Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tag Answers for the Jane Austen Week

Here are my tag answers for the lovely Jane Austen Week Rose is hosting at Best of Classics!

When and how did you first get acquainted with Jane Austen? ~ I must have been somewhere around eight, and my mother was checking out all the different Austen film adaptations our library had. I remember the first half of the ’95 P&P and, very vaguely, an excerpt from (I believe) some version of Mansfield Park. Later, I know we got a VHS tape of the Emma Thompson S&S (which my sister now has on DVD). I started reading the books when I was about twelve, while cuddling one of my baby sisters in the rocker. I can still remember the front of those Modern Library copies of S&S and P&P… The P&P had publicity shots from the ’95 adaptation on the front cover, which at the time I was quite disturbed about as I preferred the ‘80’s version—nonsensical girl! (But still, it wasn’t a very good picture of Lizzy.)

Favourite Jane Austen book? ~ Mmmmm… I feel honor bound to say P&P here, but Persuasion runs a very close second—and I love the themes in Emma and Mansfield Park!

Favourite heroine? ~ I do really suppose I have to say Lizzy—but I’d like to be most like Anne Elliot.

Favourite hero? ~ Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… Mr. Darcy? Mr. Knightley? Captain Wentworth??? I’m afraid it really depends on which one I’ve just seen or read. (I’m not being very decisive today, am I?)

What makes Jane Austen special to you? ~ Well, I quite utterly and completely love her stories for themselves—but as a writer, I’m always floored by her turns of phrase. By her honesty and clarity—how she tells so much by saying so little. And how she lets the point of her writing be driven home by the characters themselves and the unfolding story, without over explaining the lesson to be gained. All are concerned with right and virtuous Christian living, but Austen knew perfectly how to capture it all in character and action.

What is your favourite adaption of a Jane Austen work? ~ For all around accuracy and general pleasure—the ’95 P&P.


  1. Loved your answers!!
    I know very well the trouble of picking just one favourite (I probably won't be able to do it myself, when I post my answers).
    And I quite agree that JA is special on so many levels - I feel like each time I reread one of the books I discover new details.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed them, Rose! And thank you for putting this all on... It's been a lovely party!

    2. Rose, I forgot to mention that I quite agree! It seems I find something new every time -- which, of course, is quite wonderful. :-)

  2. I think what I like best about Austen's books is the way she could take trivial, mundane, every-day things like getting the mail or buying ribbon or it being muddy outside and make them interesting, show them to be as important to ordinary people as something Big and Important is to Big and Important People.

    If that makes any sense :-)

    1. Exactly! And I think it's pretty amazing how she did all of it with a minimum of description. It's not like she tells how many inches of rain they got or what the interior of the milliner's shop looked like or even which side of the room someone was sitting on--but you never feel like anyone is "disembodied". It's all very concrete.

    2. She works it all in very organically, never going into long and tiresome passages about the verdant pastures, hee. Concrete and subtle at the same time -- amazing.


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