I have really been getting into Jane Austen. Partly motivated by the 2005 filmed version of Pride & Prejudice which I thought was *gasp* better than the 1995 mini-series. I borrowed the DVDs for the 1995 production and the acting seemed so stiff and uninspiring in comparison. Yeah, Colin Firth smolders, and I do like the physically active Darcy but Jennifer Ehle looks so bland. You'd think having an affair with your co-star would lend some spark.
I didn't really enjoy The Jane Austen Book Club but I did zip through Flirting with Pride and Prejudice and several books on adapting the novels for TV and movies. And Jane pops up in the oddest places: I picked up PD James' Time to Be in Earnest which includes her essay on reading Emma as a mystery.
I'm not going to go as far as reading Edward Said's "Jane Austen and Empire" though.
It's funny you should write about Ms. Austen. In the NY Times Sunday paper there was a brief article about Jane Austen's portrait being sold at auction. I hope you caught it. I guess the portrait wasn't exactly an authentic likeness of her but more like an 18th century version of the glamour shot photo at malls today.
Knowing your love of the lady Austen made me think of you that morning.
According to the article her sister did a sketch of her that was somewhat unflattering. In the article they also had a sketch of her done by a person who does wanted posters (sketch artist for the police?) based on the sister's sketch and diary entries from those who described her appearance. It was a bit less unflattering. Finally there was an oil painting done of her done later in life but depicts her in an earlier time. This portrait was very flattering.
Must be something in the air. My neighbor Donna was obsessed with seeing every screen version of Pride and Prejudice she could get her hands on for several months. She's since run out of options and moved on to other screen adaptations of Austen novels but I really think she could watch the 1995 version once a week and not get tired of it.
Just got these from ILL if she's interested - very interesting!
(1) Jane Austen in Hollywood (Paperback)
by Linda Troost<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/102-0740797-1267327?%5fencoding=utf8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=linda%20troost>(Editor),
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; 2nd edition (January 2001)
(2) Jane Austen on Screen (On Screen) (Paperback)
by Gina MacDonald< http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/102-0740797-1267327?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Gina%20MacDonald>(Editor),
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 17, 2003)
(3) Jane Austen on Film and Television: A Critical Study of the Adaptations
by Sue Parrill< http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/102-0740797-1267327?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Sue%20Parrill>(Author)
McFarland & Company (April 2002)