Thursday, July 18, 2019

Jane Austen Binging

Public Domain Image: Jane Austen
I've been binging on movies based on Jane Austen novels. It started with watching the six hour BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice (1995) with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, which then made me want to watch the two hour version (2005) with Keira Knightley playing the part of Elizabeth Bennet.

Since I was on a roll, I moved on to Sense and Sensibility (1995) starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, then watched the 2008 mini-series for comparison. Both are good, but I prefer the version with Emma Thompson.

With that name in mind, I went to Emma (1996) starring Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead role, followed by the 4-hour TV mini-series (Emma 2009).

But the binge didn't end there. I also watched Mansfield Park (1999) with Jonny Lee Miller as the best friend-turned-love interest, Edmund Bertram. (I watch the Elementary series with Johnny Lee portraying Sherlock Holmes, so it was fun to see him in such a different role!)

Does my husband mind all these supposed chick flicks? Not at all. In fact, a couple weeks ago when asked what movie he wanted to watch, he selected The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) and felt proud that he knew most of the stories they discussed... except for Northanger Abbey. I was unfamiliar with that one, too, at the time.

So, I downloaded a free app called "Serial Reader" that provides just a small portion of a classic book each day at a specified time, and I selected (you guessed it) Northanger Abbey. [This is a great way to read classic literature because it only takes about 10-15 minutes to read the day's portion, making it a bit easier to concentrate on and digest.] I'm approximately 81% through this one.

Then I stumbled across an interesting book: The Jane Austen Diet: Austen's Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness by Jane Austen, Bryan Kozlowski (Contributor). The Jane Austen Diet? I had to see what it was all about, and it turned out to be full of delightful nuggets. Who knew Jane Austen was a health guru! One thing for certain... she wouldn't advocate binging, so it's doubtful she would be flattered by our excessive viewing/reading of all things Jane.


In the meantime, I discovered our local library has the DVD of Northanger Abbey... two versions, actually. I didn't even know it was made into a film, let alone more than one! Guess what we'll be watching after I finish the novel!