Friday, June 28, 2013

All about Jane Austen- Her books, film adaptations, ect.

I have read and re-read Jane Austen's novels so many times its ridiculous... some of them far more than others (Pride and Prejudice).  Over Spring break and afterwards I went back and re-read them again. There were a lot of things I noticed this time through that I hadn't noticed before and a lot of thoughts I had on certain characters. Maybe I've matured more... that could always be a possibly. ;) So here are just a few thoughts on each of them. At the end of each I have included my movie recommendations or condemnations.

Pride and Prejudice

My all time favorite book. The characters and lines are some of the best that have ever been written.  For this book I didn't noticed quite as much that I hadn't ever seen before... probably because I've just read it so many more times. However there were a few things. Lizzy's Aunt Gardiner had to warn her to be careful not to show too much interest in Wickham as she knew quite well she could not marry him. I don't know why but I never noticed it before and somehow had autocorrected that.  I think it shows a lack of judgement in Lizzy's character that I maybe didn't expect in her and it makes me slightly disappointed in her. That also makes me love her Aunt Gardiner even more though.  The Gardiners are some of my favorite characters in the books.  They are so loving and kind, ready to assist in every way they can and Aunt Gardiner is wise and gives helpful advice to Lizzy several times.
Another thought I had was about Lizzy was that after she finds out about Lydia and realizes that at the moment when she really loves Mr. Darcy she knows that he will never have her now.  She contemplates that he really was the only man she could have married because he was someone she could respect and they complemented each other so well.  I don't know why but I don't remember reading that scene before, I don't remember it being in the movie but I could be mistaken.  I like that scene though because Lizzy thinking through her feelings and realizing that she loves Mr. Darcy but also the reasons why... it's not just all lovey dovey, but they would actually work well together.
Movie recommendations and condemnations: Pride and Prejudice (1995) is the BEST VERSION EVER!!! The 1940 version is also good but not incredibly true to the story line. My family still likes it though. You'll have to watch it to understand. DO NOT watch the 2005 version. Want to know why? Read my earlier post about it. I seriously think it will kill your brain cells. I recently watched via YouTube the 1980 version. It was tolerable I suppose but not amazing enough to tempt me. Meaning it was okay, I definitely liked it better than the 2005 version but still, there were certain things that just weren't right. I haven't written a full review which you can read here.

Sense and Sensibility

I had a lot of thoughts about this one.  One of my main complaints, having re-read the book is that the love stories of both Elinor and Marianne is not developed enough.  You are told, but you don't see it play out.  This is especially with Marianne.  The movie does that very well though and because of that I never really recognized that the book didn't. I was disappointed in that but it doesn't completely ruin the book for me. Another thought that entered my mind when reading this was that Marianne was about the same age as Lydia Bennett and in some ways (but obviously not all) she acts like her in her relationship with Willoughby. I just never really thought about that before. One doesn't normally draw parallels between those two but I think there is one that can be made.
Movie recommendations and condemnations: I love the 1995 movie version of this book with Emma Thompson. While of course it isn't as long as to give the book full justice, it is as good as it gets I think.  The only other version I have seen is the 2008 version, which is okay. I really like the Elinor and the Colonel Brandon was good as well, however  I think that even though it is roughly two and a half hours, it doesn't tell the story as well as the 1995 version.

Mansfield Park

I have heard that the heroine of this story was Jane Austen's favorites and one doesn't have to wonder why. Fanny Price is sweet and selfless, unasking of attention or thanks but always deserving them. One thought as I read this book was I was surprised that Edmund did not see through Henry Crawford.  I have always been disappointed he didn't see through Mary, though to a point he did, but Henry I felt like he more should have. In many ways Edmund is a dissatisfying hero because even though he know Mary has certain faults and does not see the clergy as she should he still falls in love with her. However, when you read the conversations he has with Fanny and sometimes with Mary you see that his mind and heart are in the right place, though he was lead astray by Mary.  His thoughts on the duties of a pastor are incredible and that is what forgives him in my mind.
Movie recommendations and condemnations: Because of Fanny Price being shy and reserved, I think she is a hard heroine for filmmakers to portray... which is why they end up butchering her I suppose. I have only seen one version of this movie and I didn't even get to finish it, it was that bad. seen two versions of Mansfield Park. The first version I saw was the 2007 version with Billie Piper in the lead roll, which is quite bad in my opinion. My full review is here.  The only decent version of Mansfield Park that I have seen is the 1983 version. You can read my full review here


This hasn't ever been my favorite to read but I have always loved watching the movie. So let's just cut to the movies shall we? :)
Movie Reccomendations and Condemnations: I grew up watching the Kate Beckinsdale 1996 version, which to me is thee version. I know others really love the 2009 version with Romolai Garai. I think it has its good points but there are several things that I dislike about the film. You can read my full review here. I probably was too harsh in that review but it is pretty much how I feel about it. I have also seen the Gwenyth Paltrow version that I thought was an enjoyable version. 

Northanger Abbey

I can't think of anything new I noticed reading it through again. I still loved it a lot. Mr. Tilney is so great and, as I have mentioned before, my mom has compared me to Catherine Morland, which I'm still not exactly sure how to take.
Movie Reccomendations and Condemnations: The only film version I have seen of this is the 2007 version. I have reviewed it before but here are a few brief thoughts on it but you should just go read my longer review here. I do like this movie version, however there are a couple scenes I don't appreciate. I think it captures pretty well the spirit of the novel and the casting is incredible! I recommend it, but cautiously 


Anne Elliot is just about my favorite heroine. In many ways she is like Fanny, only more outgoing. I really didn't think many new thoughts when reading this. I found Elizabeth Elliot annoying, as usual, but a character that I found more aggravating than normal was Mary Elliot. In some ways I dislike her more than Elizabeth, even though Elizabeth is worse.
Movie recommendations and condemnations: The 1995 version is good, though if you haven't read the book you might have trouble following it. I have also watched the 2007 version, which was good, though I disliked the ending. 

Lady Susan

Lady Susan is a novelette written in the form of letters that I did review more than a year ago. You can read the review here. It is really excellently written and I enjoyed reading it. It takes a little bit to get into the flow of it but once you're in, you're hooked!
Movie recommendations and condemnations: There have never been any film adaptations made of Lady Susan.

The Watsons

I just finished this one recently. It is one of Austen's two unfinished novels. To be short, I liked it a lot and I'm sorry that Austen didn't finish it. When I was reading it though, I did have the feeling that I had read it before, meaning it read very much like Austen's other books. I don't suppose I ever thought about all of her books sounding the same as I practically grew up with them. Several authors have completed it before, but I've never read any of those and I really couldn't say if they're good or not. If after reading it you want to know a rough idea of how Austen planned on it ending, just go look at the Wikipedia article. 
Movie recommendations and condemnations: There have never been any film adaptations made of The Watsons


This is the other of Austen's unfinished novels. I didn't enjoy it as much as The Watsons. In this book, Austen delves into to some different aspects then she did in her other books. Probably that is why I didn't like it as much. It has been complete many time by various other authors as well. 
Movie recommendations and condemnations: There have never been any film adaptations made of Sandition

So I'm sorry that this post took me so long to complete. I have had it as a draft for a long time now and almost forgot that I hadn't already posted it. But here it is! 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

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