Dear friends – where to begin? I have just begun my first year at university, studying for my English degree (wohoo!) and until now had all but fallen off the planet, as Vikings and Beowulf sometimes have that effect … I’m so happy to be back in the Team Jane world, and look forward to becoming a regular on the scene again. But, enough babble. Earlier in the year Team Jane discussed “Mini Austen Stats” – and as Jane brought us together, it only seems fitting that we share our individual “Jane discovery”. Please comment with your own Jane experience – how did you discover her world?
I discovered the wonderful world of Jane Austen when I was twelve, courtesy of the BBC’s (amazing) adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. I laughed, and laughed and swooned (a little, or more) my way through the dvds – gosh, videos, they were then (!) and was won over by the unique characters, wit and charm. I read the book, and then Emma, and then every other novel, complete or otherwise, and after that there was no turning back. My bookcase has a dedicated Austen shelf (or three) and under sane circumstances I would be embarrassed to admit how many different editions I own of the same book – but not with Jane. You can never have too much Austen. Classic literature is more than art, or "just" books – to me these books are friends.
Favourite book: Emma and Pride & Prejudice.
Favourite character: I can’t choose. And it’s no easier to choose my least favourite character. This is Jane Austen!
Favourite Hero/Heroine: Knightley, Darcy. Emma, Elizabeth Bennett. (I can’t help myself!)
(Today’s) Favourite quote(s): This should be short and snappy, but hey! I think that would be totally out of character. I cannot think of a single Austen passage or quote that I love above all others. I can for Dickens and Bronte, but not Austen. There are too many gorgeous quotes in Austen that I love: hilarious, witty, tender, tragic as they may be. So I’ll share two favourites that never fail to make me laugh … badly.
But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way. - Northanger Abbey.
Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted? – Pride & Prejudice
Favourite adaptation: The magnificent Pride & Prejudice 1995, followed by Emma (Kate Beckinsale) and Sense & Sensibility 1996. I adore these three adaptations. Pride & Prejudice is incomparable. It really is. A&E’s Emma was love on first viewing – I love the casting. Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility is just lush - gorgeous cinematography and soundtrack, wonderful casting, and most of all a complete emotional journey.
In summary, I credit Jane Austen with setting me on my life path through my love of classic literature and film. Among many other things. Long live the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen!