By nature, the corset is a garment meant to constrict the body of the person who is wearing it. It can also be a metaphor for the lack of opportunity and the second-class treatment that has been the norm for women for generations.
I loved this book. Kayne brings both worlds together in a way that increases my love of Austen while lighting the proverbial fire under the behind. It makes me want to re-read all six books and be open to the lessons that can be gleaned from the genius that is Jane Austen.
Based on the E.M. Foster novel, Howards End is the story of the intermingling of three families in the early 20th century in England. The Wilcoxes are upper class, the Schlegels are middle class and the Basts are lower class. With a cast led by Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen, this story of cross-class differences and secrets is bound to delight audiences.
I have a confession to make: I have heard of the book, but I have never read it. That will soon be remedied. In the meantime, I was completely taken in by the first episode and as of now, I plan on completing the series.
Sanditon was started by Jane Austen just months before she died. An eleven chapter fragment of a novel, respected television writer Andrew Davies continued where Austen left off. Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) is part Elizabeth Bennet and part Catherine Morland. The daughter of a large landed gentry family from the country, Charlotte is young and eager to spread her wings.
When an offer comes her way to visit Sanditon, an up and coming seaside resort, she immediately says yes. But Sanditon is a different world than the world she grew up in. One of the people she meets is Sydney Parker (Theo James, who played the infamous Mr. Pamuk on Downton Abbey), the brooding and sometimes rude younger brother of the couple who she is staying with.
For many Austen fans, Sanditon is a what-if experience. With only eleven chapters completed, we can only guess what the completed novel would have looked like. As an adaptation, so far, I have to say that I am impressed.
Like his previous Jane Austen adaptation, Davies knows when to stick to the script and when to add a little something extra.
What I liked about the series so far is that unlike most Austen heroines, Charlotte’s main reason for going to Sanditon is not to find a husband. Most of her heroines (with the exception of Emma Woodhouse) are motivated to marry because of family pressure and/or financial needs. Charlotte goes to Sanditon to see the world and experience life outside of the family that she grew up in. She is also curious about the world and shows interest in certain subjects that would not be deemed “appropriate” for a woman of this era.
I really enjoyed the first two episodes. It is a love letter to Austen fans and contains plenty of Easter eggs if one knows where to look.
I recommend both.
Howards End and Sanditon air on PBS on Sundays nights at 8:00 and 9:00 respectively.
Filling in the gap between Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and A New Hope (1977), Rogue One takes place just as the empire is tightening its grip on the universe. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of a scientist, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) who has appeared to turn his back on rebels. She is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) after her mother’s death and her father’s abdication to the dark side. We meet Jyn when she in imprisoned by the Empire. After being rescued by rebel forces, she joins the fight against the empire. Joining a team of rebels that includes Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), Jyn is not only fighting to free the universe from the empire’s grasp, but is also seeking to find her father.
I’ve heard this movie being compared to The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. While both films are the best of the best of within the Star Wars series, this film certainly comes close. The two qualities of the film that I especially appreciated and loved was not only how badass Jyn was, but also the film talks about the true cost of freedom and the cost of rebelling against tyranny to attain that freedom. And for me, as a Janeite, the cherry on the top of the cake was knowing that I first was introduced to Felicity Jones when she played Catherine Moreland in the 2007 Northanger Abbey.
This film is a must see and one of the best of 2016 for me.
Starring Felicity Jones (Catherine Moreland in the 2007 Northanger Abbey) as Jyn Erso, this film looks to be the morsel the fans will need to cling to until next December. Jyn is a badass, a woman who is not afraid to break the rules. I like her already.
And for me, personally, this film bring together two of my favorite fandoms.
Whether it is true to the Star Wars universe and the narrative, is to be seen. I can only hope that it will be.
A father is the first man in a woman’s life. No matter who she is or what she does in life, he is the blue print for how she will judge every man she meets.
The fathers in Jane Austen’s novels range from apathetic to excellent. In honor of Father’s Day, I am going to discuss how these men have an influence on their daughters and by extension, then men their daughters marry.
1. Jane Austen’s first completed novel is Northanger Abbey. The heroine of the novel, Catherine Moreland, has the best of the fathers. Mr. Moreland is a member of the clergy and a father of ten children. He is practical, compassionate and gives his children the best life he can.
2. Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Price and Prejudice follows the tumultuous courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. While Darcy is the man that Elizabeth will marry, the first man in her life is her father. Mr. Bennet prefers the company of his books and the solitude of his library over the company of his wife and daughters. In his youth, Mr. Bennet married for looks and not for brains. He delights in openly mocking Mrs. Bennet. In not preventing Lydia from going to Brighton, he nearly lets her ruin the family reputation. But it is his love for his second daughter, Elizabeth that redeems him in the eye of the reader.
3. In Sense and Sensbility, the reader meets the patriarch of the Dashwood clan, Henry Dashwood, for a short amount of time. He dies very early on in the book, setting the plot in motion. The rules of primogeniture dictate that John Dashwood as the only son, inherits, Norland, the Dashwood’s family home and the income that comes with the property. Elinor, Marianne, their mother and their youngest sister Margaret only receive a small inheritance, forcing them into genteel poverty and out of their home. While the reader does not know Mr. Dashwood as they do other Austen fathers, I get the feeling that he loved his daughters and he wanted to what was right, regardless of custom or law.
4. In Emma, Mr. Woodhouse is the father that makes many a reader groan. A widower, he raised his daughters with the help of Mrs. Weston (formerly Miss Taylor). A hypochondriac who fears that death and disease are forever around the corner, Mr. Woodhouse’s conversations revolve around the health of his daughters, son in law, grandchildren and neighbors. In worrying about the health of others, he indirectly allows Emma to be who she is and make the mistakes that she will have to learn from. But, at the end of the day, unlike some of the fathers in Austen’s fiction, he loves his children and wants the best for them.
5. Fanny Price, had things turned out differently, might have born into the household of a gentleman and had the privilege of being a gentleman’s daughter. Instead, she was born to a father who was former Naval office and a mother who disobliged her family by marrying said Naval officer. Mansfield Park is Austen’s most controversial novel and the father figures are questionable. Fanny’s father is a drunk and her pseudo-father/Uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram is distant (emotionally and physically), authoritarian and happily bound to the social structures of the era. But, to his credit, he does agree to take his niece into his home and raise her as if she was one of his daughters.
6. In last place, is Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot. Another widower, when his wife was alive, Sir Walter was kept in check. But she has been dead for years. A vain, selfish man, Sir Walter thinks of nothing but status, outward appearance and fortune. His youngest daughter, Mary is only of use to him because she has married and provided him with two grandsons, one of whom is his namesake. Sir Walter favors his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, because she is exactly like him. The novel’s heroine, Anne is nearly forgotten by father, except when she is useful to him.
Now that is my list. Readers, who would you choose as the worst Austen father?
Scholar Sinead Murphy combines the lessons learned from Austen’s female characters with The Rules, a Georgian era book that informed women on how to behave and present themselves to the world. Using characters such as Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse and Catherine Moreland as examples, Ms. Murphy guides her readers through the often rocky path of finding the right person, while finding happiness as a single, independent woman.
I am not sure that I liked this book. It doesn’t take a scholar to figure out the life lessons that readers have been learning from Austen’s characters for the last 200 years. As an Janeite, I did enjoy this book. But I felt like I was being preached to. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Catherine Moreland has to simply take her head out of the gothic romance novels to see what is going in around her, or to know that Emma Woodhouse is not the matchmaker and know it all that she thinks she is and Elizabeth Bennet to learn to curb her prejudices and her slightly sharp tongue.
Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen’s first completed novel, published posthumously with Persuasion after her death in 1817. The plot of Northanger Abbey becomes the blueprint for her next five novels. While Pride and Prejudice and Emma are the books that producers will turn to most often to adapt for the screen, Northanger Abbey has only been adapted a handful of times.
Catherine Moreland (Felicity Jones) is the sheltered teenage daughter of a country clergymen and his wife. The fourth of ten children, she has developed a dream like penchant for gothic novels. Mr. and Mrs. Allen, childless neighbors of the Morlands, offer to take Catherine to Bath. In her mind, Bath represents the adventure that has up to that point, only existed in her books.
Two very different sets of siblings will come into her life and provide in the adventure that she is hoping for. Mrs. Allen’s former classmate, Mrs. Thorpe, has several daughters. The eldest Thorpe daughter, Isabella (Carey Mulligan) becomes friends with Catherine while Isabella’s older brother, John (William Beck) tries to impress Catherine to point of expecting that she accept his marriage proposal.
Henry Tilney (JJ Feild) and Eleanor Tilney (Catherine Walker) make the greater impression on Catherine. They are without guile, open and amiable. When Catherine is invited to Northanger Abbey, the Tilney’s ancestral home, she immediately accepts the invitation. But Catherine, by way of her favorite novels, imagines that is a secret or two behind the gates of Northanger Abbey.
I genuinely like this adaptation. It’s well done, the screenplay closely mirrors the plot of the book and the cast is well chosen.
Classic novels are classic for a reason. In what they hope will be an easy book to write and have published, some writers may try to take a classic novel and bring it into the 21st century.
In the most recent cases of the modern reboots of Sense and Sensibility and The Age Of Innocence, the writers did little more than transfer the language, technology, clothing and transportation from the original time period to our time.
Thankfully, Val McDermid’s new novel, Northanger Abbey, based upon the Jane Austen novel of the same name, does not belong in this category.
This story is the same as the original novel. Cat Moreland is 17 years old, from Piddle Valley, Dorset, England. A, sheltered, bookwormish minister’s daughter who was home schooled, Cat, is invited by her parent’s childless friends, Mr. and Mrs. Allen to Edinburgh (Bath in the original novel).
As in the original novel, she meets the brother/sister duo’s of John and Isabella Thorpe and Henry and Eleanor Tilney. I won’t give the story away (I highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t), but one sibling duo turns out to not be so trustworthy and the other does turn out to be trustworthy.
Northanger Abbey is not one of my favorite Austen novels. This original novel is very much a transition book for Austen, as a writer. Her writing is starting to contain elements of later, more mature novels, but there are still traces of her early Juvenalia works. As to this modern reboot, the middle section was a little slow, but overall, it was a good read.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!