Thursday, 5 July 2007

You know you’re obsessed with 'Becoming Jane' when…

1. You watched it four-times… and planned to watch it for the fifth time and was devastated because the movie was already gone from the cinema

2. You start compiling pictures of Becoming Jane just to enact the scenes that you will not see again until mid September 2007 as the DVD is released in the UK (not sure with other parts of the world)

3. On that note, you circle August 3 and 10 in your calendar with red markers to remind you and your family/friends of the utmost important days of BJ release in North America

4. You have three BJ movie booklets; one for the office, one for your nightstand, and one to give your friend you stole the first booklet from

5. You also use BJ pictures as your screen-saver to procrastinate upon every ten minutes of idleness

6. You start to love Glaswegian actors, for James McAvoy’s accent (both the original and movie version) is so sexy!

7. You adore Anne Hathaway so much, you wish that she actually sang in Becoming Jane to increase the magnitude of the already passionate romance (she is, after all, an accomplished soprano)

8. On that note, you bug a friend at YouTube to send you the rare copy of Anne Hathaway singing an aria of Woman in White to be used by your other YouTube friend to make a BJ music video

9. You start wishing that Jane Austen actually used the names of ‘Anne Hathaway’ and ‘James McAvoy’ because, as Megan from New Zealand said, the names are very appropriate for a Regency romantic novel

10. You also hope that Anne and James will be paired again in another romantic period drama, with a happy ending this time, for they have such a sizzling screen-chemistry!

11. You love Henry Austen so much, you start wishing that you have such a brother in your life (better, with such a cute eligible friend like Tom Lefroy!)

12. You start this habit of speaking with a lifted chin the way Eliza de Feullide did

13. You dream of sharing your secrets with a sister like Cassandra, with strict prior warning that she will not cull your letters and emails later on

14. You dream of attending a conference in England (for it’s way too expensive to go there yourself) so that you can make an extra detour to Jane Austen-related sites

15. You visit Becoming Jane IMDB message board (and other possible message boards) just to drop a post or two per day, and you are frustrated if the message board does not show significant increase in message number (where are those people?!)

16. You join BJ fanlisting to prove that you are indeed a fan

17. You start doing ‘Jane Austen DVD watching-spree’ by watching Pride & Prejudice (1995 and 2005), Sense & Sensibility (1995), Emma (1996) and Mansfield Park. When you find that your library does not have DVDs of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (blasphemy!), you start to read the books just to get a better understanding

18. On that note…more than 1/3 of your library books are Jane Austen-related

19. You browse Amazon, Ebay and other places to order JA-related books that are not found in your library

20. And on a recent Penguin discount in your local bookstore, you bought three Jane Austen novels for your private collection (you’re now waiting for the discount for Oxford editions, for sometimes they have different notes from the Penguin ones)

21. You are exceedingly disappointed to find out that Radovici’s ‘A Youthful Love’ is out of print (blasphemy!). Then, the sun shines again as a friend sends you the copy of her precious book (thanks Linda!). As you receives the 'precious one', you immediately scan the entire book into pdf and make another hard copy for further reading and note-jotting . You then place the original document in a very safe filing cabinet along with your other precious data.

22. Due to your excessive fandom to BJ and Jane Austen, you drag your friends to watch other JA movies, like it or not.

23. Much later than other Janeites (but better late than never), you start to curl your hair in Regency style

24. On that note, you’re very happy that the recent winter fashion involves particular tunics that look a bit like Regency style… albeit much shorter and made of wool instead of muslin

25. You're using your working time to browse Jane Austen-related papers, instead of researching your work

26. You notice the difference between Jane’s costumes and the costumes of other female characters, and decide to take a closer look into the Regency vs Georgian/Rococo costume history, eventually resulting in three articles of BJ costumes

27. You search for food in Regency period just to know what Jane and Tom were eating during their dinner in London with Tom’s uncle

28. You encroach Wikipedia with articles by articles, and then, realising that Wikipedia is after all a common resource (hence your article is subjected to deletion anytime), decided to create your own blogspot to preserve those articles

29. You drag a BJ fan you’ve just met in a BJ message board to share the excitement of making the blog (thanks Rachel!)

30. You bug many people in other JA message board to send you copies of JA and Tom Lefroy-related materials (thanks Linda and Warren!)

31. You bug a ‘private Austenian detective’ to solve JA-related acrostics, puns and riddles (thanks Arnie!)

32. You went to Chawton House twice to see the costumes of Becoming Jane, and planning to do that the third times as well as soon as possible

33. You stroll the streets of London just to see Cork Street and, upon finding it still relatively intact after two hundred years, sobbed and thought of romantic things Jane and Tom did there

34. You plan to visit the town of Basingstoke just to get a picture of Barclays Bank that used to be the Basingstoke Assembly Rooms, just to get a bit of idea of the place where Jane danced with Tom

35. You learn Google Map and download Google Earth just to make maps of Hampshire and London for your posts

36. You desperately try to find the source of the music used in the second ball in Lady Gresham’s manor, for it is (to your horror) not found in the BJ soundtrack CD

37. You start to connect dots of every Jane and Tom factoids you find… even if it may not have any connections at all

38. You start tearing down JA’s letters to find any ‘insignificant’ detail missed by previous biographers, in case the detail is actually VERY significant

39. You dream of finding an old wooden-chest somewhere deep in the country of England that contains undiscovered letters and notes of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy

40. You spend your printing account at the uni to print the out-of-print 424-pages of Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy just to understand that old bald bloke better

In only a mere two months, your knowledge of Jane Austen experienced a quantum leap from thinking that Jane Austen and Jane Eyre are the same person (!), into the ability to make at least two comprehensive academic papers of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy

42. People start to think that you’re actually doing a postgraduate research in Classical English Literature, instead of psychology or environmental science!

43. On that note, you start using JA words such as ‘hitherto’ and ‘thither’ in your academic papers. Unfortunately, 'It is the truth universally acknowledged' is not an acknowledged term in academic reviews.

44. You bug people in BJ message board to continue the list, for you are going to put them in your own BJ blogsite

45. You visit this site frequently just to get another glance at Jane and Tom before the US and Canada viewing on August 3 (thanks a lot, ladies and gents!) and you send me your own ‘signs of BJ obsession’ after reading this post!

Pic of Jane & Tom and Jane & Cass are taken from

Pic of Henry & Tom is from

Pic of the old Tom Lefroy is from Ebay (lost link), dated circa 1855


Arnie Perlstein said...

Obsession in the service of obtaining a better understanding of the heart and mind of a great genius like Jane Austen is no sin---or if it is, then you can join me and the other kindred spirits I've met online during the past few years in a special Jane Austen purgatory where we can all repent together.....AFTER we figure out eveything there is to know about Jane Austen! ;)

Icha said...

LOL! Will do, will do. Can you book me a VIP ticket then in the JA purgatory? That would be lovely indeed...

Vic said...

Funny but true, Icha. So many of us can relate to your list that it isn't even funny.

Anonymous said...

i don't know if you've read about this, i imagine you have, but do you know anything about the propriety of letters back in the day? as in, it was not permitted for anything but an engaged man and woman (unless they were family) to write letters to one another. this is why darcy personally gives elizabeth the letter in pride and prejudice, and why the act is such a big deal -- because basically, they weren't supposed to communicate "so intimately" (it's also brilliantly put in by jane austen for darcy's overall character, think about it). i read of all of this in a note to a penguin edition, and then actually found these rules in print in an antique store in a book called Hill's Manual of Social Forms, printed during Jane Austen's life.

There are also rules about "acceptable topics" in letters -- which you could say that the reason Cassandra destroyed Jane's letters were to essentially protect her as she was discussing something that was not-acceptable and would thus tarnish Jane Austen's reputation, post-mortem, should they ever be read.

anyway, i'm a former lit geek and figured i'd at least mention it as you've oft-mentioned letters and you like to connect dots.

... waiting patiently for the film to come out in america, thanks for making the wait bearable!

Icha said...

Yes, I noticed that tradition (mentioned also in the Oxford ed of P&P). I also understand that Cass did that to protect Jane, and I see it as something acceptable, even to date. But for BJ lovers like myself, those burnt letters only raised more and more questions. Oh, not ALL would be about Tom, I guess. It could be about Manydown and JA's refusal over Harris Bigg-Whither's proposal, or about Jane's comments on somebody else (she was a sharp-tongued girl, JA...).

Thank you for your comments, by the way :-) Nice to hear that the site is useful.