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Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice

All right — over the past week we decided that, in a fight, Sean Bean’s Richard Sharpe could clobber Russell Crowe’s Jack Aubrey, Ciaran Hinds’s Captain Wentworth, and Ioan Gruffudd’s Horatio Hornblower. (Though there were a few random votes involving Hornblower and a bubble bath — not entirely sure what those meant.)

We voted unanimously that Judi Dench’s Lady Catherine De Bourgh could wipe the floor with Barbara Leigh Hunt’s Lady Catherine, break her in two like a twig, spread her on a crumpet and feed her to the pugs.

Opinions were divided on whether Duck-face Miss Bingley (a.k.a. Anna Chancellor) or Sleeveless Hussy Miss Bingley (a.k.a. Kelly Reilly) would win in a fair fight. Er, make that an unfair fight. Biting, scratching, and all sorts of cheating predicted, particularly from Sleeveless Hussy.

Today, we have a NEW SURVEY!


Here we have it: a boxing ring. Or a wrestling match. Or a fight to the death with toothpicks. Whatever takes your fancy.

In one corner we have Greg Wise’s Willoughby, from the Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility — healthy, charming, and able to ride a white horse.

In a second corner, we have Rupert Friend’s innocent-looking Wickham, from last year’s film of Pride and Prejudice. He’s tall, gorgeous, and has a sword. Maybe he knows how to use it!

In the third corner, we have Adrian Lukis’s Wickham, from the 1995 BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice. He’s a sly fellow, always smiling, and always up to something.

Who would YOU put your money on?



Cara King,
MY LADY GAMESTER — Holt Medallion and Award of Excellence finalist!

Look at them up there, glaring! The Miss Bingleys definitely want to duke it out. They’re both fierce and cruel. They’ve both been educated by the best instructors. Who do YOU think would win in a fight? Would one win at boxing, and the other at wrestling, or would one wipe the floor with the other in any form of combat?

Or how about the Lady Catherines??? Which one of these would beat the other at mudwrestling? At boxing? At sumo wrestling?

Would they pull hair and bite??? Would they gouge each others’ eyes out?

Who would you wager your hard-earned money on?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Cara King,
MY LADY GAMESTER — Holt Medallion Finalist!

Last week, my father (who also doubles as my Regency research partner) was in Brooklyn for a visit. Friday night, he poked around my DVD collection and found the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice; he had just visited my aunt, his sister, and seen the 2005 version, and wanted to compare with the one he’d heard was truer to the text (my dad wrote a paper on Emma in college, so he’s up on Austen).
It was 8:30 by the time we sat down to watch, and I warned him this version was at least five hours long, and I knew neither of us would be up that late. We stopped watching at the end of the first DVD (of the two-disc set), right when Elizabeth refuses Darcy’s first offer of marriage.
Whew. It was really, really hard to stop watching right there, right at the emotional black moment of the film. But how perfect its placement was–right as you’re realizing Darcy has feelings for Elizabeth (courtesy of Colin Firth’s guardedly melting glances), and Elizabeth is piqued by Darcy, although not yet willing to admit it, even to herself, he proposes in his characteristic blunt Darcy way.
The scene closes with her telling him that he would be the last man on earth she would ever contemplate marrying, and he tells her he understands perfectly, and will never bother her again. They separate, leaving behind our palpitating hearts.
Austen’s build-up to that moment is magnificent, as is her gradual threading together of our hero and heroine’s lives. It’s hard to believe, only one DVD disc later, that Elizabeth and Darcy will ever get to a place where they can be together.

Pride & Prejudice is one of the best examples of the Big Misunderstanding ever–yes, Elizabeth could have asked Darcy about Wickham, but there are ever so many reasons why she would not; and he could have discerned her embarrassment about her family, and possibly discussed it with her without blurting it out so baldly, but there are ever so many reasons why he would not.

Do you agree with my analysis of P&P as having a Big Misunderstanding?
What examples of a GOOD use of a Big Misunderstanding can you think of? Do you mind them in your novels? Can you envision any situation with a Big Mis that would make as much sense as the ones in P&P? And don’t you feel sorry for my dad, who had to return to Cape Cod without seeing the second half?


BLOG PARTY DAILY CONTEST! Comment on this post for the chance to win a copy of Elena Greene’s September release, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE. (Comments may be posted through Saturday, January 14.)

I’m feeling very self-indulgent today. My New Year’s resolutions don’t allow me to pig out on chocolate, so I’ll treat myself and everyone to some eye-candy instead.

So here they are. As many cinematic Mr. Darcys as I could find. Enjoy!

Laurence Olivier (above left), playing Darcy opposite Greer Garson in the 1940’s version. Elegance and arrogance—almost (but not quite) good enough to distract me from the ridiculous leftover “Gone with the Wind” costumes worn by the actresses!

David Rintoul (right), playing opposite Elizabeth Garvie in the 1985 BBC production. I have to admit, he looked good but his acting was so very stiff, so haughty (not even softening much at the end) that I felt they could have substituted one of those lifesize cardboard figures (the sort you often see of Lord of the Rings characters, etc…)

Colin Firth (left), playing opposite Jennifer Ehle in the 1995 A&E version. The first Darcy to really work for me—kind of like my first love. What a gorgeous man, with such speaking eyes and such a sexy voice….

Ahem, moving along.

Orlando Seale (right), playing opposite Kam Heskin in “Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy” (2003). I once caught a few minutes of this Mormon reinterpretation, couldn’t watch it all, but it looked cute. As does he. If anyone has seen the whole movie, I’d love to hear your opinions!

Martin Henderson (left), starring with Aishwarya Rai in the Bollywood production “Bride & Prejudice” (2004). Intriguing, definitely on my “must rent sometime” list. Has anyone seen this? What did you think?

Matthew McFadyen (right), opposite Keira Knightley in the recent Working Title Films adaptation. Not a pretty boy, and a new interpretation of Darcy, showing a shyness and a vulnerability that I found very appealing. His performance grew on me even more on the second viewing of the film. I don’t know, Colin may just have to move over…

So who is your favorite Darcy? And why? The guest with the most original and/or passionate answer will win a copy of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE.

Don’t forget you can still comment on the earlier posts to win books by Janet Mullany and Cara King. And be sure to enter the Treasure Hunt for a grand prize including books by all the Riskies!

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, 2005 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee

I’m still celebrating Pride & Prejudice’s 200th anniversary.  Today, I’m enjoying a retrospective of Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth.  It’s a classic within a classic. So, I thought we should take a look at the various ways it has been adapted

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Elizabeth’s astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had long felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well; but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority — of its being a degradation — of the family obstacles which judgment had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.

Read the rest of the proposal here.

This is possibly the most heartfelt and insulting proposal in English literature.  In adaptations, there is so much to be done with it.  Shall we see what has been done?

My apologies for not embedding the videos.  I can’t seem to size them correctly at this moment.


 1940: Greer Garson & Laurence Olivier

Like much of this adaptation, Darcy’s first proposal takes some liberties with the text, but it does manage to get the basics.  It’s one of the most faithful scenes in an unfaithful adaptation.  But who doesn’t like Sir Laurence?


1980:Elizabeth Garvie & David Rintoul

Yes, I know many love this adaptation.  I’m afraid I cannot share that affection.  The dialog is fairly faithful, but really.  There is no emotion in this scene.  I’ve come to expect that from David Rintoul, who plays Darcy as though he had been assimilated by the Borg.  And, I’m afraid Elizabeth Garvie gives as good as she gets here.


1995:  Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth

Now, this one… This one is, in my opinion, very nearly perfect.  It occurs in the right setting and captures the feeling of the dialog, the emotion of both parties without going overboard (see below).  You can actually see Mr. Darcy struggle against his inclination and Elizabeth’s realization of exactly what’s going on. And you can’t go very far wrong with Colin Firth.  Now, that’s Mr. Darcy.


2005: Keira Knightley & Matthew MacFadyen 

Here we have Pride & Prejudice by Charlotte Bronte (or possibly Emily).  I cannot indict this scene for lack of emotion.  Indeed, there is a surfeit of emotion as evinced by the thunder in the background.  I’m sorry, but this proposal is sufficiently dramatic without the atmospherics.  And what is happening at the end.  Is she thinking about kissing him after telling him off? That’s one way of writing this scene.  I could see it happening and have in several romances but not, alas, in Pride & Prejudice.

I’m sure you all have a favorite adaptation.  And I won’t object too strongly if it doesn’t agree with mine.  What do you think of these proposal scenes or do you have another that you prefer?

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