Monday, 4 August 2014

Austen in August

Austen in August is back again this year, with Jenna from Lost Generation Reader at the helm.

Last year I embraced Mansfield Park for Austen in August.

And previously I have written about my love for Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice.

So where to this year?

I've decided it's time to revisit Sense and Sensibility.

Even though I consider Elinor to be a kindred spirit, the story of Sense and Sensibility, itself, has been a less satisfying experience for me.

Until, the movie starring Emma Thompson & Hugh Grant, that is.

Once I got over the incongruity of the 30 something Emma Thompson playing the role of 19 yr old Elinor, I thoroughly enjoyed her screenplay interpretation.

I have watched the movie several times since, but I have never revisited the book. I thought this event was a fine opportunity to explore the differences, the similarities and the various re-interpretations that exist between the book and this particular movie.

If I have time, I would also like to read Joanna Trollope's recent reworking of Sense and Sensibility.
What will you be reading this month?

Until then, I leave you with Edward Ferrars, 
I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, 
when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness."


23 comments:

  1. Hi Brona – Thanks for stopping by my Blog. I have been reading some of your posts.

    I love your blog. You have a great taste in books and I love your writing style.

    I really think that this will be a fun event.

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    1. Thanks Brian - it's always nice to be appreciated :-)

      AiA is a great event and this year looks like being just as much fun as last year - I'm hoping to find another old bottle of port in the back of the cupboard to make more negus (see links to last years event)!

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    2. I looked at your post on it.

      Wow! I might make some negus myself!

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    3. I can highly recommend it :-D

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  2. Sounds great, Brona! I'm doing movies and audios and books and I've already added to my original list after visiting 2 different libraries !!
    glad to find you're here as well as our Paris in July adventures =)

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    1. Yes, I like how I keep running into the same friendly faces at different events and challenges too.
      Paris and Jane Austen are certainly 2 of my favourite things :-)

      Good luck working through (adding to) your list!!

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  3. I'd love to do Austen in August by sadly I have too many current-reads that need to be finished.

    Have you seen the "new" Sense and Sensibility done by BBC? I like it much more than the Emma Thompson one …… I thought Kate Winslet didn't quite "get" Marianne to portray her believably. In any case, the new one is excellent except for the heavy breathing and skin shots right at the beginning. Good grief! It was completely unnecessary and foolish, but it's only at the beginning so if you can overlook it, the rest of it is great!

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    1. I've been put off the BBC ones ever since the P&P with Mr Darcy getting his gear off in the pond at Pemberley (yes, I know Colin Firth is a hunk, but JA turned in her grave with that particular reinvention! And Jennifer Ehls didn't get Lizzie at all....but that's another story!)
      But I will give the S&S one a go now that you've warned me about the start.

      I'm curious to reread Marianne in particular, because I struggle to get her in any interpretation/portrayal...but then Elinor and I are kindred spirits, so all that drama and emotional outpouring from Marianne just exhausts me! Like Elinor, I just want to step outside and get a quiet breath of fresh air :-)

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    2. I felt the BBC version "got" Marianne because you were able to follow her infatuation and then despair with Willoughby AND believe that she actually came to appreciate and love Colonel Brandon. In the Emma Thompson version, I just didn't buy it.

      That BBC P&P is my favourite because it is almost verbatim from the novel. I thought it excellent, although there were admittedly some stretches that I had to overlook, namely the shirt/pond incident. I think it was a minor thing and everyone blowing it out of proportion and making it a sexy scene was what made it so distasteful. I did like Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie; what didn't you like about her? In any case, I thought this version WAY better than the Keira Knightley version. I couldn't watch that one without retching ……. ;-)

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    3. Yes the Keira Knightley version was way too giggly for me too & Bingley was ghastly!
      I found Jennifer's Lizzy too smug - I couldn't get through the first episode. I was so disappointed - it felt like they were all trying too hard.
      There's an older BBC series of P&P from the 1980's with Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzy. The series is a little dated and made on a small scale (ie the dancing scenes look a little lame), but for me, these actors ARE the P&P family & it is very faithful to the book. Mr Collins is a scream in particular!
      But I know people who don't like this version because it is too quiet & old fashioned.
      Maybe it comes down to the first version you watch - that's the one you take to heart :-)

      Here's the link for the first episode on Youtube

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    4. I've been avoiding the Elizabeth Garvie version because I thought it would totally ruin the book but, based on your recommendation, I'll give it a try. Darcy is one of my favourite actors, David Rintoul, and he is very easy on the eyes! ;-) Thanks, Brona!

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    5. David Rintoul will always be Darcy for me too :-)

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  4. Sense & Sensibility is my favorite! (& Edward Ferrars is my favorite hero in Austen. Love that quote!)

    Enjoy! :)

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    1. Ahhh - would that have anything to with your name ;-)

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  5. Yay Sense and Sensibility! Although Joanna Trollope's isn't my favourite Austen adaptation, I thought overall she gave it a fairly good stab, so will be interested to see what you think!

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    1. I haven't read any reviews about the Trollope adaptation (until you), but I do go in with reservations....

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  6. Thanks for sharing, Brona! Sense & Sensibility was my first Austen. It's not my favorite, but I'm definitely glad it was around to hook me in. Enjoy the reread!

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  7. I love that movie version of Sense & sensibility so much!!

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    1. I think my love stems from the very sympathetic and generous portrayal of Elinor. It shows the depth of feeling and sensitive nature of a quiet, reserved person. The scene where Edward proposes and Elinor starts sobbing gives me goosebumps every time!

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  8. The movie version with Emma Thompson is one of the very few movies where I can say that the film is as good as the book. :) I hope you'll find the book a little more satisfying when you revisit it this month.

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    1. So far, I'm pleasantly surprised by how close the movie follows the book (except for the obvious age disparity between most of the actors and the JA characters they play).
      The movie also seems to have killed off the young Lady Middleton, leaving Sir John a widower living with his mother-in-law, Mrs Jennings.

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  9. I have not read a lot of Austen, but am fond of the movie version with Emma Thompson. It does make me kinda want to tackle the book...

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  10. I just finished Emma for Austen in August and I'm about five chapters into Sense and Sensibility. I've never quite settled with Sense and Sensibility. I do admire Elinor though. We are nothing alike but she is someone that has qualities I look for in friends. I'm very direct and somewhat impulsive and need Elinor's and Anne Elliot's around me to keep me grounded.

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