For every hero, there is a villain. For every romantic leading man who ends up with the romantic leading lady, there is a rogue who fails to keep them apart.
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, edited by Christina Boyd, is a series of short stories by a group of authors who delve into the lives and emotions of some of Austen’s male characters who are not typically given the spotlight. The includes Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice, Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion and Mr. Willoughby from Sense And Sensibility.
I really enjoyed this book. As both a writer and a reader, it’s always interesting to look at secondary characters who normally do not receive the same attention as the leading characters. Like any writer, Austen spent most of her time focusing on her main characters, opening the door for other writers to focus on characters normally do not receive the same attention.
Persuasion is Jane Austen’s final novel, published posthumously with Northanger Abbey. It is her most mature novel. There is sadness and a sweetness to the novel. The question of what if pervades the novel. What if we had a second chance at true love? What if the love of your life, the one that got away, came back? Do you take the chance at happiness or do you let it slip through your fingers once more?
Cast: Anne Elliot (Amanda Root), Captain Frederick Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds), Sir Walter Elliot (Corin Redgrave)
Pro’s: This adaptation is beautiful and spot on to the text of the novel. Every actor is perfect for his or her part. Redgrave as Sir Walter is Austen’s metro sexual, is cringe worthy as Anne’s only surviving parent. Root, as Anne is brilliant. Shy and retiring at first, but slowly coming into her own and learning to trust her instincts. Hinds, as Captain Wenworth, is stubborn and angry, but slowly looses his anger and starts to remember why he and Anne fell in love in the first place.
Cast: Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins), Captain Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones), Sir Walter Elliot (Anthony Stewart Head)
Pro’s: Hawkins and Penry Jones were well cast in their parts and age appropriate. Stewart Head (Giles to my fellow Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fans) is as cringe worthy as his predecessor.
Cons: As with some adaptations, some aspects of the story line or some characters are edited or removed completely. As much as I love the scene where Anne runs through Bath after receiving the letter, it would have not been appropriate for a well bred young lady to run as she did.
And the winner is…the 1995 Persuasion, but not by much.