Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Austen Obsession

I was first introduced to Jane Austen (I'm shamed to say) when I was in college. My roommates were a diverse group of girls that year, and two of them were good friends and returned missionaries. They were practical and very conservative. The day I moved in, they were both working in the kitchen "putting up peaches". I never learned to bottle peaches, but they did introduce me to the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

They owned the boxed set, and one day I sat down (per their orders) in between school and when I had to go to work to watch a half hour. I couldn't wait for school to end each day so that I could go home and finish the amazing story of the the Bennett sisters, Mr. Darcy, BINGley and all of the hilarious characters like Mr. Collins and Miss Bingley. I didn't know how such a story had escaped me all these years! That summer I read the whole book, and so began my obsession with all things Austen.

Last month the film Becoming Jane came out on video and I was anxious to see that. It was enjoyable, and as always, I loved the clothes, the language and the story, even though it's only an interpretation of what her life may have been like.

I picked up an annotated version of Pride and Prejudice at the library and have loved re-reading it! It's fun to read the page and then read the footnotes which tell about the history, the traditions, and explain the social rules and even give possible insights into why the character said this or that, definitions, etc. I've really gained some interesting insights into the author, the time period and the overall story. I've really loved it, and would recommend it to anyone, particularly someone who is *new* to the world of Jane Austen.

Last week, I watched and whole-heartedly enjoyed the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, and I was sad to find out that it was the concluding movie of the Masterpiece Theater's Complete Works of Jane Austen . Where have I been? They showed five or six other Austen films through January, February, and March! Sigh. But, it's been fun to read people's reviews and comparisons with other versions that they've seen. It's nice to know others share the love of Jane!


love.boxes said...

Oh how I adore all things Jane. Did you take that test to see which character you are?

Amy said...

Ahhh! I did after reading your post. I was Elinor. Of course.

Dianna said...
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Dianna said...

You will have to borrow some of my Austen films. It is always fun to find another Jane Austen enthusiast. One of my favorites is Persuasion. The BBC aired a newer version this last month, which is very good, but I have an older VHS version if you want to borrow it.

Sally Anderson said...

I was excited to hear about the series but bummed that I only have one channel so I missed it all.