I just have to read MP before I can read the mummies book) than the better known books that kicked off the craze.
meganbmoore: (emma: turning brains since 1816)
I’ve been meaning to read Jane Austen for years, having seen and liked at least one adaptation of each of her completed novels, but somehow never got around to it until now. Of the adaptations I’ve seen, the version of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale and Olivia Williams is probably the one I’ve rewatched the most. I also saw the first episode of the currently-airing version starring Romola Garai before I’d quite finished the book, and have since seen the second episode. As such, my approach may be somewhat skewed.

Emma Woodhouse is young, pretty, rich, and clever. She has no intentions of ever marrying because her social and financial position remove the necessity of such a step, and instead plans to remain single and take care of her father until his death. She’s also very prejudiced and classist, self-deluded, often blind to the realities of her world, and rather on the indulged side. Due to her social status, most of the people around her seem to be as blind to her faults as she is, and those closer to her are fond enough of her to ignore her faults. The exception is Mr. Knightley, her friend and neighbor who is some years her senior, and whose brother is married to Emma’s sister.

Having recently matched her governess with a rich local man, Emma has come to consider herself a matchmaker, and has set her sights on Harriet Smith, an illegitimate girl who likely has well-off parents. Unfortunately for both girls, Emma isn’t a good matchmaker at all, and her attempts cause many problems for both.

more with spoilers )

P.S.:  OMG Jane Austen almost caused a minor panic attack due to threatening my tagging system! (ETA: 19 1/2 hours awake : "OMG WHAT GENRE IS THIS DOES CLASSICS REALLY COUNT AS A GENRE OF FICTION??")


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