Sanditon Character Review: Georgiana Lambe

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*I apologize for not posting last week. I had other writing priorities that came first.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

It blows my mind, that in 2022, race is still an issue. Instead of being seen merely as skin color, it is used to judge one another. Back in Jane Austen‘s era, the very thought of probing this topic was revolutionary. Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) is Austen’s first and only character of color.

Georgiana is a biracial heiress from Antigua whose mere presence in the town ruffles feathers. Among those who are a bit too curious is Lady Denham (Anne Reid). Without any direct family to support or provide for her, she is under the legal guardianship of Sidney Parker (Theo James). Feeling constrained by her circumstances, Georgiana bristles against Sidney and her house mother, Mrs. Griffiths (Elizabeth Berrington). One of her few outlets is her friendship with Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams).

When her past love, Otis Molyneux (Jyuddah Jaymes) arrives in town, both Georgiana and Charlotte play a game of subterfuge. Sidney does not approve of Otis because he believes that he only wants to marry her for her fortune. Later on, when Otis is up to his eyeballs in debt, he uses her name as collateral. This turns into a kidnapping which is only stopped by Sidney. As expected, Georgiana tells Otis where he can go.

When we see her again in the second season, her guardianship has been switched to Tom and Mary Parker (Kris Marshall and Kate Ashfield). Now that she is nearing her majority, it is even more important to ensure that she marries well. When Georgiana meets artist Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos), she is initially skeptical of him. But over time, the skepticism turns into romance. That romance fizzles out when Lockhart reveals his true colors.

It would have been easy for her to crumble, given both her past and her present circumstances. But Georgiana has a backbone and is not afraid to speak her mind. What I personally like about her is her strength, knowing full well that a well-bred woman keeps her opinions to herself in that era.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Dangerous Liaisons TV Review

Since time immemorial, sex and love have been used to yield power. It is one of those tools that can be used for good or for evil (for lack of a better term). How it is used is wholly dependent on the individual and their needs.

The new Starz series, Dangerous Liaisons, is a prelude to the infamous 18th-century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos. Pascal Valmont (Nicholas Denton) gets around. Among his many partners is the wealthy, middle-aged, and bored Genevieve de Merteuil (Lesley Manville). Though he claims to love and wants to marry Camille (Alice Englert), Camille is not pleased when she finds out that she is not his only one.

Turning her anger and hurt into blackmail, she makes the following demand. Camille will say “I do” if he can seduce Jacqueline de Montrachet (Carice van Houten).

My first thought in watching the premiere episode was confusion. I was expecting the series to follow the narrative of the book (and its adaptations up to this point). While what was presented was compelling, I kept wondering where the series was going. When Camille revealed her hand and her plan, that is what caught my interest.

What makes this version different is that it is the women who have the power. Though they live in a world in which they are second-class, they are not wallflowers. Using the cards they have been dealt, they are using what is at their disposal to get what they want.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

Dangerous Liaisons airs on Starz on Sunday night at 8PM.

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