Saturday, January 26, 2008

Number Six

I did it! I just finished Mansfield Park. And just so you know...IT'S NOT AS SHORT AS NORTHANGER ABBEY. It's definitely a more involved story, so I'm very excited to see how it is interpreted as a 1 1/2 - 2 hour movie.

And although PBS has a site on the Men of Austen, I haven't found anything yet on the ladies, and I am most anxious (can you tell I've been reading too much Austen?) to see who they've cast as the model of morality, Miss Fanny Price.

One thing I love about Jane Austen's novels... Okay, two.

One - her lead lady characters almost always reference their faith in God, although sometimes without using His actual Name...but it seems to be important to her that her heroines (and heroes, by default) have an actual faith, not just routine and knowledge. In MP especially, since the lead lad, Edmund, is to be/becomes a clergyman, faith and the nobleness of his profession are a large factor in the plot.

Two - Did any of you ladies ever read (probably in junior high or high school) the historical fiction romance novels that were titled simply with a girl's name? Each took place in some unique point of America's history...Titanic sinking, Oregon trail, post-civil war, etc. I especially remember Elizabeth, who was a Puritan girl in Salem, MA. In each book, a girl would have to choose between ...The Good One, who was her family's favorite, had money, and was a rule follower, etc. or The Bad One, who of course wasn't TOO bad, but didn't have the big bucks and/or was a rebel. Guess which she always chose? Ladies, I don't even need to say, do I? Leather jackets and motorcycles always have a more immediate, if not longer lasting, appeal than a nice Honda Civic.

Back to Austen. What I like about her novels is that the ladies always do choose The Good One. I like it because all of these romance novels (usually by extremely prolific authoresses - I read my share of Barbara Cartland! Or Danielle Steel, anyone? Come on, you know you did too!) seem to make being Good about as interesting as boiled potatoes. Which is just plain unfair. Being dependable as well as dedicated is NOT A BAD THING. And there is passion to be found there, as well. Austen's ladies know this to be true. I love that.
Another thing that I love: NEXT week is the Jane Austen biopic, and then is Pride & Prejudice, which means I'll have at least a couple weeks (more actually - I think P & P is in 3 installments)to read Emma and Sense & Sensibility. So maybe I'll start using language from the 21st Century again.

1 comment:

Noel said...

According to the Wikipedia synopsis entry on Mansfield Park:

"In the Harry Potter series of novels, Argus Filch is the caretaker at Hogwarts School. His prying cat (loathed by all the students) is named "Mrs Norris", for the busybody character in Mansfield Park.[citation needed]"

The synopsis is helpful when one wants to watch another TV program ("Race to Mars" on the Science Channel) Sunday nights on a different TV in the house and then joins Masterpiece Theatre, already in progress.