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Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Courtenay » Mar 01, 2020 12:45 am

Those teas sound lovely, Wunder! I know you can also buy Austen-themed teas (different from the ones you mention) at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, but I haven't tried any of them — they were a bit expensive!!

Wunderkind_Lucy wrote:Does anyone have a particular favorite of all of Jane Austen's books? I'm torn between Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey as my favorites, although, of course, I do love the others as well.


I've just re-read Persuasion in the last few days and I would have to say it's my favourite, with P&P a close second. Persuasion is one of the fastest-paced stories Jane ever wrote and I would say it's easily her most romantic as well. I can never get over the way she creates characters that you actually feel you know, as if they were real people — I can't think of any other author who does that with quite as much flair as Jane Austen.

I also enjoy the way that, in this particular book, she makes good use of two real-life locations in England — Lyme Regis and Bath — that I've visited and I really love. Some time later this year, if I can fit it in, I'm hoping to do a bit of a self-designed Jane Austen tour — first over to Bath, then down to Lyme, and then back up through Hampshire for a visit to Jane's own house in Chawton. (That's another thing I can never get over — how easy it is in the UK to visit all the real places associated with my favourite authors and their books. Including C.S. Lewis, of course!!)
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Col Klink » Mar 12, 2020 3:28 pm

I remember when I was taking a college course on Jane Austen, more than one of the other students said they couldn't warm up to the character of Emma Woodhouse. I think that's interesting because nobody expressed any dislike of Mr. Darcy and he's pretty much the same character except male and without the slightly mischievous sense of humor. Good looking. Filthy stinking rich. Takes good care of family members. A good friend but controlling especially in regards to best friend's choice of spouse. Cares about those whose welfare depends on him/her. Looks down on anyone outside friend group. Full of himself/herself but ends up falling for the only person to criticize him/her.

I don't know why Mr. Darcy doesn't get as much flack as Emma. Maybe it's because he has less "screen time" so there's less time to get annoyed with him. Maybe it has do with expectations about gender. Or maybe my fellow students would have criticized Darcy too but there weren't any discussions questions about him. ;)) Anyway, I happen to really like what Jane Austen did with the character of Emma. It'd be easy to show the temptations to which rich people are susceptible by writing a wealthy character who was totally greedy and lazy. But Emma's not like that. She clearly wants to use her money and position to help people but she does so in a self absorbed and self serving way.

That's why I'd say Emma is my favorite book by Austen. (Though truth be told, I'm more a fan of the 1996 movie directed by Douglas McGrath. It's a tad funnier and shorter ;)
and I really like a speech original to it in which Emma admits she hasn't been as nice to Miss Bates as she should have been. I thought that speech actually improved her character arc.
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby coracle » Mar 13, 2020 6:40 am

I think it's partly because Emma is the character whose viewpoint we see the story through, and Mr Darcy is not.
None of the books are written from the view of a male.
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