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Favorite Jane Austen novel?

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Offline Karen Wojcik Berner Reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
14 Dec 2011, 02:36 PM | Post: #1

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Favorite Jane Austen novel?

It is almost the beloved Jane Austen's birthday. To celebrate that hallowed event (December 16), would you like to discuss her work?

What is your favorite Jane Austen novel?

What about movie or television adaptations?

For me, it is still Pride and Prejudice, although as I grow older, I have come to love Persuasion more and more.

There are so many great adaptations, but my ultimate is the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.

How about you?
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Offline Notoriety Reading Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis
15 Dec 2011, 06:04 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

This post was last modified: 15 Dec 2011 06:18 PM by Notoriety.
Have to fess up I've only read one Jane novel and that was only a couple of months back cos of free classics on the Kindle. I've never watched any on the telly - I find all those frocks so visually intimidating - women turned into dreadnoughts! So it can only be Pride and Prejudice. Absolutely loved it - what have I been doing all my life?

Where do you start to discuss it - there are so many great things. It was gripping, funny, satirical, socially perceptive (the constraints on women but with opening up the possiblity of "accomplishments" and the pervasiveness of class) and such a clever plot structure - not to mention being put through the emotional wringer on Elizabeth's behalf: Wickham, Mr. Collins and Darcy - what will her future and her happiness be? And oh, Mr Darcy - not how I expected him to be, not the "attractive bad boy" to start with, but something else, darker but misunderstood. And the pain and the pleasure of unravelling the misunderstandings! I loved Mr. Bennet - how on earth did he put up with it all so phlegmatically. Another P&P re-write - from his perspective??! Mr. Collins and Lady de Bourgh - what a hoot! Poor skittish Lydia and her Brighton adventure with its sinful aftermath - did she deserve her fate and why are the sisters so different?

Thanks Karen!

Tony
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Offline LexiRevellian Reading A book which I have forgotten to add here
15 Dec 2011, 06:45 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

My favourite is probably Emma, and Mr Knightley is definitely my favourite hero. He would never pretend to agree with anyone, as Captain Wentworth does in Persuasion.

It's a clever and subtle book, whose characters are so well-drawn you'd recognize them at once if they walked in the room. The dreadful Eltons, sniping at Emma - and Mr Elton's proposal during the snowy carriage ride at Christmas. It's a sort of mystery too, with clues you only pick up on a second reading.

But I like all Jane Austen's novels.
Offline Shayne Parkinson Reading London: the Biography by Peter Ackroyd
15 Dec 2011, 07:52 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

This post was last modified: 15 Dec 2011 10:29 PM by Shayne Parkinson.
It used to be Pride and Prejudice, and I do still love it, but as the years have gone by Persuasion has taken its place as my favourite. Anne's quiet endurance, and the love that's endured far beyond hope or expectation. That perfect blend of stillness and passion. That wonderful happy ending. And then there's the dreadful family and despicable Mr Eliot to boo and hiss!

My favourite Austen hero, though, is the same as Lexi's: Mr Knightley. It's a challenge to make such a thoroughly *nice* man interesting and attractive, but Jane certainly does that for me with this lovely man. He's so secure in his own sense of self that he doesn't need the pretences and brittleness of so many of the other characters. And when he "rescues" Miss Bates it makes me go all soppy.

Favourite adaptation: the Ehle/Firth P&P. I'm also very fond of the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds Persuasion, and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility.
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Offline Notoriety Reading Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis
15 Dec 2011, 10:08 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

Despite my comment about my lack of Janeism earlier my only acting experience was in a student playlet adapted from Emma when I actually played Mr. Knightley. I still remember some lines. Garden scene, walking:

MR K. "My dearest Emma, for my dearest Emma you will always be... etc.
E Rolls eyes, looks shocked etc.

Perhaps that's why I never got another part..... Undecided

Tony
Arab proverb: Only a fool lends his books and only a fool returns them.
Offline AnneBrooke Reading The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
15 Dec 2011, 10:09 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

Oh, I do love Emma - and the recent film of it too with Gwyneth Paltrow and that gorgeous man whose name I forget. Arrggh!! But I have a real soft spot for Persuasion - and I do also agree about the Root/Hinds mix on TV - that was amazing Smile

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Offline cecilia_writer Reading The Chocolate Egg Murders by David W, Robinson
16 Dec 2011, 07:41 AM | Post: #7

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

I've always liked Pride and Prejudice best, and although I was a big fan of the Colin Firth tv version, I've now watched the Keira Knightley film a few times and decided I actually like it better (shock horror - I know this is controversial - there has been a heated discussion about it on Goodreads for some time!). I think it's because I now find Jennifer Ehle's interpretation a bit too sweet and even verging on smug at times.
Like some others who have posted above, I've also 'grown into' Persuasion, and I loved the tv version with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry Jones, who although quite wooden really suited the part!
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Offline Kew Reading Black Butterflies by Sara Alexi
16 Dec 2011, 12:27 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

Pride and Prejudice was the first Jane Austen book that I read when I was about 15 and it stayed my favourite for decades. As I grew older though I came to prefer Persuasion which is a very touching love story. That is my favourite now. Is a few years since I've re-read them though - so it's about time for another re-reading!

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Offline catsalsus Reading Holes Louis Sachar
16 Dec 2011, 01:13 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

I've only read P&P so far which I enjoyed. The rest of her books await me on my Kindle for when I am in the right frame of mind for a bit of romance. However my favourite film is Sense and Sensibility, mainly because I am such an Alan Rickman fan. :-)
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RE: Favorite Jane Austen novel?

(15 Dec 2011 10:09 PM)AnneBrooke Wrote:  Oh, I do love Emma - and the recent film of it too with Gwyneth Paltrow and that gorgeous man whose name I forget. Arrggh!! But I have a real soft spot for Persuasion - and I do also agree about the Root/Hinds mix on TV - that was amazing Smile

Anne
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Anne, I believe it was Jeremy Northam in "Emma" with Gwyneth Paltow. He was lovely in it.

I agree with many of the comments here about the difficulty in making good guys interesting. Miss Austen makes sure to show Mr. Knightley getting frustrated, and even downright exasperated, with Emma enough so he does not appear milquetoast. It's brilliant.

On a side note, have you noticed how many Jane Austen adaptations feature fantastic actors? It does not get any better than Colin Firth and Alan Rickman.
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