Hamlette’s I Love Austen Week Tag

Here is the link to the tag.

1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
The 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Mom then borrowed the book from the library. I think I watched most of the classic versions (the Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale Emma is the classic one to me) before reading the novels.

2.  What is your favorite Austen book?

Well, I’m in the middle of re-reading all of them. I have a hard time picking one favorite. I think that Persuasion, Mansfield Park (I know lots of people don’t like this one, but I just started re-reading it and I just like something about the style and situation and I just like Edmund), and Pride and Prejudice are my favorites (?).

3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best?

Apparently all the ones that aren’t remotely like me. Fanny, Anne, and Elinor, oh and Jane. They are sweet and good without being self-righteous. My least favorite is Emma because she is so conceited and dishonest and insincere.

4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best?

Wow, this is HARD. Right now, Edmund Bertram. I don’t know, I just like Edmund. The way he always looks out for Fanny. In real life I would probably like Henry Tilney best because he is so funny. Or maybe Mr. Knightley. I feel like the film versions have really affected my opinion or understanding of Mr. Knightley unduly. But none of the characters are super developed.

5.  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen’s work?

Pride and Prejudice is the most accurate. But the 2009 version of Emma is just so funny (although the one I call “my” version is Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale, its waay too short though). And we enjoy the 2008 Sense and Sensibility . . . well Dan Stevens as Edward. And my sisters and I love to swoon over Rupert Penry-Jones in the 2008 Persuasion but that version overall has some extremely awkward moments and film techniques (although I love how they blended the two endings).

6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)

I don’t adore them like I used too. I prefer greater depth of story and character. Also, characters irritate me more on second and third readings (i.e. Emma and Lizzie and Marianne).

7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
I have the really pretty Barnes and Noble hard back collection of the novels. I would love to buy jewelry with Captain Wentworth’s proposal.

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

What is the rest of the story of Sandition!!!!!!!! And please finish it. Why do I get the feeling that it would have been one of her best novels with an especially charming hero?

9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

I was just watching Little Dorrit. I love Matthew McFadyen in that and in MI-5, but I HATE him in ’05 Pride and Prejudice, and I guess it is because he is so WRONG for the role (nothing fits with anything in that movies although it is good for laughs). I was trying to fit him to a JA role and realized how perfect he would be as Colonel Brandon. And I do mean perfect. The sweetness and patience of his face and manner (oh, how I love him as Arthur Clennam).

 I hate all the Colonel Brandon’s. One of my sisters pointed out that Mr. Knightly is often younger or pleasant and he is a year or two older than Colonel Brandon. The films always make Colonel Brandon ancient and creepy. Why? I think that is part of why I cannot warm to him in the books although I adore Arthur Clennam who I think is similar of temperament and situation (everyone abuses him and he is sweet and patience and good).

I don’t know enough actors of any one set or generation to do a very good job at casting a movie, certainly not quickly. 

10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

Too hard and involved.

Mr. Knightley’s arguments and rebukes of Emma offer some excellent moments.

Captain Wentworth is definitely the most romantic. Nothing can outdo that letter.

Mr. Bennet and Mr. Tilney’s sarcasm is humorous.


  • Hamlette

    How interesting that you like Austen's books less now than you used to! I first read most of them when I was a teen and thought they were okay, romantic and interesting enough, but didn't really love any except Persuasion. When I re-read them in my thirties, I discovered how much was going on beneath the obvious storylines, and now I find them incredibly rich and rewarding because of the way Austen was able to tell us so many things without saying them overtly — pointing out the ridiculousness of societal mores and customs, highlighting the worth of "minor" people that "important" people ignore, and above all, showcasing again and again that a narrow life does not have to be a meaningless one.

    Thanks for joining the party! I hope you have fun this week 🙂

  • Ashley Stangl

    I forgot to mention in my last comment: there's a great finished version of "Sanditon" completed by "Another Lady", also known as Marie Dobbs. Some of the plot twists make it more like a Heyer novel than an Austen one, but the style's a pretty good match, and Sidney Parker is indeed an especially charming hero.

  • Catherine

    I can definitely see Matthew McFaddyen as Colonel Brandon! Totally agree he was much better suited as Arthur Clennam than Darcy. But I didn't mind the Brandons in the film and TV versions (when Alan Rickman comes out in his red coat at the end of the film, that's the best bit!)

  • Ashley Stangl

    Hooray for "Mansfield Park" love! That novel's always in the running for my favorite Austen. The ensemble cast is so good and it makes the plot zip by.

    And wow, Matthew Macfayden would make a wonderful Brandon! I like the other versions well enough, but I don't find them believable as love interests for Marianne (in the '95 version, I think he has better chemistry with Elinor). But Macfayden would be fantastic! Maybe even cast Claire Foy as Marianne and Arthur Darvill as Edmund and make it a "Little Dorrit" reunion.

  • Livia Rachelle

    I got more out of them the second readings a couple years back, but I don't feel that I get too much new . . . and I don't like reading into things too much. Also, some of the better understanding for me led to greater irritation/disatisfaction with the characters. Dickens novels are longer and more complex. And for romance I prefer other things.

  • Skyeler

    It's always nice to find someone who shares a love for Mansfield Park! I think they should make a new movie adaptation of it. Honestly though, I don't love Edmund – he looks out for Fanny, but unfortunately he spends most of the novel loving someone else, and it ends when he realizes his love for her. I always thought Fanny deserved someone completely devoted to her.
    Oh, but yes to Henry Tilney and his humor. xD

  • Hamlette

    Well, I will happily cede almost all of Dickens to you and keep Austen, as Dickens tends to irritate me with his twee names and endless details 🙂

    But I don't think I'm "reading into" Austen so much as better understanding where she's being sarcastic and where she's not. She makes me laugh and laugh with her sharp commentary on human nature.

  • Livia Rachelle

    I'm just wary of the English prof type reading. I feel that I've gotten all I can and if I notice anymore it serves to irritate, like Edmund. When Heidi posted about Henry Crawford's description of Fanny, that made me more mad at how Edmund wasn't given a chance to redeem himself and profess his love.

    And Dickens can annoy with some of his clearly-for-serial descriptions and details, but I don't think all his details are like that. I just plow through sections I am bored about and think the others well worth it. It did have to grown on me though.

  • Livia Rachelle

    I could forgive him his love of someone else if he had fully realized his mistake and fully shown his love for Fanny. I'm wondering if that just wasn't the point of the novel though. Its disappointing.

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