Book Club 02

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My Jane Austen Journey

I have gone through half of Jane Austen’s novels at this time and have watched every adaptation of every novel. Crazy, right? I feel like an aficionado except, I have quite a bad memory. I didn’t used to though.

I want to read and read and read, so maybe if I start up something where I talk about the books I read, I’ll be more likely to keep track of reading. *cross my fingers* I get off track a lot. It’s a bad habit.

It’s actually taken me a really long time to finish up all six books. I still have three left even after all these years. I started around 2010? Gosh, most of my life begins at 2010. Lol

The first Jane Austen related thing I’ve ever encountered was the P&P 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden. I will always be a 2005 P&P lover though 1995 is pretty good. I guess, it’s because your first meeting with an Austen creation will always have a special place.

In my heart, P&P can’t be ranked amongst the novels. It’s just in its own because no matter what, I love it.

My favorite scene in the 2005 adaptation is this…

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That moment said so much about the time, the budding emotions, and the restraint.

I loved every adaptation also. Though, some paled in comparison to the 1995 and 2005, I still find the storyline by Jane Austen quite lovable. And I loved that I started reading her stuff around the time I could comprehend her wit. P&P is actually my second Austen novel.

I read The Importance of Being Earnest the first time around when I was in 6th grade and a lot of the motifs, symbolism, and innuendos went over my head. Luckily I reread it for class in my senior year and was able to appreciate it more.

So, there was no way I could understand TIOBE (not to say that P&P was more difficult, because it’s not).

If I could talk about the book more I would, but it’s a classic and I think everyone should be acquainted with it.

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I got acquainted with Death Comes to Pemberley sometime around last year? I loved it! The mystery was alright. I liked how they developed more back story concerning Darcy and Wickham. Most of all, I loved that it challenged the love between Darcy and Lizzie. It’s a definite must watch.

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North and South 2004, I find, is a lot like P&P. I’m not actually sure if this is an adaptation, but I saw the BBC series this year and was really taken by it. It has a similar concept about first impressions and basing their relationship off of that and regretting it later. It also tackles a lot of the life that had to be lived during that time which Austen didn’t really do. She talked a lot about the rich families and the country life, but not the city life/ and industrialization which I enjoyed very much in North and South. Also, we see Lizzie here- the actress at least as a friend to the lead female.

I plan to add this to my to read list and will talking about the novel later on- the other adaptations also.

Favorite scene?

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Why? There was just something about the way he wanted her to look back at him and take back going away. There was something about not wanting to let her go, but not doing anything to stop her that really resonated with me.

The adaptation I hate the most? … I don’t even want to mention it… It was Lost in Austen. I abhor that movie/ series because it totally ruined P&P for me. Yes, we get a little bit of the similar sour first impressions between Darcy and the main girl, Amanda, but it’s superficial, I think. I just didn’t like it overall and have a really negative biased thoughts/feelings about it. So, next!

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Other modern adaptations like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Austenland are good examples of taking inspiration from Austen. TLBD is a vlog version of P&P and I really liked how they modernized the situation and problems of a girl in the 21st century. Austenland does the same in that it takes modern characters, modern motifs/problems and placing them in a fake 1800s setting. It really questions how life was back then compared to now, and is quite empowering, for me at least.

TLBD had a really great cast as well. I got to connect with a lot of characters, though unfortunately not with Kitty because she’s a cat in TLBD and Mary, who is only a cousin. This same company/ channel does other Jane Austen adaptations also. I have yet to watch them because I haven’t read Emma. Bummer.

With Austenland, I think, what I loved most was the idea of a modern day Darcy, who isn’t an overall Darcy character. We still get a sense of a different personality unique to the character. Just the same as the lead female role played by Keri Russell, Jane isn’t all Lizzie. She’s a bit meek. There’s also a lot of modern wit to the story that I really liked. And many quotable lines, I must say..

Also, I get to live vicariously through Jane and I loved that.

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Overall, the reason why I love P&P so much is because I find Elizabeth to be a pretty good role model, along with Jane, of course. And I also find a lot of the themes of the book relatable with my personal life in some sort of way whether I feel that sometimes my mother is like Mrs. Bennet or when my sister is like Jane or when love creates a certain situation where I use Jane Austen’s wisdom to tackle it.

Other times, it’s me looking to escape the reality and wanting to find Mr. Darcy.

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