History,  Jane Austen,  TV and Film

Austen, balloons, mystery purchase

L+DWho else is planning to watch Death Comes to Pemberley next Sunday? I thought the book was not one of PD James’s best, but quite often not so good books make good tv, so I’m cautiously optimistic. Here’s the preview. What do you think of Matthew Rhys/Anna Maxwell Martin as the dynamic duo?

More Austen news–I attended the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) AGM in Montreal a couple of weekends ago and here are a few pics:

An amazing bonnet, with a booklet on how it was made, being offered at silent auction. It would be the sort of item that, if you could afford it, would have to be placed reverently under glass and gazed upon:

DSCN1796The view from my hotel room, early in the morning:


We gather, most of us all dressed up, for a banquet and ball (there were French officers [!!!] with very interesting headgear in attendance, but you’ll have to take my word for it because naturally I didn’t get any pics of them):

DSCN1813Old Montreal on a lovely sunny day:


And back to the topic of tv, did you see the amazing edition of NOVA this evening, Ben Franklin’s Balloons, in which French people, some of whom were descended from the Montgolfier brothers, and most of whom wore very stylish scarves, successfully duplicated early balloons and flights. You can view the preview here.

And now for the mystery household purchase:

Class Five Flushing Technology Provides Tremendous Bulk Waste Flushing Performance And Best-In-Class Bowl Cleanliness

Pure poetry.

And can you explain why not so good books make the best tv?

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Elena Greene
8 years ago

I’m not sure I agree with the question (I’ve seen good adaptations of good books) but I’ll play. Maybe the not-so-good books don’t intimidate the directors and actors, leaving them some room to be creative. Some of the most boring adaptations of classic novels are the ones where everyone seems to be tip-toeing on sacred ground.

Gail Eastwood
8 years ago

I agree with Elena’s points! I’ll add that (some) requirements for a good TV adaptation are different than those for a good novel (different media, after all), and it seems to me that not-so-good books may have room to be improved by, oh, say, faster pacing, removal of extraneous threads (or even entire characters), reduction of vast quantities of description into a single image, and extreme tightening or simplification of the storyline. One hopes that a really good book already has been polished and edited down to exactly what needs to be there, so when a TV adaptation applies these methods, the good story suffers instead of being enhanced.

Gail Eastwood
8 years ago

Oh, I meant to also add I am looking forward to Death Comes to Pemberly! I’m pleased with the casting, including the young actress who has played Sarah on Doctor Who, cast in the role of Lydia –a change of pace for her!! (Any other Who fans out there?) Fun!!
The balloon reconstructionists on Nova were very cool!! They make me think of Elena’s newest book, Fly with a Rogue, which I really enjoyed. Did she mention it just won fifth place in an award competition? It’s such an offbeat story (like many of mine), it’s hard to get enough judges all of one mind about such a book. So 5th place is well worth our congratulations!

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