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January 07, 2007

Pride and Prejudice

Unlike many of my literary friends who adore Jane Austen, I'm lost in the sea of words and long descriptions typical of her novels.  I've been able to slowly wade through Emma, but have been completely unsuccessful -- and thoroughly bored -- with Pride and Prejudice.  Please, the fault's all mine -- but, there it is.   Which brings us to last night.  Shall I set the scene?  nona's home alone, knitting, and sipping wine.  I flipped on the TV and scanned the HBO free movies looking for something, anything reasonable.  On a whim I selected Pride and Prejudice.  Need I say more, it was excellent.  So good in fact that I watched it twice -- yup, restarted the movie immediately after it ended.  I hereby declare myself a visual Austen fan.

4+ hours in front of the TV can really only mean one thing -- much knitting. This big hunk of gray is the beginnings of my Eliza Cardigan from Simply Shetland 2.  Please, fashionable reader, don't be put off by the frumpy look of this cardigan.  I've seen it knit up and I'm convinced mine with look almost -- just, almost -- hip.  I'm knitting it in Lana Grossa's Royal Tweed, which is a wonderfully soft, tweedy wool.  You may recall my swatch from the other day.  Same yarn, different color.  So far I'm loving the yarn and loving the sweater.

January 7, 2007 | Permalink


I'm with you on Jane Austen. Emma nearly killed me in high school. I couldn't even finish it (and I'm a rather prolific reader). I never even tried to read anything else by her. I have seen Pride & Prejudice, though... a couple of different versions, and her work is so much better acted out than read.

I think, maybe, it's because you get less of the internal thoughts of the characters. In Emma, at least, it was the constant "he's too good for her, but she's too good for him" type of stuff that turned me off so much.

Posted by: Leisel | Jan 8, 2007 12:07:10 AM

Ooh, was it the movie? In that case, you need to watch the BBC series too. I love love love watching that while I knit!

You could also try Jane Austen as audiobook, works well for me too :)

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 8, 2007 12:30:25 AM

I'm crazy about tweed right now! Can't buy any more wool at the moment though, so I'll just watch you knit yours.

I have never been able to read Jane Austen either, but love the movie Emma (w/Gwennyth Paltrow), and of course Pride and Predujice was just incredible.

Recently I've started listening to her books on Librivox.org, which is this really cool free site for downloading audio. Hours of peaceful knitting time, and all free!! For me it's way easier to visualize if someone's reading to me when the phrases are that complicated and detailed.

Posted by: Faith | Jan 8, 2007 3:07:09 AM

I LOVED (loved!) the Pride and Prejudice movie too! i'm pretty sure i watched it about 4 times in one day. the part at the end when he says he loves her and can't quite get it out of his mouth he says it 3 times... ahhhhh melting!!! (i agree too, too much words in the book... not everything needs to be spelled out.) Oh and Love the sweater too ;-)

Posted by: margaux | Jan 8, 2007 5:23:42 AM

The one I watch over and over and over again is Sense & Sensibility. Hands down THE BEST visual Jane Austen out there. And I think I've seen them all. Even the holly/bollywood version Bride and Prejudice.

Posted by: Cara | Jan 8, 2007 5:47:10 AM

NOOO! _Pride and Prejudice_ is one of my most favorite books ever! The movie (with Kiera Knightly)is okay but the book's so, so, so much better. I don't know how people who haven't read the book follow the movie...there's so much left out! The BBC version is better, as in more true to the book, but you know you only watch it to see Colin Firth soaking wet.

But it's true I like long, overly emotionally internalized books. Which other people may not.

Posted by: mollysusie | Jan 8, 2007 7:39:56 AM

Ah. Jane and I are old friends. I discovered her when in high school and that was in the sixties. Try reading her aloud and see if you like her better. She's a hoot!

Posted by: Carla | Jan 8, 2007 7:43:48 AM

I agree - Austen in movies is way better than Austen in writing. But then I've long had an aversion to novels of that era, for the same reason.

Posted by: Shanti | Jan 8, 2007 8:07:35 AM

:) i love that movie. i'm a big matthew macfayden fan. he's entirely dreamy.

Posted by: gleek | Jan 8, 2007 8:14:18 AM

I actually like Jane Austin. What can I say, her stuff was easier to read than some of the other stuff I had to read in school. If you watched the Pride movie with Kiera And Matthew I would suggest that you also rent the BBC version. Both are good and completely different.

Posted by: Mia | Jan 8, 2007 11:40:11 AM

The version with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is so good - I have that one on DVD and I absolutely love it. But I do like all Jane Austen, books and movies, new & old!

Posted by: Lydia / Windansea | Jan 8, 2007 3:23:09 PM

If you like the one with Kiera Knightley and uh...Matthew MacFadyen, you should rent (buy!) the 1995 miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It's 6 hours long and it gets much more deeply involved into the characters than the 2005 movie. I love it, but I also love the 2005's atmosphere and romantic, intense appeal. The miniseries' love story is quieter, Darcy becomes more and more in love with Elizabeth, and you watch Elizabeth fall in love with Darcy.

Posted by: Christina | Jan 8, 2007 11:05:19 PM

For me, it didn't hurt that I had a crush on Matthew MacFadyen! I hadn't read the book in a long time and the movie made me want to pick it up again.

Posted by: monica | Jan 9, 2007 7:29:05 AM

Love the movies, too! Must say Eliza appears quite frumpy, but I'm sure your version will be smashing. Loving the color you've selected.

Posted by: Lisa | Jan 9, 2007 4:13:50 PM

I love P&P but I highly recommend Sense & Sensibility, the film with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant is brilliant, I can watch it over and over again (and I always cry at the same bit). The book is very much more detailed, but I'm sure if I'd been alive when there was no telly I would have loved all that extra stuff...

Posted by: weeza | Jan 10, 2007 4:02:48 AM

I have tried some Jane Austen books-on-tape, and Ouch. I listened to Sense and Sensibility and had to play the first CD about 5 times to figure out who was who. I believe I read P & P in school and managed OK, but the prose is a little hard to follow while you're cooking dinner!

Posted by: jessie | Jan 11, 2007 3:25:29 AM

Dear Dear Nona...P&P is one my favorites ...the BBC version with Colin Firth is to die for. The very best is to READ "Bridget Jones Diary" after you see it. (you can watch the movie, but only AFTER you read THE BOOK) It is roll on the floor funny, and you will see the modern tie in to P&P. I just LOVE Mr. Darcy!!

Posted by: nona friend the oldest | Jan 15, 2007 12:57:15 PM

I have never read Austin, but sure did LOVE that movie! Also check out Emma with Gwenyth Paltrow and Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Both are excellent movies!

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