Thoughts On the Emily Trailer

Among the Bronte sisters, Emily Bronte is the one who fans know the least about. She only published one book, Wuthering Heights, and kept mostly within the circle of family and friends.

The trailer for Emily was released earlier this week. Written and directed by Frances O’Connor, Emma Mackey stars in the lead role as the mysterious and rebellious author.

The movie is about Emily’s life and her supposed romance with William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). William was a local curate who was a friend of the Bronte family and if the narrative of the film is true, interested in Emily romantically.

I got Becoming Jane vibes while watching the trailer. Both Bronte and Weightman died young, leaving it up to conjecture as to the truth about their relationship. Bronte fans and academics have long believed that it was Anne, not Emily, who Weightman was in love with.

Only time will tell if it is true to what we know about Bronte or if it is based on unsubstantiated rumors. Either way, I look forward to seeing it.

Emily will be released in Canada and Europe in the next few months. The release date for the United States has not been announced yet, but it will likely occur sometime next year.


Becoming Jane Austen Book Review

Many artists, whether they be poets, painters or writers will often draw from real life when creating their work.

Jane Austen is no different.

One of the myths of Jane Austen’s life is that her brief, youthful romance with Tom Lefroy was one of several elements of her personal life that readers later encountered in her books.

Whether it is fact, fiction or a little of both, John Spence’s 2003 book, Becoming Jane Austen explores the idea of a potential relationship that Austen might have had with Tom Lefroy and how that relationship later worked itself into her novels.

Jane Austen is a mythic figure among writers and book lovers. Her characters have become cultural figures onto themselves. But we know only some of the facts about her personal life. Austen’s older sister and best friend, Cassandra, burned many of her sister’s letters after her death, leaving modern readers with questions about her life that are lost to time.

Anyone who knows me knows that Jane Austen is one of my heroes and one of my favorite writers. I picked up this book, because from writer to another, when you know the personal source material, the fiction is much more potent.

I was sadly disappointed. Mr. Spence, in my opinion, spent too much time on Austen’s family tree in the first couple of chapters. By the time he reaches the romance with Tom LeFroy, I expected to be presented with the facts about Austen’s life during that period.

Did I expect a reenactment of Becoming Jane? No.  But I was looking for some proof that this relationship was real.

By the time I finished the book, my questions remained unanswered.

Do I recommend the book? I will put it this way. If you are an experienced Janeite, then yes. If you are a newbie Janeite or you know nothing about her besides her books, then no.

Becoming Jane/Miss Austen Regrets

There are often two sides to any story. There are also two perspectives in life, one of youth and one of maturity.

Jane Austen is a remarkable author. Her books are still read and performed 200 years later. Despite all that we know about her life, there is still a myth about the woman and her writing.

In 2007, Becoming Jane  introduced movie goers to a young, pre publishing and pre-fame Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway). She hopes to write for a living, but knows that the only way to support herself and her family is to marry. She is approached with a marriage proposal by Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox), the nephew of Lady Gresham (Dame Maggie Smith). But she is attracted to Tom LeFroy (James McAvoy).

This movie is decent. Having no conclusive evidence that there was a romance between Jane Austen and Tom LeFroy, the writers relied on what is known of her life, combined with a little fictionalized romance based upon her books.  It’s always interesting to see the young writer living their life and developing the idea(s) that will one day become their stories.

A year later, Miss Austen Regrets premiered. Approaching her 40th birthday Jane Austen (Olivia Williams) is visited her brother, Edward Austen Knight (Pip Torrens). His oldest daughter, Fanny Knight (Imogen Poots) is of a marriageable age and has been in the company of John Plumptre (Tom Hiddleston). She is looking to her aunt for guidance in regards to the potential marriage to Mr. Plumptre. At the same time, she is getting sick while an old suitor Rev Brook Bridges (Hugh Bonneville) returns to her life.

We don’t know much about Jane’s personal life. Her sister Cassandra burned many of her sister’s letters after her passing. This TV movie shows us the older Jane. Still in the prime of her life and churning out stories, but as we all know, she died far too soon at the age of 41.  I recommend this movie.


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