Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane Austen (had she possessed some secret to endless longevity and not died in 1817) would have been 237 years old today!  To celebrate her birthday, I'm having a good cup of tea, a slice of angel food cake, and am cozied up watching the 2005 Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice.

I'm also posting conversations on the Facebook group I recently created to kick off a project called "A Year With Jane Austen".  A group of friends, who are fellow Janeites, and I are going to season each month of 2013 with reading her works together and discussing them, watching the movie adaptations and discussing/comparing them, sharing recipes and swapping baked goodies like scones and tea recommendations, discussing and sharing stuff on the culture and fashion of the Regency Era, and all sorts of other things related to Jane.  (If you are a fellow Janeite and want to join in the fun, friend request me on Facebook (Jenny Wallace Ray) with a message, and I will add you to the group!  Our "event" for January will be reading "Emma" and discussing it.  I've never facilitated a group or a book club or anything like that before, so I'm sure I won't be perfect, but it's nothing "official".  Just a bunch of Jane Austen fans letting our geek show. :)

I'm going to get back to my movie, but before I do, I thought I would share 10 of my favorite character quotes from film versions of her works with you.  (These are in no particular order, as the movies rotate through my DVD player as though it had a revolving door on it.  I love the books in their entireties far too much to pull any one quote from them.)  Enjoy!

1.  Knightly: "You didn't ask me to contribute a riddle, Emma."
     Emma: "Your entire personality is a riddle, Mr. Knightly; I thought you overqualified."
     (From Emma)

2.  Mrs. Bennett: "He danced the fourth with a Miss King, of little standing, and the fifth again with Jane."
    Mr. Bennett:  "If he'd had any compassion for me, he would have sprained his ankle in the first set."
     (From Pride and Prejudice)

3.  Charlotte Lucas: "Count your blessings, Lizzie!  If he liked you, you'd have to talk to him."
     Elizabeth: "Precisely.  As it is, I would not dance with him for all of Darbyshire, let alone the miserable half."
     (From Pride and Prejudice)

4.  Elinor: "Thank you for your help with Margaret.  She's much changed since you've arrived."
     Edward Ferrars: "Not at all; I enjoy her company.  She's planning an expedition to China shortly, and I'm to go along as her servant.  But only on the understanding that I'm to be very badly treated."
     (Elinor laughs) "And what will your duties be?"
     Edward: "Sword-fighting, obviously; administering rum, and swabbing."
     (From Sense and Sensibility)

5.   Sir Walter Elliot: "I must say, though, the worst of Bath is the number of plain women.  I frequently observe that one pretty face would be followed by five and thirty frights."
     (From Persuasion)

6.  Marianne: "When is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity do not protect him?"
     Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood together: "Infirmity?!"
     Marianne: "Did you not hear him complain of rheumatism in his shoulder?"
     Elinor: "'A slight ache' I believe was his phrase."
     Mrs. Dashwood: "If Colonel Brandon is infirm, then I am at death's door!"
     Elinor: "It is a miracle your life has extended this far."
     (From Sense and Sensibility)

7.  Fanny Price: "Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!"
    (From Mansfield Park)*

8.  Knightly: "I have some news. (slyly) And I know how you like news!"
     Emma (conspiratorially): "Oh, yes, I always like news!"
     (From Emma)

9.   Edmund: "Oh, don't be an imbecile."
      Fanny: "Oh, but imbecility in women is a great enhancement to their personal charms."
      Edmund: "Fanny, you're being irrational!"
      Fanny: "Yet another adornment!  I must be ravishing."
     (From Mansfield Park)

10.  Elizabeth: "Shall I call for some tea?"
       Darcy: "No, thank you."
       (incredibly awkward silence as neither one knows what to say next)
       Darcy (finally rushing out the door): "Good day, Miss Elizabeth.  It's been a pleasure."
       Charlotte (coming in): "What on earth have you done to poor Mr. Darcy?!"
       Elizabeth: "... I have no idea!"
      (From Pride and Prejudice)

*This quote was used in the film version of Mansfield Park, but is actually from a piece of Jane's Juvenilia work called Love and Friendship, written in 1790.

PS- I am (distantly) genealogically related to Jane Austen!  I should find that chart I finally finished that shows the connection and post it soon.... :)

1 comment:

  1. Persuasion (especially the TV adaptation with Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth) is by far my favourite!
    I haven't read any Austen for many, many years although I've mostly enjoyed the screen versions!
    Perhaps I shall dig a volume or two out for escapism from the materialistic hurley-burley of Christmas?
    At any rate, we are visiting Bath again, sometime in the Spring - so I'd better 'bone-up' on all the locations so I know what to look out for! :-)