*Warning: the post contains minor spoilers about the narrative and characters in Sense and Sensibility. Read at your own risk if you have not read the book or have watched any of the adaptations.
Two years ago today, the world lost of one this era’s greatest actors: Alan Rickman.
My favorite Alan Rickman performance will always be Colonel Brandon in 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Playing opposite Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood, his character (as it was faithfully adapted from the novel of the same name by Jane Austen), was a man who held the proverbial cards to his chest. When the audience meets Colonel Brandon in the film, he introduced as the good friend of the cousin who is renting a small cottage on his property to the newly widowed Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters. A bachelor in his mid 30’s, he is amiable and a gentleman, but his character and his past are a mystery at that juncture in the narrative.
Over the course of the story, Colonel Brandon is revealed to be a man whose past is filled with grief and heartbreak. Rickman played the part with nuance and sensitivity, elevating the character to a new level, reminding Janeites why Colonel Brandon is one of the favorite leading men within the Jane Austen universe. Rickman himself became a fan favorite, gaining new fans and a new level of respect from the Janeite fan base.
RIP Sir. While your physical remains are gone, your spirit and your body of work will live on forever.