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I Love Austen Week Tag!

Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy is hosting I Love Austen Week this week - a week dedicated to all things Jane Austen! Be sure to check out the festivities here if you feel so inclined. Here are my answers to the week's tag.
1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
My first proper experience with Jane Austen was the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film. I didn't know much about the story beforehand and wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I LOVED it. So I quickly started searching out other film adaptations, and of course the books themselves. I think I had seen at least one film version of each book before reading it.

2.  What is your favourite Austen book?
Until a few days ago I would have said Sense & Sensibility, but I've recently started rereading Pride & Prejudice and suspect that it is about to take over. There are just so many good bits that I'd forgotten!
3.  Favourite heroine?  Why do you like her best?
This is quite a hard question! I think Elinor, Anne and Jane are the ones I would most like to know in real life. But I like all of them (except maybe Emma, but I like her character arc through the story).
4.  Favourite hero?  Why do you like him best?
I really like Colonel Brandon (especially Alan Rickman's version). He's just a really nice guy :) Although again, I find it difficult to pick a favourite.
5.  Do you have a favourite film adaptation of Austen's work?
My favourite Austen film adaptation (and possibly my overall favourite film) is the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility. I basically just love everything about it. I also really like the Kate Beckinsale Emma, and both versions of Pride & Prejudice (controversial I know). (I wrote about my thoughts on different adaptations here.)
6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)
Well, my actual first experience with Jane Austen was watching the first two hours of Emma at a friend's house, and I actually found it quite boring. However a few months later I watched P&P and decided that she was definitely not boring. Since then, though, my opinions have not changed materially, although possible I've come to appreciate different things about her stories than when I was initially introduced to them. [I do like Emma now (although it's not one of my favourite of her books, I really like the Kate Beckinsale film, although I still haven't seen the 2009 one all the way through), but I think it is a story that improves on acquaintance - I enjoy it more knowing the full story than I did before.]
7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
No, although I do have a very nice boxed set of all of her novels.
8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?
I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?
I would like someone to make a good, accurate version of Mansfield Park. I'm not sure about casting though - I don't think I know enough actors to make an informed decision.

10.  Share up to five favourite Jane Austen quotations!
 "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." - Pride & Prejudice (such a good opening line; indeed the whole first chapter of P&P is just so good)

"I cannot make speeches, Emma. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." - Emma
 "We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him." - Pride & Prejudice

"People always live for ever when there is any annuity to be paid them." - Sense & Sensibility

"Oh!" cried Marianne, "with what transporting sensations have I formerly seen them fall! How have I delighted, as I walked, to see them driven in showers about me by the wind! What feelings have they, the season, the air altogether inspired! Now there is no one to regard them. They are seen only as a nuisance, swept hastily off, and driven as much as possible from the sight."
   "It is not every one," said Elinor, "who has your passion for dead leaves."
- Sense & Sensibility


  1. Oh I too love Colonel Brandon!

  2. I think with the Pride and Prejudice versions you tend to like the one you saw first? There are things I like about the new one but I'll always be biased to the Colin Firth one, haha. Nothing wrong with liking both! (And I love that Mr. Bennet quote :D )

    1. I think that does bias to me towards the '05 version, especially as it was my first introduction to the story. Also sometimes I want to revisit the story but don't necessarily have five hours to devote to it :) I do like both versions a lot though.

  3. Colonel Brandon is wonderful. I would marry him. Such a solid, kind, caring man. And Alan Rickman did such an amazing job of portraying the pain Brandon has carried with him all these years, and showing how Marianne helps heal him.

    I love both the '95 and '05 P&P movies too! They both have so much to offer.

    Thanks for joining the party :-)

    1. I really like Alan Rickman's portrayal of Colonel Brandon. I think the casting in general for that film is very good.
      And I'm glad there are others who like both versions of P&P too! :)

  4. That is one of my favorite quotes from S&S; really the entire conversation about the dead leaves makes me smile. I remember one in Mansfield park as well, where Fanny starts quoting poetry when she hears someone may be cutting down an avenue. So much passion for trees and leaves, lol.

    The thing about liking both the 95 and 05 versions of P&P is simply to appreciate each one for what it gives. Both have good qualities, and obviously the shorter one cannot include everything a 6 hour long version can. :)

    1. I don't remember that bit in Mansfield Park; it's been a while since I've read it. That bit in S&S is good though :)
      And yes, I think both versions of P&P have things to offer; I like that the 1995 version gives a more complete version of the story, but sometimes I don't want to sit through all 6 hours of it (or don't have time to).


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