Jane Austen

Happy Birthday, Jane!

Yay! Happy Birthday, Jane! You don’t look a day older than 235.

We’ve been celebrating Jane’s birth all week here at the Riskies, and of course she was on my mind as I rode the subway to work this morning. I haven’t read more than snippets of Jane’s books in years, mostly because I reread them obsessively when I was in my teens, so much so I know I have parts memorized, even thirty years later.

Jane showed me a person could have a different personality and still be likeable. Could still have misguided ideas and still be a good person. Could be tolerable, and also desirable.

Those are some pretty important life lessons.

Earlier this week, Amanda discoursed on Austen film interpretations, and I have to admit to secretly loving the Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier version of Pride and Prejudice. That’s mostly because it was my first version (and you never forget your first…), and I’m pretty sure I saw the film before reading the book, so I didn’t comprehend the incongruity with the text. I knew nothing about historically accurate costumes, or the correct age for the characters, or any of that. I only knew he was handsome, and she was feisty, and I admired her for rejecting such a catch.

Thank you, Jane, for showing me that you should reject people–foxy though they are–if they don’t accept you entirely as you are.

Megan

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Lois
10 years ago

I rather like that P&P… it took me a couple of tries to actually get myself to watching the whole thing, given the outfits just are so wrong; and if I remember correctly, it was on around lunchtime on Turner Classic Movies on day, perhaps as part of a Lawrence Olivier event, and just made myself leave it on. Even with the wrong look, and the liberties it took, I think the actors just really made it great. Probably why I can’t do the same thing with the 2005 one – while Matthew Macfadyen, yep, does get to me, right here with that bewitching line, still, as a whole, can’t get into most of the actors, which leads me to really hating the liberties they took. Yeah, I think all that made sense. 😉

And Happy Birthday Jane! 🙂

Lois

Megan Frampton
10 years ago

Thanks, Lois! I know, it’s the acting that makes it work. As long as you don’t think it’s really P&P, I think it’s good.

Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

Happy Birthday Jane Austen. You changed my life!

I do love the Olivier version of P&P. And it is definitely the acting acumen which makes it so appealing. It was my first as well, but I read the books long before I saw my first Austen film adaptation.

They are a great way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. The films AND the books!

librarypat
librarypat
10 years ago

That last is a very important lesson indeed.

I have had this version of Pride And Prejudice on VHS forever, but still haven’t watched it. I have three versions of the movie. I will probably have a P & P day and watch all of them.

Have a wonderful Holiday.

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I love this, Megan–it’s something very important I learned from Austen as well (and from “Jane Eyre”) 🙂

Elena Greene
10 years ago

Thanks for sharing that trailer, Megan! It cracks me up almost as much as the costumes. “What did she say to him? Yes? No? Perhaps?” But Olivier is gorgeous and I know what you mean about the acting.

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

I made myself watch that version of P&P, too, Lois. I liked it, but only a little.

Love the lessons you learned from Jane, Megan!

Sophia Rose
10 years ago

I thought this version of P&P adorable even knowing that it was not much in the way of the original story. Olivier was awesome and I’ve always thought Greer Garson made her Lizzy so fun.

I love when this Lady Catherine sits on the bird.

Thanks for the posting!

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