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Archive for the ‘Jane Austen Films’ Category

Inquiring readers, Persuasion-lite is a cinematic reworking of Jane Austen’s final novel, finished before her death, but not published until afterward. Coming off the heels of Netflix’s highly successful Bridgerton (in this cast of Persuasion-lite you can surmise the former series’ influence) and the popularity of PBS’s Sanditon, the decision-makers behind Netflix productions gave the go ahead to a film that ‘modernized’ Austen’s book in order to introduce young audiences to Jane Austen. Or so the story goes. To do so, Chefs Moderne created a story-telling recipe to appeal to newcomers.

Persuasion’s traditional recipe: 

This rich, full-bodied classic was created by a Chef in her prime. Her finished recipe transfigured deceptively simple components into rich flavors heretofore undiscovered by the ordinary palate. The original ingredients, while considered old-fashioned today, are still accessible to epicureans who wish to savor the recipe’s nuanced complexity and its historical references. 

Time to digest: hours, with repeated enjoyment over a lifetime. Three Michelin stars were awarded to this Chef, who served distinct dishes that were executed to perfection. (Some might say she would have been awarded four stars had this rating system included such a category.)

Netflix’s Persuasion-lite recipe:

This adaptation took a traditional recipe and simplified it to its basic components, using only those ingredients readily accessible in any grocery store today. While it echoes the original, it pales in comparison and fails to plumb the classic’s rich depths. To be fair, there were hints of originality in the spices. This recipe has been rewritten in modern terms that defy belief.

Time to digest: One hour and 47 minutes. One may partake of repeated helpings at the Netflix buffet. A number of diners might find this meal delicious and insist on more helpings; a number will push half eaten plates away or not order the meal again. Sadly the Chefs Moderne who adapted the recipe were not awarded a single Michelin star, since their efforts resulted in a dish that leaves the diner hungry.

Primary Ingredients:

Anne Elliot 

The original recipe described a complex woman of 27 who has lost the bloom of youth. She regrets her decision at nineteen to reject Frederick Wentworth’s proposal due to Lady Russell’s persuasive influence. He had not yet made his mark in life. Anne is a woman of character and conviction who must negotiate the difficulties of living with a shallow father and sisters. As the neglected middle child, she lives largely in their selfish shadows, submitting to her family’s and friends’ needs. When Wentworth reenters her life unexpectedly, she observes her long lost love from afar. From his indifference he seems all but lost to her. Under the Classic Chef’s direction, Anne’s journey back to her Captain via circuitous routes is touching, romantic, and memorable. 

Persuasion-1024x587

Dakota Johnson sharing Anne Elliot’s thoughts. Netflix publicity photo.

The Netflix recipe describes Anne as an opinionated cheeky woman (Dakota Johnson) who gazes at and talks to the viewers (breaking the fourth wall) while stroking her pet rabbit (see image above from Netflix publicity), sharing her thoughts in contemporary language, and swilling red wine. She tells us what’s on her mind and in her mind throughout the production. Her observations, starting with her missing Captain Wentworth, the love of her life, are often amusing. In no way does this reworked Anne reflect Austen’s language or intent. In fact, her comical mannerisms and frequent faux pas wind up as a shallow, one-note substitution for the fully realized original. The makeup department also notably applied lipstick to her mouth, thereby diminishing Anne’s transformation from a wan and mousy woman into someone who blossoms with love when reunited with her captain. 

Captain Wentworth

The classic recipe describes Wentworth as a vigorous, successful male, whose pride prevents him from revealing the hurt and, yes, love he still feels for the woman who rejected him. In the classic recipe, one can find instances of his kindness towards Anne and his growing realization that this complex, level-headed, and kind woman is worthy of his regard now as much (even more) as then.

The modern Wentworth is certainly handsome (Cosmo Jarvis), but as written for this lite version, he remains on the sidelines. I wanted him sprinkled more vigorously into this plot, but had to make do with his weak, almost secondary role. Only when Anne reads his letter out loud (it is considered to be one of the best love letters ever written) does the real and complex Austen hero come to the fore.

Mary Musgrove

Her role (Mia McKenna-Bruce) adds much comic spice and her presence in the modern version seems major compared to her irritating presence in the classic. Certainly her ingredient is one-note and overly exagerrated, but her character remains true to Austen’s depiction of a selfish, prickly, and whining sister. One memorable addition not in the classic, but quite original, is of Anne answering her sister in Italian during Mary’s nonstop self-indulgent monologues – which she fails to notice.

William Elliot

His role is stronger in the lite recipe than in the classic. In fact, his (Henry Golding’s) presence overpowers Wentworth’s at times and Anne seems more susceptible to his dubious charms. Why is beyond me, for he shares with her his sleazy plan to prevent a possible marriage between Sir Walter and his daughter’s widowed companion in Bath, a Mrs Clay, who in the original recipe sported a snaggle tooth but who, in the lite version, has an ample bosom. William’s sole aim was to prevent Sir Walter from siring an heir that would knock him out of first place for inheriting what remains of the Elliot estate. His final scene in the film elicited a guffaw from me, but Austen’s classic wit did not look for laughter in the cheap seats and the ending in Persuasion-lite made no sense, for William would never have married a woman with no station in life or money.

Henrietta, Louisa, and Charles Musgrove (Respectively: Izuka Hoyle, Nia Towle, and  Ben Bailey-Smith). 

Sisters-in-law and husband of Mary Musgrove, they pop in and out of the lite narrative to showcase the sisters’ friendship with Anne and her former and current relationship to Charles. Louisa’s story arc especially moves the plot forward. Charles is Mary’s long suffering husband in the classic version, but the Chefs Moderne use him to demonstrate Anne’s awkward drunken confession during the Musgrove’s dinner party to inform the assembled company that Charles had proposed to her first. The Classic’s sensible, thoughtful Anne would rather have died than commit such crude impropriety.

Supporting Ingredients:

Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot

Both characters are sadly given short shrift. Their curt treatment was perhaps intentional, but during their short on screen time, the two actors made their mark. Richard Grant’s performance, while over the top funny, reminds me more of Billy Nighy’s comedic turn as Mr. Woodhouse in Emma. 2020 than the character described by Austen. In Grant’s case, his Sir Walter is certainly fixated on his self-important status, which in the lite version was funny. In the classic version, however, Austen made it clear that as a baronet he sat at the lowest end of the peerage scale, making his egotistical turn even more absurd. 

Elizabeth  (Yolanda Kettle) is not more beautiful than Anne, as described in the Classic. In fact, she looks anemically pale next to her sister’s vivid coloring. Except for Elizabeth’s sumptuous wardrobe and meticulous hairstyles, one would not have thought her to be the favored older sister. Her mean-spiritedness remains intact, however, and contrasts nicely with Anne’s, well, niceness.

Lady Russell (Nikki Amuka-Bird)

This lady’s well meaning advice separated Anne from her captain. She plays the loving mother substitute and appears just enough in Persuasion-lite to remind us that Anne has had someone in her corner since her mother’s death. As in the Classic, she shows more concern for her young friend than her actual family.

A variety of  ingredients (which, sadly, are mostly unrecognizable for uninformed palates in this lite version):

Admiral and Mrs Croft, Captain and Mrs Harville, Mr & Mrs Musgrove and their two young grandsons, Captain Benwick, Mrs Clay, and Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret. (Mrs Smith is undetectable.) 

Those unfamiliar with the classic recipe will miss their almost absent presence or wonder about their inclusion. Mrs Smith, who made an appearance in the Classic, is ignored, but she was an important witness to William Elliot’s character.

I defy those new to Austen to accurately suss out these characters’ relationship with Anne or the Elliot family. Sir Walter’s attraction to Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret is given more importance (we already know he’s a peerage snob) than the elder Musgroves and Mary’s two young boys, or Admiral and Mrs Croft, who play important roles in Anne’s journey back to Wentworth.

Spices:

Clothing

Some critics who reviewed Persuasion-lite found the clothes drab and lackluster. Their critiques should have been amended to Anne’s clothes only. Since the makeup department never removed the bloom off her rose, her wardrobe substituted for her appearance, which was ‘“so altered that [Wentworth] should not have known her again.” Her gray and brown spinsterish gowns brighten as she is exposed more to Wentworth’s company. The other actors and actresses are appropriately fashionable for their stations, which reflect clothing in 1816-17 England. I also thought that the homespun, handmade feel of Anne’s wardrobe made sense, in that she was the least favored daughter and probably had her clothes sewn by a local seamstress, whereas Elizabeth and Mary most likely demanded gowns made by modistes in London. 

Sites:

Ah, lovely England with its historic villages and great mansions.These were wonderfully represented with beautiful exteriors, interiors and gardens. Two locations played prominent roles.

Lyme Regis: This seaside village plays a pivotal role in both the Classic and Lite versions. The basic storyline of Austen’s plot remains in the lite version, but details are missing. Still, Lyme Regis, the Cobb, the village, and it beautiful shoreline are a visual treat, and many of the scenes do echo the Classic version,  and even include bits and pieces of original dialogue.

Lyme-Regis-Persuasion-Netflix (1)

First glimpse of William Elliot’s carriage in Lyme Regis. At the window from left, Anne Elliot and to her right the Musgrove sisters. To the far right, Mary Musgrove nee Elliot.

Bath: Ah, the buildings, the streets, the views of the Royal Crescent, the walk down the stairs in the Upper Assembly Rooms. There was no promenade in the Pump rooms, where Anne’s famous line to William Elliot is widely quoted (but looked over in the Lite version;)

“My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’

‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.” – Jane Austen, Persuasion

Although this lovely quote was not included, some of Anne’s conversations were used in Bath, as well as Captain Wentworth’s love letter. Since these scenes lead to the denouement, they ended the film on a high note.

Language: 

Here’s where the Chefs Moderne took the greatest license. Instead of using the beautiful language in the Classic, the Chefs Moderne chose modern phrases. I defy you to find them in a Regency era lexicon.

“We are strangers. Worse than strangers. We’re exes.” (Anne Elliot)

“It is often said if you’re a five in London, you’re a ten in Bath!” (Anne Elliot breaking the 4th wall when she looks directly into the camera to converse with the viewer.)

“Marriage is transactional” (Lady Russell)

“Thanks”

“I am an empath” (Mary Musgrove)

“Fart around”

“He’s a ten – I never trust a ten” (Anne about William Elliot) 

“Embodying gratitude” (Mary again)

Comment: 

Good grief. The Chefs Moderne must have burned their candles down to their wicks to come up with this drivel. After watching Persuasion-lite, those not initiated to Austen’s novels and who love this filmed version, might turn to the novel. Imagine their surprise when they discover that her 205 year old book,  filled with the language, customs, and manners of her day, varies significantly from this comic book version.

Personal request: Gentle readers, feel free to agree or disagree with my musings. Let’s keep our discourse genteel and agreeable for the sake of my sanity. I thank you in advance.

Other Critics Reviews:

Negative

 “At no point during Carrie Cracknell’s directorial debut do you ever get the sense that anyone’s actually read Persuasion.” – Dakota Johnson is woefully miscast in mortifying Jane Austen adaptation – Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent

“Our demure protagonist Anne Elliot is forever doing supercilious takes and wry monologues to camera, taking despairing swigs from a bottle of red wine in private, occasionally nursing a quirky pet rabbit, and at the end (unforgivably) gives us a wink to seal the deal of our adoringly complicit approval.” Persuasion review – Dakota Johnson looks the part as Jane Austen gets Fleabagged, Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Positive

“For anyone not too bothered by departures from the novel, the romantic denouement will be immensely pleasurable.: – Dakota Johnson in Netflix’s ‘Persuasion’: Film Review, David Rooney, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter

More reviews: 

Netflix’s Persuasion the worst film of the year?, Olivia Pym, GQ Magazine

Persuasion review – a travesty of Jane Austen, Slash Film,

Trailer of the film:

Under this trailer, J.Dion wrote:

“Anne’s strength is her quiet, consistency. She is intelligent and thoughtful.  Altering her character for modern sensibilities is insulting not only to Austin’s character but to modern audiences.  There are many “Anne’s” in this world they and deserve  to be valued for who they are and the enrichment they bring to all. 

Persuasion is my favorite of Austen’s novel. Unfortunately this looks to be another instance  of the “title and names are unchanged but the characters are missing.” 

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Hello, dear friends. Rachel Dodge here. I just moved to a new city (and state) and I’m feeling under the weather and can’t do too much at the moment. I won’t be able to post the article I’ve been working on for this month, so I thought I’d just hop on and say a quick hello to you all.

Watch Lists for the Ailing Austen Fan

While I’m recuperating, I’m in need of some good Jane Austen / Downtown Abbey type shows or movies to keep me going. I know this group will be a great place to ask for some watch lists!

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, 1995.

In the comments below, please tell me the shows or movies that get you through sick days. There’s nothing like a warm cup of tea and a lovely movie to help the hours pass.

Good Neighbors

After we moved in, a neighbor left flowers and a card on our front porch! I texted her to say thank you and to let her know I’d love to meet her in person once I felt better, and she immediately asked if she could get anything from the grocery store for me. I needed a certain brand of vitamins and she went right out and got them. What a good neighbor!!

My kids have been walking our dog which gives them outings to fight off the boredom. It also means they get to wave at people as they walk up and down the sidewalk. Here’s a picture of our dog if you want to see why he’s a great helper when it comes to making new friends.

Has anyone ever done something for you when you first moved into a new house? What do you like to do for new neighbors?

Caring Friends

Once my friends “back home” heard I was sick, I soon received a flurry of text messages, calls, and Door Dash gift cards.

One dear friend who lives about 30 minutes from our new home set up a meal train with her friends in the area, even though she just broke her ankle! I can’t begin to express my gratitude.

A few care packages have arrived as well. Perfect timing! If you’ve given or received a care package, what was in it? If you could choose the perfect care package, what would you like to find inside? I found a note, a candle, a packet of tea, and a beautiful book of poetry. Absolutely perfect!

Be Still

Like most people, I’d much rather be the one to serve others, rather than be the one who is served, but I’m learning to be thankful and be okay with letting people help. It’s okay (and even needful) to be still sometimes. I’ve been thinking about the verse, “It is better to give than receive.” It certainly brings a lot of joy to both people, don’t you think?

Signing off now. Here’s to a new article next month that’s much more on topic. Wishing you all the very best in the meantime!


RACHEL DODGE teaches college English classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and book clubs, and writes for Jane Austen’s World blog. She is the bestselling author of The Little Women DevotionalThe Anne of Green Gables Devotional and Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. You can visit Rachel online at www.RachelDodge.com.

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In 2021, on the heels of Bridgerton’s success, Netflix announced a new adaptation of Persuasion starring Dakota Johnson as 27-year-old Anne Elliot and Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Wentworth. Henry Golding, given the choice to play either the captain or William Elliot, interestingly chose the latter. Also on board are Richard E. Grant and Suki Waterhouse as, I suppose, Sir Walter Elliot and Elizabeth Elliot, for their roles have not been announced. The other cast members are described at IMBD Persuasion 2022.

Persuasion pulbicity-Netflixfilm

Let these exquisite photos of Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis (t), and Henry Golding (b) tide you over until PERSUASION, a most excitable new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel arrives on Netflix in 2022.- NetflixFilm twitter @NetflixFilm

Netflix is betting on a sure thing. In addition to Bridgerton, now in its second season, the powers that be at Netflix must also have noticed Emma 2020’s draw. Before theaters closed during the pandemic, this film drew huge audiences in its opening weeks and enjoyed a steady stream of online viewers during lock down.

Jane Austen’s final novel was published posthumously in 1818, and by many it is considered her finest. This new adaptation is described as a “modern, witty approach.” We’ll see how well this approach matches Austen’s nuanced novel. Carrie Cracknell, a theater director, directs this film. Like Autumn de Wilde (Emma. 2020), she is a first-time film director. The script was written by Ron Bass (Rain Man) and Alice Victoria Winslow (Hot Spot). 

Filming began in 2021, and a release date is anticipated this year. The film is now in post production. I’m curious to see how this Persuasion stacks up against two previous adaptations, one in 1995 starring Amanda Root, and in 2007 starring Sally Hawkins. Stay tuned for more news as it comes.

Behind the scenes photos-PhotoWorld Twitter

Behind the scenes photos from Twitter, Period Drama World @WorldPeriod

Review of Persuasion by Tony Grant of the theater production, 2022

“PERSUASION (an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel by Jeff James and James Yeatman) at The Rose Theatre Kingston upon Thames.”

Marilyn and I went to see Persuasion performed at The Rose on Tuesday 8th March. It may be strange but  for somebody who professes to know a little bit about Jane Austen it is a long time since I had actually read the novel. I have delved deep into Austen’s novels over the years for quotes and to reference her possible thoughts  and ideas about life and love,  but I have failed to read the whole of the novels since I first read them all  years ago.  I have lost sight. I think of what Jane actually wrote. So I read Persuasion again and it wowed me. It is a novel that explores the shifting of society  in the early 19th century when much was changing, not just relationships, but class and the industrial world was taking off. It seems apposite that at the moment when the world order is actually changing that The Rose Theatre chose Persuasion to dramatize. 

I know that novels, good novels, that is, as you read them again over time and  as your own experience of life develops,  reveal  different levels of understanding. So what did I get from reading Austen’s Persuasion this time round before seeing the performance?  The word ,persuasion, is used at times during the novel, but not often. The actual consequences of being persuaded however are felt throughout and drive the novel itself. Anne Elliot was persuaded by not just her father to refuse a  marriage proposal to somebody she really loved  but Lady Russell, the family friend and Anne’s particular friend, was always the deciding factor in the process of persuading  Anne in her youth. Ann seems to have been persuaded into a lot of things in her early life up to the moment of the novel’s action including turning down that offer of marriage from Captain Wentworth eight years previously.   Ann is  annoyingly hyper neurotic. Is that because she has always been pressured by others? Does she feel  she has no control over her life?  

Things happen to Anne. She doesn’t make things happen for herself. She analyses every situation, almost every word and look to an intense degree. She  always comes out worst. In this novel and in the play she eventually learns to decide for herself. So a major theme has to be how we use people’s advice and how much we should be persuaded when making life decisions for ourselves.

Persuasion-program-Image@TonyGrant

Persuasion program. Image taken by Tony Grant. See more of his images in the link at the bottom of this post.

A novel written in the early 19th century  translated into  a play set in the 21st century, surely, it can’t be done. They are two worlds so far apart. How can they possibly come together and meet? There are the wise among us that say Austen is universal in her treatment of relationships. This is true when you drill down to what happens in a  relationship  but all those 18th century rules get in the way to a  translation across centuries, surely? Class status, wealth,  attitudes to money and  the patriarchy  and what seems to us blatant misogyny but wasn’t understood as such in the 18th century, how does it all get transferred to the 21st century? When I read Persuasion again finishing the day before we saw the stage adaptation, I couldn’t see any way that it was possible to achieve that transfer from the 18th century to the 21st century.

To finish the review, continue to read how this production achieved its 21st century point of view and how the comedy was resolved on London Calling, Tony’s blog. Note: Tony Grant is a frequent contributor to this blog. His site covers all things England, past and present.

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When the world is topsy-turvy and my heart is heavy, many of us find comfort in the beauty of Austen’s novels, in the richness of the movie adaptations, and even in the thought of the lovely Hampshire countryside, secluded and beautiful, tucked away and secure.

The world inside Austen’s novels never changes. The familiar scenes and characters are always there and waiting. Elizabeth and Darcy never fail to spar and flirt in the drawing room in Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Woodhouse continues to eat his porridge and worry comfortably over the weather in Emma. And at the end of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth always sits down to write his letter to Anne Elliot.

Perhaps that’s why many of us (and why so many others throughout history) have found solace and comfort within the pages of Austen’s novels, especially during times of turmoil. And why her novels have been reprinted and translated and enjoyed around the world by so many people for over 200 years.

Familiar Faces

I find similar comfort in the film adaptations. When I sit down to watch a Jane Austen movie (or even have one playing in the background as I do chores), I love knowing just what to expect. I can’t wait to hear the music I love, listen to the accents and voices of characters and actors I adore, and watch the ever-amusing (and always touching) storylines unfold.

Sense and Sensibility, 1995.
Pride and Prejudice, 1995.
Emma, 2009.

The comfort and familiarity of Austen movies keeps us coming back for more, year after year. There are always new adaptations to enjoy and critique (because there’s nothing better than debating this Emma over that Emma with Austen friends).

Familiar Sights

And then there’s the comfort of Jane Austen’s actual world. Although I know Hampshire is a real place with its own fair share of regular, everyday life activities and stormy days, both figurative and literal (such as when Storm Eunice brought down many trees on the Chawton estate and in Mingledown Woods just last month), the England described in Austen’s novels never fades.

Jane Austen’s House Museum, 2022.

I think the charm of the setting in her books is another reason so many of us as lifelong students and fans of Austen love to learn about her life, her family, and the places where she lived and wrote. During the height of the pandemic, we all did what we could to support the historic sites in England and watched for updates whenever possible. We dreamed of the day when we might get to visit those precious sites again or for the first time. Many of us even took virtual tours so we could “be” there.

Benches Along the Way

That’s probably why I was so overjoyed when I saw the good news a few weeks ago that the bench my local JASNA regional group sponsored had been installed in the Chawton House Gardens. In fact, the entire bench project fundraising is now complete! (I know many of you have contributed in various ways to the care and keeping of the historic sites as well.) Here is a snippet of the announcement:

“This month, we are pleased to announce that thanks to the wonderful support of the North American Friends of Chawton House (NAFCH), we have received the final 17 benches donated through the ‘Share a Bench with Jane’ scheme, just in time for our Spring Flowers season.

Photo: Chawton House. Bench, 2022.
Location 22: at the head of the Pride and Prejudice Rose Walk.

If you’d like to see all of the bench locations, you can find them HERE.

As I read through the announcement and looked through the photos, I was comforted. I thought about how peaceful it would be to sit on a bench and enjoy the garden around me. I even thought about how I should install a bench in my own small garden area.

And then I came to this lovely quote that was included in the announcement from Chawton House:

Although the recent storms have caused significant damage to parts of the estate, these latest additions mean that visitors to Chawton House will still be able to rest among the spectacular displays of snowdrops and daffodils as we move into a warmer season.”

Isn’t that an encouraging thought? I made me think. Though storms come in this life, there are benches along the way where we can rest. When the journey is long, it’s important to stop and sit. And though some winter seasons are particularly difficult, spring always comes and bright new flowers always bloom.

Signs of Spring

I’ll leave you with that lovely thought and a few photos of the “snowdrops and daffodils” mentioned above. I hope that each of you is finding comfort in the glimpses of beauty around you, in friends and family, in faith and home, in lending a helping hand to others when you can, and in the enjoyment of Jane Austen.

Photo: Chawton House. Snowdrops, 2022.
Photo: Chawton House. Daffodils, 2022.
Photo: Chawton House. Daffodils and Snowdrops, 2022.

Your turn: What is it about Jane Austen’s novels and life that brings you comfort? Why do you think people continue to turn to her work in life’s difficult seasons?


RACHEL DODGE teaches college English classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and book clubs, and writes for Jane Austen’s World blog and Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. She is the bestselling author of The Anne of Green Gables Devotional: A Chapter-By-Chapter Companion for Kindred Spirits and Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Her newest book The Little Women Devotional just released and is available now! You can visit Rachel online at www.RachelDodge.com.

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Inquiring readers, I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was fourteen years old. The novel was a Christmas gift from my parents. One of the first Christmas songs this Dutch girl learned in English was “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a song that was popularized in an arrangement by Frederic Austin in 1909. We all know the tune, but do we know the words as Jane Austen wrote them? After singing the song, please stay to answer a few questions.–Enjoy & Merry Christmas! Vic

Image of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, 1995[Verse 1]

On the first day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
A HERO named Mister Darcy

[Verse 2]

Image of Lizzy and Jane Bennet from Jennifer Ehle BlogspotOn the second day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy

[Verse 3]

Pride_and_Prejudice_CH_19-collins proposalOn the third day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy

[Verse 4]

Hugh Thomson illustration of Mr. Bingley entering the Meryton Assembly Ball with his guestsOn the fourth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy

[Verse 5]

Hugh Thomson image of the five Bennet girlsOn the fifth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 6]

Image of Mary Crawford playing harp-C.E.BrockOn the sixth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 7]

On the seventh day of ChristImage of the Colinses visiting Lady Catherine de Bourg, 1995 Pride and Prejudice filmmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 8]

Image of Adrian Lucas as Mr. Bingley, 1995 P&POn the eighth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Eight charms of Wickham
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 9]

On the ninth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to meQuadrille_RegencyW
Nine ladies dancing
Eight charms of Wickham
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 10]

Image of Lydia and Mr. Wickham eloping-she happy, he bored, P&P 1995On the tenth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Lydia eloping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight charms of Wickham
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 11]

Image of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet falling for Mr. Darcy at Pemberley, 1995 film of Pride and PrejudiceOn the eleventh day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
Lizzy’s eyes a’ opening
Lydia eloping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight charms of Wickham
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

[Verse 12]

LadyCatherine_&_ElisabethOn the twelfth day of Christmas, Jane Austen sent to me
L C’s condescensions
Lizzy’s eyes a’ opening
Lydia eloping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight charms of Wickham
Seven days at Hunsford
Six accomplished women
FIVE S.I.N.G.L.E GIRLS!

Four Bingley dances,
Three various suitors,
Two wise Bennet girls, and
A HERO named Mister Darcy!

________________

Now, Gentle Readers, I shall pose a few questions. How do you respond to Pride and Prejudice? How are you disposed towards a few characters? (Your opinions are most welcome.) As you can see, I favor the 1995 Firth/Ehle film version of P&P! So, don’t be shy in sharing your thoughts.

  1. L C’s condescension:  In your estimation, what is the most memorable Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s condescending statement?
  2. Lizzy’s eyes a’ opening: What events changed Elizabeth’s attitude towards Mr. Darcy? Which one stands out in your mind?
  3. Lydia eloping: How old was Lydia when she ran off with Mr. Wickham? What, in her naivete, did she hope her life would have been like with him, away from her family?
  4. Nine ladies dancing: Think of the ladies Austen mentioned in Pride and Prejudice. Which women would have most likely danced at the Netherfield Ball?
  5. Eight charms of Wickham: Can you name Mr. Wickham’s charms, be they true or false, as Austen described them?
  6. Seven days at Hunsford: How did Lizzy spend her days at Hunsford? What memorable scenes occurred during this time?
  7. Six accomplished women: Who first mentioned six accomplished women? How did the conversation come up and where?
  8. Please name all the five single girls and their primary characteristic (in your opinion).
  9. Four Bingley dances: This phrase refers to an event at the beginning of the novel.
  10. Three various suitors: Name all the suitors you can think of in the novel. Who had three? Who are they?
  11. Two wise Bennet girls: Who are they? How would you personally describe them?
  12. A HERO named Mister Darcy! Why are we so mesmerized by Austen’s most memorable hero? What are the characteristics that make him stand out to you?

After this C.E. Brock composite image of Pride and Prejudice, I’ve added my own observations to a few of the questions. Thank you for participating. May you have a lovely holiday season. Please love and take care of each other in your family, your neighbors, and your community.

1024px-Scenes_from_Pride_and_Prejudice

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