Any Jane Austen fans out there?

Discussion in 'Book Club' started by The Maid, 2 November 2009.

  1. The Maid

    The Maid Well-Known Member

    Due to the recent BBC adaptation of Emma I am going to start reading and listening to (audiobooks) Jane Austen's novels. I wondered if anyone had read Emma and then watched the BBC adaptation and if so, what do you think of it. I did read the proposal scene online from the book to compare. I also saw a critique of the Gywneth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam film which said that the novel portrays Mr Knightley as a fair landowner and employer who cared about his workers. I suppose his talk with Mr Martin was an example of this in the recent BBC version. For me, Jonny Lee Miller was an excellent Mr Knightley in that even the smallest movements of his face portrayed his thoughts and feelings. Anyone wish to comment?
  2. BlackRose

    BlackRose Well-Known Member

    Not a big Austen fan, I think I like the idea of her more than the actual books. I do love Pride & Prejudice though.

    It's the subtle humour she uses which impresses me more than the stories if you know what I mean, though I can't find fault with them. It's just a personal tatse thing. You should also watch 'Clueless' as one of the modern adaptations of 'Emma', it's actually quite a good version I think. lol Also 'The Jane Austen Book Club' is a good film to watch for little summaries of the books.
    Enjoy! I'm sure you've lots of fun exploring Austen ahead of you!
  3. Carla J

    Carla J Member

    I've read all Jane Austen's works several times. You discover new things in each book every time you re-read them.

    The BBC are pretty good at adapting Austen - I think they realise that with such well-loved classics, too much deviation will result in uproar! The major film versions aren't always to my taste, and Gwynneth Paltrow's Emma was far too nice from the start - Emma is a character you don't really start to like until the last four chapters IMO.
  4. The Maid

    The Maid Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments

    I've nearly finished reading Emma but I gave up with Jenny Agutter reading it for the audiobook as I just found her voice too bland and she often lacked expression where it was needed. I'm glad I only borrowed it from the library and didn't buy it. Having almost finished Emma, I can see how hard it is to adapt such a book for the telly or big screen. I much prefer the recent BBC one to the Gywneth Paltrow film and agree that her portrayal was of too nice a person.

    I've also found time to watch the Matthew McFadden Pride & Prejudice film. I much prefer Colin Firth, Matthew's hair in particular was a bit of a mess! Haven't read P & P yet (and, apparently, neither did Matthew! Poor show that for an actor to rely only on the script for his interpretation).

    Recently got Jane Austen for Dummies out the library which I am hoping will help with filling in on the background to her novels.:D
  5. MinnieMel

    MinnieMel Why Be Normal?

    Hi Maid, et al.

    I like Jane Austen. I have read all of her works (I think) and I agree with Clara: you get different things out of the books each time your read them. I have also seen several of the screen adaptations, but I am one of those people who get annoyed when they alter the story line, or leave out things that I think are important, etc. But unless you're doing mini-series of a book, you have to pick and choose.

    There is a good entertaining light read called The Jane Austen Book Club -- you might enjoy that as a "palate cleanser".

    Last edited: 5 December 2009
  6. Geordielass

    Geordielass But you can call me Elise

    I mostly love Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are the favourites. I'm currently re-reading Sense and Sensibility - still very good and I like it better than Emma, (who, quite honestly, the more I've read it the more I dislike). Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park I have only ever read once each.

    Actually what I say about disliking Emma isn't exactly right. It is a well-told tale, well worth reading, but it is difficult to truly love a book when you don't actually like the heroine. It certainly wouldn't be the first Jane Austen book I would recommend anyone read. Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey also both have heroines I don't get on too well with. Persuasion, as the last book she wrote, has the most mature and well-rounded main character, but it is for a very good reason that P&P is so well loved, the main characters are so interesting and lively.

    I got into them when I was about 15 or 16 when the Colin Firth version of P&P was on the TV. I find that I don't enjoy the adaptations of Jane Austen too much now - I generally hate watching adaptations of any favourite book, I always see the bits of the book I enjoyed that they decided to cut or, with Jane Austen, you lose a lot of the satirical edge. The recent film adaptation of P&P was OK, and I found that the film adaptation of Mansfield Park was a big improvement - they made big changes to the way the main character is; Fanny Price in the book is insipid and passive - I may re-read the book sometime soon, see if I still feel the same way.

    But I do really enjoy watching TV or film adaptations before I've read a book (watching Bleak House got me back into reading Dickens, having read a couple in my teens) or sometimes I find I like adaptations of books that I found a bit difficult (Middlemarch for instance as well as Mansfield Park) since I don't mind if they chop it or change it so much.

    If you want more background on Jane Austen and her books, "Mastering the Novels of Jane Austen" is an excellent book to read, though quite technical.
  7. Ready

    Ready Active Member

    I couldn't stand her at one point but she is slowly growing on me.

    Didn't like Emma when I read it for university.
    Read Northanger Abbey and enjoyed it a bit more.
    Read Mansfield Park recently and I liked it best so far.

    Maybe if I keep going I'll go from hating her to loving her over the space of six books.
  8. Crumble

    Crumble Now ready to do this!

    My mum was always saying that I should read Pride and Prejudice when I was a teenager and, being a teenager, I ignored her advice. :rolleyes:

    So glad I got more sensible because now I love her stories and think she was way before her time in her attitudes.
    I love her sense of almost wicked humour and her observations of human nature.
  9. Pink!

    Pink! Well-Known Member

    I'm going to start properly reading her works this year; I've always loved the films and tv adaptations, and I've been meaning to read the books for years.
    Tbh, Emma doesn't really appeal to me, but I love P&P so far, and I loved the Sense and Sensibility film, so that'll be next.

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