Sales of the Penguin edition of Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice shot up by 22 per cent last year, according to analysts Nielsen BookScan

Source: Jane Austen takes Pride of place for book sales in lockdown as sales of her famous novel soar  | Daily Mail Online

The Dashwood Sisters.  Could there be anything more entertaining than these two women?  They are as different as night and day and both on a pursuit for husbands. Elinor bears everything with quiet decorum and sense. Marianne is outspoken and seeks the thrills of romantic fellowship with no sense at all.

Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite Austen works. It was her first novel written in 1795 at the age of 19 and was accepted by a publisher and put into print in 1811 (at her own expense, I might add for all you indies out there).  Though I’m not an Austen expert by any means, I’m thankful for the many resources available online about her life and works from people who are.  I have had the good fortune of seeing part of her manuscript for Persuasion at the London Library penned in her own hand with the name of Captain Wentworth on the page.

I’m not quite sure what it is about this story. Perhaps it’s the yearning for love and silent pining inside the hearts of women that draws me so strongly to their characters.  As females, we probably all have a bit of Elinor and Marianne in each of us.

Elinor, who loves the steady, kindhearted, humble man in the form of Edward Ferrars, is the sensible sister of the two.  She bears her love and disappointment with quiet restraint while dealing with her sister’s outward and passionate emotions regarding Willoughby.

Though I’ve never had a sister, the fact that they are so different as night and day is entertaining to me.  Austen does a wonderful job with each of them telling the other about their own exasperation over the other’s personality. Hear how Marianne scolds her sister.

“I do not attempt to deny,” said she, “that I think very highly of him—that I greatly esteem, that I like him.”  Marianne here burst forth with indignation.  “Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again, and I will leave the room this moment.”

Then there is Marianne — brokenhearted Marianne whose life nearly ends because she cannot have the man she loves.  Marianne, of course, is undoubtedly the romantic at heart in this story compared to her sister Elinor who keeps everything hidden for the sake of propriety.  Marianne lost all good sense when it came to her infatuation with Willoughby.  Gregarious, passionate, and handsome Willoughby fits perfectly into her idealist qualifications of what a gentleman should be. “Mama, the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much! He must have all Edward’s virtues, and his person and manners must ornament his goodness with every possible charm.”

Though Marianne is happy for her sister’s budding relationship with Edward, she clearly expresses her thoughts of the deficits of his personality in her eyes. “Oh! mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward’s manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!” 

For me, Marianne represents all of the girlish and hopeful feelings we possess at 16 years of age regarding love.  Our hearts are filled with romantic notions of being swept off our feet by the most amiable of men, who can recite to us poetry with heartfelt enunciation that brings tears to our eyes. They rescue us when in distress, are attentive, offer flowers, cut locks of our hair to keep with them, and promise to adore us for all eternity.

Elinor, on the other hand, is the more mature young woman who sees the wonder of what love can be but also recognizes the cruel hurt and devastation it can bring to a female’s heart.  She not only sees the terrible effects of a broken heart nearly bringing her dearest sister to death’s door, but she also bears the heartache of love lost to another.

As far as modern adaptations on screen, we have been blessed with two beautiful renditions of Sense and Sensibility in film and television.  The 1995 movie version with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson is a wonderful condensed version. My favorite, however, probably because it is much longer is the 2008 BBC version starring Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield.  The choice of characters for Edward and Colonel Brandon excited me a bit more, as well as the cinematography.

Do you relate to Elinor or Marianne?  Are you the sensible sister or the whimsical sister?  In historical romance, I love to examine characters, and Jane Austen gives us wonderful ones to enjoy.

1995 Movie 2008 BBC TV
Emma Thompson
Hattie Morahan
Kate Winslet
Charity Wakefield

1995 Movie 2008 BBC TV
Hugh Grant
Dan Stevens
Greg Wise
Dominic Connor
Alan Rickman
David Morrissey

You are never too old to enjoy Jane Austen. This is a heartwarming article that at any age, Jane’s novels can be relevant and enjoyable.  Have you read one lately?

Mrs Wilson wants teachers to encourage their students to interpret authors such as Austen through the prism of their own experience, rather than focusing solely on the features of the text, or its cultural and political context.

Source: After achieving her PhD at 88, Ruth wants a Jane Austen-led reading revolution

The Jane Austen Collection by Jane Austen – Are you ready for as many delightfully witty romances as you could possibly handle? The collected works of Jane Austen are available as a free Kindle ebook! This virtual omnibus includes Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and some of the author’s early works as well. If you’ve never read a Jane Austen novel before, now’s your chance to dive right at no cost to you.

Source: 15 Of The Best Free Kindle Books: 2021 Reads | Book Riot

The acidic humour and social observation in Austen’s work is often glossed over in favour of the romance, but the two are absolutely key to her books’ ongoing popularity. Her heroines are not meek and mild (viz Daphne “milksop” Bridgerton) but flawed and fired up by their knowledge that as women, they need to marry well to secure a future for themselves and, in some cases, their wider family.

Source: Best Jane Austen books, ranked: From ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to ‘Emma’ | The Independent

British actor Joel Fry, who appeared in Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, has joined Succession’s Sarah Snook to star in Persuasion, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel that Mahalia Belo is directing for Searchlight.

Source: Joel Fry Joins Sarah Snook in Jane Austen Adaptation ‘Persuasion’ (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter

Another version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is coming our way. I loved the TV Movie from 2007 with yummy Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth, but wasn’t as thrilled with their choice of Sally Hawkins as Anne. The question now is will Joel Fry be able to gain the hearts of the ladies as the Captain, while Sarah Snook may be a better choice for Anne?

2007 Persuasion

Of course, I never thought that Johnny Flynn in the 2020 version of Emma could hold a candle to Jeremy Northam in the 1996 version, but was pleasantly surprised at how touched I was with his performance. Perhaps the cravat will help to make Joel Fry appealing in the role.

Good news for Jane Austen lovers as another historical romance from the best comes to the big screen. We can only hope it does the story justice.

Reposting – worth the read if you love Georgette Heyer.

Inquiring Readers, I discovered that Susanna Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and Austen author, is as much of a fan of Georgette Heyer as I am, perhaps more. This delightful article compares and contrasts the writings of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.

 

Source: Jane Austen’s Influence on Georgette Heyer by Susannah Fullerton | Jane Austen’s World

Okay, love the series or hate the series, I’ll be the first to say it. If it hasn’t happened yet, it probably never will.  A small group of fans wishes it to be so, but I don’t see the cast or producers pushing for any second season.  It is what it is. A sad and unnecessary ending to a love story that left audiences blubbering tears, stammering mad, and downright depressed for months afterward.  It’s time to move on remembering Jane Austen’s words below.

Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then.  Pride and Prejudice

READ MORE HERE:
Writer Andrew Davies has ended speculation that new episodes are in development.
Source: Sanditon season 2 not in the works at Amazon, confirms Andrew Davies – Radio Times

If you haven’t read the book, it is pretty much word for word to the script of the series.  Perhaps Kate Riordan, who finished Jane Austen’s manuscript, will write a sequel to heal the mourners.

Oh, my gosh. Quite hilarious. This is why as historical romance authors we do not get too detailed with the beauty routine of ages past. Hold onto your bonnets, ladies, while reading this article. Priceless.

Don’t forget your false teeth!

Source: My Beauty Routine: Jane Austen Edition | by Kalea Martin | Life is Lit. | Aug, 2020 | Medium

UPDATE: Sadly, in spite of my encouragement written below, ITV has decided to axe Sanditon for a second season, stating the series struggled in ratings.  It’s a shame, frankly, because ITV made a huge mistake with this fantastic potential of a Jane Austen adaptation.  Sadly, the writers gambled on a second season and therefore left the story open and unresolved, which is now their shame and defeat.  Unless another network picks it up, I’m afraid this will go down in history as the most disappointing period drama ever filmed.  (News released December 10, 2019)

(Republished from my blog Popcorn Entertainment Reviews) January 12, 2020, PBS Masterpiece will be showing Sanditon in the United States. It has already aired in the United Kingdom and a few other places.  Those who have watched the series are biting their fingernails, waiting for the reaction across the pond that may or may not determine an announcement whether there will be a season two.  Hold onto your hats, ladies, and gents, because the ocean breezes can be strong. So what’s all the fuss about this fictional seaside resort? Well, let me explain.

Sanditon is based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel. She died before finishing the tale. Screenwriter Andrew Davies decided to finish it, along with other writers who worked on the script and brought it to ITV in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The result of those eight episodes has stirred a storm like none other Jane Austen adaptation on screen thanks to the number of viewers that fall into two camps.

The Jane Austen purists were aghast at the storyline, as it contained nudity (bare male behinds running into the cold waters), too many sexual innuendos, free-flowing hairstyles, and men and women acting non-Regency style. (How dare he kiss her and not propose!) The ending added to the horror of it all, which I will discuss later.

In the other camp are throngs of women who have lost all senses and become absolute fanatics about the series. If you don’t believe me, you need to check out the Sanditon Facebook fan group.  I make no judgment about their often desperate and humorous posts. They only want one thing in life – a second season. Andrew Davies had the nerve to leave its viewers heartbroken in a very un-Jane Austen like ending with no happiness in sight.  How dare he? Well, the women of Sanditon fandom will hear none of it, and they have been on a mission to hound ITV, Red Planet Pictures, the stars, the producers, and whoever they can find to continue the story.  Will they?  Apparently, no announcement will be made until after it airs in the United States. Today the following was posted from the official Sanditon websites:

“We are so happy you enjoyed your trip to Sanditon! We are setting sail for the US and won’t have news to share with you on a second series until the show has aired there. In the meantime, thank you so much for all your support and love for Sidlotte!” (Official Sanditon Facebook Page)

Therefore, it is imperative that you, the viewers, become incandescently obsessed with this show or otherwise a deep depression will circle the earth because Charlotte and Sidney have no happy ending.

So, who are these characters? What is the story about?  Is it because dreamy Theo James, who plays Sidney Parker has actually given the infamous Mr. Darcy and run for his money?  I will let you be the judge of this man who at first has no redeeming qualities. However, in period clothing and with that face, what woman can resist him in spite of his faults? And he will flash his bottom as well, that is if PBS doesn’t edit that scene out. They better not, or there will be hell to pay!  {fans self}

Now that I have regained my senses…

Charlotte, the heroine of the story, in a chance encounter meets the Parkers who invite her to Sanditon. She’s innocent, outspoken, and absolute joy of a character, the eldest of more children than you can count. Her father allows her to accompany the Parkers to Sanditon but not without warning. “Be careful, Charlotte,” he says.  “Careful of what, papa?”  “Everything.”

Yes, there is much to be careful about, because the rest of the characters will leave a lasting impression. There are the grumpy aristocratic lady and her relations that can’t wait for her to die to get her money. Mr. Tom Parker, with tunnel vision, is the town’s entrepreneur who thinks only of himself, along with two hypochondriac siblings. There’s the mysterious Sidney, his other brother, whose slight twitch of a smile will make you swoon. He’s guardian to a rich heiress worth 100,000 pounds who can be a handful. Of course, what story doesn’t have its antagonist you love to hate? You will want to strangle Mrs. Campion, who by the way is married in real life to Theo James. Then poor Stringer, the victim of unrequited love. Many other characters will come onto the screen as well.

The series is well-acted, to say the least. Theo James and Rose Williams, who plays Charlotte, are fantastic in displaying their emotions. Andrew Davies and the writers have woven symbolism throughout the tale that you won’t pick up on until it’s all over and you lean back in your chair, grab a tissue, and sob. Then you’ll begin to ask yourself, what just happened? Why am I blubbering over this show? What has it done to me? Why can’t I sleep? Why do I need to buy a pineapple? Why do I have to run off and join the Sanditon Facebook Fan Group to find solace and comfort among others around the world?

Yes, Sanditon will do one of two things for viewers in the United States.  First, the purist Jane Austen camp will complain and refuse to accept this story with all the faults they can pick out. Others will lose their senses, get lost, swoon, go gaga over Theo James, and lose sleep until an announcement comes that season two will be filmed and released. After all, the story must go on! We need a ripe pineapple! Tom Parker’s debts have to be paid but not with Eliza Campion’s money. Sidney needs to come to his senses! Charlotte needs a happy ending!

Enjoy, Sanditon. Oh, and be careful.  Be very careful, of everything starting January 12, 2020.