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Welcome to the November meeting of Risky Regencies’ JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB!

Because we at Risky Regencies aim to please, today we’ll be talking about the 1995 BBC/A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice.

Yes. That one.

The one with Colin Firth.

In a wet shirt.

(Not that I noticed or anything.)

So, whether you’ve seen this recently or a long time ago, tell us what you think!

Who did you like? Dislike?

How did you feel about the script? Costumes? Direction? Historical accuracy?

How true to the book did you find it?

To aid the discussion, here are the names of some of the folks who worked on or acted in this adaptation:

DIRECTOR: Simon Langton

SCREENPLAY: Andrew Davies


Elizabeth Bennet: Jennifer Ehle

Jane Bennet: Susannah Harker

Mary Bennet: Lucy Briers

Kitty Bennet: Polly Maberly

Lydia Bennet: Julia Sawalha

Mrs. Bennet: Alison Steadman

Mr. Bennet: Benjamin Whitrow

Darcy: Colin Firth

Bingley: Crispin Bonham-Carter

Caroline Bingley: Anna Chancellor

Mrs. Hurst: Lucy Robinson

Mr. Collins: David Bamber

Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Barbara Leigh-Hunt

Wickham: Adrian Lukis

Charlotte Lucas: Lucy Scott

Maria Lucas: Lucy Davis

Col. Fitzwilliam: Anthony Calf

Georgiana Darcy: Emilia Fox

Mr. Gardiner: Tim Wylton

Mrs. Gardiner: Joanna David

Anne de Bourgh: Nadia Chambers

Mr. Hurst: Rupert Vansittart

Ooh, look at that jealous glare…

Elizabeth Bennet got everything that Miss Bingley wanted…

Now…let the debate begin!

All comments welcome!

Cara King, great admirer of whoever made the stays for this production

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Folks who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that I love to talk about covers…

What’s good, what’s bad, what we like, what we don’t like…

What we think enhances the experience of the book, or hurts it…

And whether it’s even possible for a bad cover to diminish one’s reading experience…

Here are a whole bunch of different Pride and Prejudice covers.

(I found them on a neat website,, which has a lot of fascinating stuff on it.)

Which covers do you like? Which is your favorite? Why?

Which do you hate? Which do you think is the very worst? (And why?)

Do you think any of these covers are good enough or bad enough to change a person’s reading experience one iota?

All comments welcome!

And remember — next Tuesday (always the first Tuesday of the month!) is our JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB. Stop by to discuss the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice!

Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester, who can’t always think up something clever to say in her sig line

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Or, if Jane Austen wrote Star Trek…

Hidden in the Federation Archives is this never-before-seen account of Yeoman Rand’s first days on the Enterprise:

Every stardate now brought its regular duties;–Captain Kirk’s orders were to be recorded; some new part of the ship to be discovered; and the Bridge to be attended, where officers spent hours staring at whirling lights and, on occasion, falling out of their chairs.

Yeoman Rand, however, knew no one and, consequently, spoke to no one, and no one spoke to her. The wish of a numerous acquaintance on the ship was uppermost on her mind, and her heart wished it anew after every fresh proof, which every stardate brought, of her knowing nobody at all.

She made her appearance in the Rec Room; and here fortune was more favourable to our heroine. Captain Kirk, the only inhabitant of the ship with whom she had as yet exchanged more than half-a-dozen words, was present; he, with infinite condescension, engaged her in conversation.

The captain seemed to be about four or five and thirty, was of middling height, had a pleasing countenace, a very intelligent and lively eye, and, if not quite handsome, was very near it. He talked with fluency and spirit–and there was an archness and pleasantry in his manner which interested, though it was hardly understood by her–or, if truth be told, by himself.

Forming his features into a set smile, and affectedly softening his voice, he said, with a simpering air, “Have you been long on the Enterprise, Yeoman?”

“About a week, sir,” replied Rand, trying not to laugh.

“Really!” with affected astonishment.

“Why should you be surprized, Captain?”

“Why, indeed!” said he, in his natural tone. “Were you never here before, Yeoman?”

“Never, sir.”

“Indeed! Have you yet honoured the Sick Bay?”

“Yes, sir, I was there last Monday.”

“Have you climbed in a Jeffries tube?”

“Yes, sir, I was in a Jeffries tube on Tuesday.”

“In engineering?”

“Yes, sir, on Wednesday.”

“And are you altogether pleased with the ship?”

“Yes–I like it very well.”

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.”

Rand turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh.

“I see what you must think of me,” said he gravely– “I shall make but a poor figure in your log tomorrow.”

“My log!”

“Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Rec Room; wore my red dress with the three-inch skirt–long black boots–appeared to much advantage, particularly in the gap between the aforesaid items; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me talk with him, and distressed me by noticing my legs.”

“Indeed I shall say no such thing. I had much rather you notice my legs now, on the ship, than wait until we are on a planet, when there are certain to be bizarre blue growths on them.”

And don’t forget — on the first Tuesday of November, we’ll be discussing the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice!

Cara King, who would far rather climb in a Jeffries Tube than wear a miniskirt

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Welcome to the October meeting of the Jane Austen Movie Club! The first Tuesday of every month, Risky Regencies is the place to be for daring discussion and dastardly debate about Jane Austen film and television adaptations!

This month: the 1999 Patricia Rozema film of MANSFIELD PARK.

First, a word of caution: I know a lot of us have very strong views on this movie, so let’s be sure to remain polite and respectful at all times!

Discuss any aspect of the film that you like — but, in case it helps to get the dicussion going, here are a few questions you may or may not want to think about:

If you’ve read the novel, what did you think of it? Do you think it would be possible to do an adaptation that (a) is faithful, (b) works cinematically, and (c) is also interesting/pleasing to modern viewers? Why or why not?

Did you think Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz were well-cast as the Crawfords? Did you find them attractive? Dangerous? Sympathetic?

What did you think of the character of Fanny, and of Frances O’Connor’s performance? If you’ve read the book, what do you think of the changes? If you haven’t, did you like the character? Did she seem true to the period?

What did you think about Jonny Lee Miller as Edmund? Did he seem a good match for Fanny, or did you wish she had someone more strong/manly/perceptive/handsome/anything else?

What did you think of the “feminist” subtext? Do you think the movie Maria was plausibly a victim?

If you’ve read the book, what did you think of the way Rozema turned some characters more “good” or sympathetic (e.g. Tom) or less (e.g. Sir Thomas)? If you haven’t read the book, did you find these characters believable? Did they fit well into the story?

And, of course, ask or answer any other question that interests you!
Now, to help jog everyone’s memory, here’s a partial cast list:

Written & Directed by Patricia Rozema


Fanny Price: Frances O’Connor

Edmund Bertram: Jonny Lee Miller

Tom Bertram: James Purefoy

Maria Bertram: Victoria Hamilton

Julia Bertram: Justine Waddell

Sir Thomas Bertram: Harold Pinter

Mrs. Price/Lady Bertram: Lindsay Duncan

Mrs. Norris: Sheila Gish

Mary Crawford: Embeth Davidtz

Henry Crawford: Alessandro Nivola

Mr. Rushworth: Hugh Bonneville

And if you have any suggestions for what we should discuss next time, suggest away!

All comments welcome!

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER and Jane Austen movie junkie

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AUSTEN TREK: or, If Jane Austen Wrote Star Trek…

“I must,” said Captain Picard, “tender my apology, with great sincerity, for telling you (during that time in which I was a member of the Borg Collective) that you would be assimilated.”

“On the contrary, it taught me to hope,” said Commander Riker, “as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that, had you absolutely, irrevocably decided to assimilate me, you would not have spent nearly so much time boasting of the fact.”

Captain Picard coloured and laughed as he replied, “I see you know me very well.”

“And I, too,” continued Riker, “wish to apologize, for my vigorous and whole-hearted attempt to end your life at that time.”

“What did you say or do, that I did not deserve? For, though your arguments that my humanity was irrecoverable were ill-founded, formed on mistaken premises, my behaviour to you at the time, had merited the severest reproof. It was unpardonable. I cannot think of it without abhorrence.”

“We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that stardate,” said Riker. “The conduct of neither, if strictly examined, will be irreproachable; but since then, we have both, I hope, improved in civility, if not humanity.”

“I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself!” exclaimed Picard. “The recollection of what I then said,–‘I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life, as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us.’–of my conduct, my manners, my expressions during the whole of it, is now, and has been many months, inexpressibly painful to me. Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: ‘Mr. Worf, fire.’ Those were your words. You know not, you can scarcely conceive, how they have tortured me;–though it was some time, I confess, before I was reasonable enough to allow their justice.”

“I was certainly very far from expecting my order to fire to make so strong an impression.”

“I can easily believe it,” said Picard. “You thought me then devoid of every human feeling, I am sure you did. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget, as you said ‘Then take your best shot, Locutus, because we are about to intervene.'”

“Oh! do not repeat what I then said. And think no more of any unfortunate utterances which you made whilst you were Borg. The feelings of you as Locutus, and you now, are so widely different from each other, that every unpleasant circumstance attending your erstwhile collectiveness, ought to be forgotten.”

And remember: next Tuesday, October 2, our Jane Austen Movie Club will be discussing the Patricia Rozema version of MANSFIELD PARK! So bring your opinions, and get ready for a hot debate!

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, and fan of Tea, Earl Grey, Hot

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