Calling All Jane Austen Fans!!!
Yet Another Period Drama Blog!
First we have, for your reading pleasure, my answers to the Jane Austen Tag questions.
1 - What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
Actually, my very first introduction to the wondrous world of JA was the shorter Keira Knightley version of P&P. Which, at the time, I thought was great! I loved the costumes and the story was amazing. Now, that movie is one of my least favorite adaptations. My childhood best friend Rebecca Y. and I watched it together, it was her movie.
The first book I read was.... naturally... Pride & Prejudice. :) My mom had a paperback copy that we'd owned for years, and I finally read it when I was (I think) 16. It might have been age 15. I'm not sure. :)
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!)
Dear me! It's so hard to choose my least favorite, as I like them all. Hmm...
3 - Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
Goodness, these are great questions. I think my top 3 choices would be Mrs. Jennings, (whose portrayal by Elizabeth Spriggs in the 1996 S&S was simply hysterical!) Mr. Bingley, (Crispin Bonham-Carter from the long BBC P&P was the best) and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. Although Henry wasn't quite as 'funny' as he was witty and amusing. :D
4 - Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?
Oooh, there are many whom I really love to detest. I'll share three. :D 1. Mary Crawford would have to top my list. I really hate how she turns Edmund's head through 80% of the book. 2. Fanny Dashwood (ugggghhh!!) possibly the worst sister-in-law in literary history, and 3. Elizabeth Elliot, Anne's older sister, who wasn't a villainess, per se, but soooo annoying, pretentious, preening, and proud! She's perfectly awful in all the movie adaptations.
Of course the infamous W's, Willoughby and Wickham, are fun to despise too. :D (Ohh, and I cannot stand Mrs. Elton!!) Sorry. That was way more than one. ;)
5 - What's your favorite JA quote?
I have a t-shirt that reads "'There is no enjoyment like reading' - Jane Austen" and that is one of my very favorite quotes. :D I also (like Miss Dashwood) love the first lines of P&P.
6 - If you were to "start" someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Pride and Prejudice, for obvious reasons. :D It's really the most clear-cut, classic Jane Austen story. But they're all good! I would recommend Persuasion and Emma next, then Northanger Abbey, then Mansfield Park. :D
7 - What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?
The BBC (Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth) version of Pride and Prejudice comes in first, because I find it the most faithful adaptation to the book - which is the first qualification a movie adaptation has to pass, for me, to be really good. :D
I also loved the Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller BBC version of Emma. Although Emma really wasn't my favorite heroine, (And Romola was just a bit too giggly and undignified to really be Emma) That adaptation really fleshed out the complex plot and backstories in a beautiful manner.
8 - If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA's novels, which would it be and why?
While I would absolutely LOVE to see a new Pride and Prejudice with a Jennifer Ehle-esque Lizzy and better music than the BBC version (it reminds me too much of a foxhunt in places) I think I would choose Mansfield Park (Which nobody, of course, has 'gotten' even halfway decently, my favorite old BBC version has become outdated) because it deserves to have a good movie made of it! Also, I would re-film the Felicity Jones PBS Masterpiece Northanger Abbey and cut out some of the "Oh my WORD!" scenes that were so objectionable and not even insinuated in the book.
9 - Which JA character do you most identify with?
Do you know, I have absolutely no idea. I would say Elizabeth Bennet (for actually, I love to read, can be sarcastic... :( working on that... and am critical of humanity, in general, also I suspect I have a small degree of wit) except that everybody seems to think Elizabeth Bennet is the quintessential PERFECT woman. Which I certainly am not. I do get her for results when taking JA personality quizzes, though.
Otherwise, I have slight Marriane-ish tendencies, a little of Anne Elliot now that I've reached the ripe old age of 20, and a dash of Jane Fairfax.
10 - If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
*gasp* I would love to luncheon with Miss Austen!! I would like to ask her about the novel I am writing, inspired by her stories, and ask her opinion of it. I wonder if she would approve, or think it a cheap imitation? Also, I would desperately like to ask about the Mysterious Seaside Romance, which I just learned of through Miss Dashwood's blog... but I fear she would think me impertinent.
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?
Hum. Well, they were all nearly perfect. I do agree with Miss Dashwood that the proposals could have been better. Also, I would have preferred just a tad more story after the weddings in nearly every book... especially Emma!
12 - If you could have lunch with one of JA's characters today, who would it be and why?
I think I would have to choose Elizabeth Bennet. I think we would be great friends. :) But it would be fascinating to meet Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley.
I loved doing this tag! Thank you for putting it together, Miss Dashwood!
And because Jane Austen's Birthday was yesterday, I am writing her a birthday card as part of the Birthday Card Contest at Yet Another Period Drama Blog. :D
The catch to this contest is that the card has to be 'in character' as one of Miss Austen's characters! (I personally think that is shockingly brilliant.) :D
I am writing in the character of Anne Elliot from Persuasion.
Dear Miss Austen,
I would like to wish you the happiest of birthdays. It was certainly a joyous occasion when you entered the world, and I hope the day brings you many delights.
Captain Wentworth and I have just returned home to England from a voyage to India, and we saw many curious things in that strange and foreign land. Traveling with my dear husband has brought me such joy. We now have one son, Frederick Jr, and I will soon be expecting another small blessing. I hope to have a girl this time, for it would be such a joy to have a daughter to love... although I am very fond of little Frederick. I am slightly concerned about taking him to visit the family at Uppercross, for his older cousins continue to be like young demons and I know they are a bad influence on him. I cannot begin to express my thankfulness to you, Miss Austen, for reuniting my dear Frederick (Sr.) and I, although Frederick jokes that you could have made the 8-year separation rather shorter to suit his taste. I also am exceedingly glad to have met my husband's friends and sailors under his command, who are all such friendly and honest people. And of course Sophie Croft, Frederick's sister, continues to be one of my dearest friends. I am delighted with her sweetness of character and the happy way in which she is content to live with her husband aboard ship - which was an excellent example for me to see before I married my dear Captain Wentworth. She will be our next child's godmother.
I must close, for my husband has asked me to come and walk with him upon the shore. (We are at Lyme, and I am very happy to be here once more, for despite the unhappy occurence of Louisa's fall - which had wonderful results! - the place holds many joys for me.) We plan to dine with the Harvilles and the Benwicks this evening at the Benwicks' new home, that I hear is a sweet cottage, which I am very much looking forward to seeing.
Ever your devoted,
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! It was so much fun to write. :)