This blog has a Jane Austen week birthday tag.
1 – What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it? I actually saw one of the movies first (I am a terrible person I know); I saw the miniseries Pride and Prejudice with Collin Firth with my friends during a sleepover. Later my mom obtained Pride and Prejudice from the library. I own most of her works including her unfinished ones. (Anyone besides me in agony that Sandition was not completed? It promised to be amazing; well, I mean the hero was probably going to be wonderful). I have read all seven of the finished novels and the two unfinished ones. I want to read her Juvenilia and The History of England as well. I also own four (I have read two) books about her and/or her books.
2 – Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why? (Everybody posts about their favorites… I want to know what’s at the bottom of your list!) I suppose Lady Susan although I certainly don’t dislike it. I am not sure of the exact favorite order of any of the books really. Northanger Abbey might actually be my least favorite; I find Catherine embarrassing and the book rather boring overall.
3 – Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created? Many of her funny characters I find embarrassing or annoying. I suppose it might be Mr. Collins at least the way he is portrayed in the best film adaptation of that novel.
4 – Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate? I think Mary Crawford because I always hate the girls that the hero despicably falls in love with instead of the heroine. Mary has too much going her way as well beyond Edmund’s love.
5 – What’s your favorite JA quote? Oh, there are so many such as the first line of Pride and Prejudice. I also like,”Nor I,” answered Marianne with energy,”our situations then are alike. We neither of us have any thing to tell; you, because you communicate, and I, because I conceal nothing.” This so perfectly describes me and my next younger sister except that I, the older one am Marianne. There are so many humorous lines in Pride and Prejudice. I love when Lizzie is teasing Jane about Mr. Bingley,”He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth,”which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete.”
6 – If you were to “start” someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why? If he or she are not used to classic works then probably Pride and Prejudice, but if he or she is more thoughtful then perhaps Persuasion.
7 – What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why? Picking one is far too hard. I love the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries and the most recent Persuasion. I think (know, am convinced, firmly believe) that Kate Beckinsale plays the most accurate Emma (I have seen the three most recent versions), but I believe that Jonny Lee Miller plays the most accurate Mr. Knightly. Oh the battles the Emma movies create!
8 – If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA’s novels, which would it be and why? Probably Emma, so we could finally have one that has all the characters done right in the same adaptation.
While we are on the subject of film adaptations I have watched the two most recent Pride and Prejudice adaptations, the three most recent Emma adaptations, the most recent Mansfield Park adaptation, the two most recent Sense and Sensibility adaptations, the two most recent Persuasion adaptations, and not a single Northanger Abbey adaptation.
9 – Which JA character do you most identify with? Well, I was like Marianne (emtional extremes and drama and Catherine Morland (gullibility) mainly as a teenager, but now (I am one and twenty) I am not quite as extreme as I was before . I have some of Emma’s snobbishness I am afraid, and I now believe I am a little like Lizzie as I like to laugh at people’s ridiculousness.
10 – If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her? I would want her to tell me all about Sandition and, if she had time, The Watsons.
11 – Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA’s books? What is it and why? I wouldn’t want Fanny and Edmund to be in the same family; even back in that time some people thought cousins marrying was not right (for example William Cowper’s uncle did not approve of it). I also would find it nice if Colonel Fitzwilliam could have married Charlotte Lucas although this is merely a preference unlike the above which is more of a moral issue.
12 – If you could have lunch with one of JA’s characters today, who would it be and why? Perhaps Captain Wentworth to commend him on his extraordinary faithfulness. I actually might be afraid of him so perhaps I would choose one of the minor characters like Charlotte Collins; I would not be as delicate as Lizzie and would question her closely on her choice of a husband and her life with him. Colonel Fitzwilliam would also be an interesting choice. I would ask him if he ever liked Lizzie enough to marry her if either of them had had the money and if he still thought money was all that important. Yes, I would pick Colonel Fitzwilliam.