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Reading Jane

Sunday, August 5, 2007
Inspired earlier this year by the movie "Becoming Jane", I returned to some of the classics. Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. I haven't yet been able to track down a copy of Emma or Northanger Abbey.

While I have obviously seen recent BBC adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and the movie's Sense and Sensibility and Emma, I had never heard of Persuasion or Mansfield Park. Re-reading some I had read, and some for the first time, I definitely felt my alliances toward various stories changing. While previously being a fan of Sense and Sensibility over all else, Persuasion and Mansfield Park are definitely two of her more underrated novels. I look forward to seeing the latest adaptation of Mansfield Park, filmed last summer in the UK at Newby Hall, where we spent a day on our holiday in May this year.

What inspired this post was that last night, as I'm sick, I curled up in bed with the laptop and watched Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson, Kate Winslett, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman etc). While I still love the movie, it really has nothing on the book, and neither, do I think, do any other adaptations. I know the book is always better than the movie, but in this case I feel cheated. I don't know that I'd ever read Sense and Sensibility until earlier this year, and was quite amazed at how different the book was and read to the movie.

In my quest to read classics, I also re-read Jane Eyre for the first time in over 10 years, and while I think I definitely appreciate it more now I'm old(er!), I still feel it's entirely overrated when held up in comparison with Austin's work.


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