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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:28 pm 
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Elvendork
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Oh, me too, Frelga! :love: Mr Knightley is not only my favourite Austen man but one of my top favourite men in literature. :) He kind of ties with Faramir. :D

Which adaptation of Emma did you see? Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma is super-annoying, IMO, but I love Jeremy Northam's Knightley, and it's awesome when he dresses her down for being such a cow to Miss Bates.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:39 pm 
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Yes, that one. And Clueless, but I don't like the Knightley-equivalent in that one, he is mean.

I think Paltrow's Emma is as annoying as the original. Really a very faithful and well-done adaptation, IMO.

And yes, that dressing down!

"Badly done, Emma!"

Awesome.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Prepare to lose most of your evening, and probably the rest of the week!

http://www.lizziebennet.com/story/

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:36 pm 
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Those are great!!!!!

I'm going to try to forcefully limit myself to only one a day. Just to stretch them out.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:00 pm 
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I've recently read Longbourne by Jo Baker.

It came in one of the Kindle recommended emails I get from Amazon.

There are a lot of Pride and Prejudice fan books out there, and I've read my share, but this one is better than most. It's certainly better than the much-vaunted and so very disappointing follow up by PD James, Death Comes to Pemberley, which I will never re-read, whereas this one is a keeper.

Jo Baker tells the story we know, but from the perspective of those who live below stairs. The servants, who are mere background colour in Austen's novel, here become the protagonists. We have Mrs Hill the housekeeper, Mr Hill, butler and coachman, Sarah the housemaid - and our heroine - and Polly, the scullery maid. To this, Baker adds James Smith.

Sarah's story is central, and in telling her tale, Baker places Austen's protagonists in the wings, and their doings become equally peripheral and even opaque.

Baker uses the story as a vehicle to explore the lives of the servant class in Regency England; we see the drudgery and toil required on the part of those below stairs to maintain the glitter and perfection of the lives of those above. We see Austen's characters through a far less flattering lens, yet our opinions of them are not necessarily lowered, but rounded.

The story is rich and interesting, and written with a careful hand and keen eye. She doesn't try to emulate Austen's style, and her focus is not romantic. This is a good book even without reference to P & P.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:13 am 
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One of the primary reasons I have never been able to re-read an Austen novel is her treatment of "the help." I'd rather have an "upstairs-only" story than a mostly upstairs one that includes belittling caricatures of the "downstairs" representatives.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:46 am 
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??? I have to say that I don't detect "belittling" in Austen's treatment of servants—nothing beyond what one would expect. She seems more aware of them as human beings than is typical. No, it isn't an American-style democratic ideal; but she does portray them as people, with opinions.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:52 am 
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I don't expect American-style classlessness (though it is a fiction that class doesn't exist in America), but I find the portrayals of the help in Austen to be condescending. Not outright caricatures (that may have been too strong a word), but subtly patronizing, perhaps.

Or maybe I'm just not partial to drawing room dramas, and am making excuses for not liking Austen more! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:45 am 
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Impenitent wrote:
I've recently read Longbourn by Jo Baker.


So have I! :) I liked it a lot. The author has a lovely writing style.

Quote:
Sarah's story is central, and in telling her tale, Baker places Austen's protagonists in the wings, and their doings become equally peripheral and even opaque.

Baker uses the story as a vehicle to explore the lives of the servant class in Regency England; we see the drudgery and toil required on the part of those below stairs to maintain the glitter and perfection of the lives of those above. We see Austen's characters through a far less flattering lens, yet our opinions of them are not necessarily lowered, but rounded.

The story is rich and interesting, and written with a careful hand and keen eye. She doesn't try to emulate Austen's style, and her focus is not romantic. This is a good book even without reference to P & P.


Agree with all of this! However, I have three bones to pick with the book. I was enjoying it hugely until (spoilers):

Spoiler: show
- About two-thirds through the book, after the Sarah-centric POV, I found the abrupt switch to James' POV, and his traumatic time in the Napoleonic Wars - we are in Sharpe territory now, this is the same war depicted in Sean Bean's famous mini-series of the 1990s - somewhat jarring. It's meant to be, of course, and Jo Baker writes as well about the grim reality of that war as she does about the drudgery of servant life. And of course we had to know James's back story. I'm still struggling, then, to wonder why the third volume of the book didn't completely work for me, especially as a lot of things fall into place in terms of James's characterisation. :scratch: Maybe it's because I was enjoying Sarah's perspective so much and kind of felt cheated.

- I was also really thrown for a loop by the fact that James is revealed to be Mr Bennet's illegitimate son. I'm not saying that scenario is implausible: of course not. It's just that I quite like Mr B in the original canon (he's no saint, but fundamentally a decent sort), and I feel quite upset with Jo Baker for making me dislike him. :( It also seems a tad contrived to me, plot-wise ... I'd have much preferred it if Mrs Hill (who is a really great character in Jo Baker's novel) had had an affair with somebody unknown, someone outside the narrative.

- Jo Baker wastes Ptolemy Bingley. I liked him, and feel unsatisfied by the outcome there.


But! - I do really like how Jo Baker portrays both Mr Collins and Mary in a much more sympathetic light than Austen ever does. Mr Collins is still something of a twit, but certainly not the comedic, self-satisfied boor that the BBC 1995 adaptation made him out to be (and I do love that series).

- Wickham is even more nasty in this than he was in Austen. Holy cow. :help:

- I kind of like how Lydia is still an airhead :P but undeniably entertaining with it.

- Love the little glimpse of Elizabeth and Darcy's married life. A little bit ambiguous, but totally realistic.

Above all the novel is worth reading for its visceral, gritty depiction of the back-breaking reality of service to the upper and middle classes. It works well as a stand-alone, but I think the reading experience would have more depth if one has already read Austen. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:41 am 
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http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/10/30/p ... 282cd187d0

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It might be time to get reacquainted with Jane Austen’s most famous family. Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) aren’t just eligible singles anymore; they’re sword- and knife-wielding martial artists.

With a zombie apocalypse that’s been raging for more than 70 years, they kind of have to be. Writer-director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) took on the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s enormously popular book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after years of development hell—David O. Russell had penned a draft and was attached to direct at one point—and rewrote the script with an eye toward realism. “The first thing I did was reinsert all the Pride and Prejudice beats,” says Steers, who also beefed up the roles of Darcy (Sam Riley) and Wickham (Jack Huston).

But it’s the spark-plug sisters who steal the show with their corset-bound roundhouse kicks. When it comes to her character, James doesn’t think that’s too much of a stretch. “Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” she says. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.” Filming began in late September; the action-adventure literary adaptation should hit the big screen next year.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:16 pm 
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I read this book. :D

I don't know. I think this could work. It might require some alcohol consumption, though.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
I don't expect American-style classlessness (though it is a fiction that class doesn't exist in America), but I find the portrayals of the help in Austen to be condescending. Not outright caricatures (that may have been too strong a word), but subtly patronizing, perhaps.

Or maybe I'm just not partial to drawing room dramas, and am making excuses for not liking Austen more! :)



Ever read Middlemarch? I think of it as the anti-Austen, although that's fair to neither. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:17 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
I read this book. :D

I don't know. I think this could work. It might require some alcohol consumption, though.


Everything improves with alcohol consumption.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:06 am 
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Filmmakers: Keep Keira "one expression" Knightly away from these adaptations, and you'll start off at an advantage.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:06 am 
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axordil wrote:
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
I don't expect American-style classlessness (though it is a fiction that class doesn't exist in America), but I find the portrayals of the help in Austen to be condescending. Not outright caricatures (that may have been too strong a word), but subtly patronizing, perhaps.

Or maybe I'm just not partial to drawing room dramas, and am making excuses for not liking Austen more! :)



Ever read Middlemarch? I think of it as the anti-Austen, although that's fair to neither. :)


Loved Middlemarch! And for all the reasons you might expect.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:54 am 
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I like neither Austen nor zombies (Tried reading P & P three times - never got past chapter four before being bored out of my mind. Couldn't even watch episode 2 of "Walking Dead" because it was just so stooooooopid!)

So I obviously have nothing to contribute here. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:29 pm 
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That seemed like a contribution to me. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Filmmakers: Keep Keira "one expression" Knightly away from these adaptations, and you'll start off at an advantage.


Word. :D

(I feel bad about dissing her as she does come across in interviews as a nice person, but ... I will never love her acting.)


I find the zombie thing disturbing and distasteful. :neutral: So I won't be reading or watching the Austen/zombie crossover.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:58 pm 
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Keira was great in Bend it like Beckham.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:08 pm 
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I adore Keira for telling the story of having her cleavage painted on for 45 minutes before shooting PotC. So many actresses pretend that the camera shows anything like their real looks.

I just don't see her as an Austen heroine.

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