Anne de Bourgh and Georgiana Darcy

I’ve been wondering whether Anne and Georgiana might have more in common than it seems. We see both of them mostly through Lizzy’s eyes and all of our other sources are as biased. Lizzy finds Anne rude, and Georgiana shy. Is it possible that if she could look at Anne without prejudice, or with a favourable bias like in Georgiana’s case, she’d find her shy as well?
Anne de Bourgh - P&P 2005

Anne de Bourgh - P&P 2005

Both Lady Catherine and Darcy are rather overbearing parental figures. While I think that Darcy is much more normal than Lady Catherine there might have been difficult moments when Georgiana would have to face his anger i.e. in the case of her attempted elopement.

Lizzy thinks of Anne “her features, though not plain, were insignificant” while of Georgiana “less handsome than her brother”, which might mean they’re both similarly pretty.

The obvious differences are that Anne is small and thin, while Georgiana is tall and her figure well built. Georgiana is accomplished, while Anne is not, and we might assume that Georgiana isn’t sick. But they both speak very little, and each of them needs their companion’s guidance. I have a feeling that it’s not so much that Anne is so dumb and Georgiana so sensible, as that Darcy hired a better lady companion than Lady Catherine did. Continue reading

Ballroom Etiquette

I thought that I might write down the things I know about balls and the ballroom etiquette, since they might be helpful in understanding Austen’s books.

There were three kinds of dancing opportunities:

1.) A public assembly,
2.) A private ball,
3.) An impromptu dance at someone’s house.

Almacks

London society at Almack's

General rules about dancing:

Every set of dances consisted of two dances and took up from half an hour to an hour or even longer. A man could ask a woman twice, which means that they would dance two sets and spend an hour or even two together during one evening. Asking a woman twice always meant a special attention, however, the meaning of the attention would depend on the kind of the ball. If there were many ladies of a man’s acquaintance he could ask one lady twice only if she was his fiancée, or he meant to propose to her soon. If he knew only a few ladies it would mean that he preferred the one above the others, and if he knew only one or two ladies present it’d mean nothing. Continue reading

Darcy’s Pride

This post was written in answer to a question about the nature of Darcy’s pride. Someone asked how it was possible that Darcy received such a good opinion from his housekeeper, and yet still needed to give excuses for his pride after his second proposal.

The Hunsford Proposal

The Hunsford Proposal

It’s significant to remember that there are two kinds of pride. One is positive – it’s good and natural to be proud of one’s just deeds, or of our loved ones. The other is the worst of the seven deadly sins out of which all of the others arise. It’s this kind of pride that is paralyzing and leads us to cruelty. People who are too proud to act according to their conscience and do what is right, because it would be seen as their weakness, are guilty of this kind of pride. The remedy to it is humbleness, and Darcy later says that he was properly humbled by Lizzy. Of course Darcy always knew the difference between the two kinds of pride, but he thought he was proud only in the positive way. Lizzy proved him wrong. Continue reading

Chevening Park = Rosings Park

I came across an old article in Persuasions where John Halperin argues that Chevening Park was a model for Rosings.

Rosings is described in Pride and Prejudice as being “well situated on rising ground” and “a handsome modern building,” which fits the account of Chevening Park given in Paterson’s Roads (1826); in Jane Austen’s day it would have been about 165 years old, but it had just undergone extensive renovation.

I googled it and found some old pictures.

Chevening in 1830

Chevening in 1830

The article is worth reading anyway. Although I have no opinion on Austen’s own personality, the author makes some good points about P&P. Read more at JASNA.

sm-plusWritten by Sylwia

Lost in Austen Lost, Again

You can watch episode two here and a trailer of the third one here.

The series is so bad that I don’t even feel like ranting anymore, but there is some good news. According to TV Ratings published by Guardian:

TV chef Ainsley Harriott’s trawl through his family history helped BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? beat ITV1’s drama Lost in Austen again.

The genealogy show pulled in 6.4 million viewers and a 29% share in the 9pm hour, while the second instalment of Lost in Austen attracted 3.1 million and 14% in the same slot.

Last week, Who Do You Think You Are? drew 6.2 million viewers and a 27% share, with the first part of Lost in Austen gaining 3.8 million and 17%. Continue reading

Lost in Austen – Episode 1

You can watch the first episode here.

I wonder why they say it’s going to be hilarious. It’s not so far. But I also found the Behind the Scenes video and it’s funnier.

I liked their Mrs. Bennet though. Yes, she’s out of character, but at least I like her and can sympathise with her. She’s also the only character that made me laugh (once!).

Continue reading

Will the Bond Girl Become Darcy’s Girl? Lost in Austen Spoiler

Recently I wrote that Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is likely to refuse Darcy’s (Elliot Cowan) proposal in the ITV mini series Lost in Austen. Was I wrong!

Gemma Arterton as Elizabeth Bennet

Gemma Arterton as Elizabeth Bennet

According to the producers’ press release Amanda falls as hard for Darcy as he does for her. She is overjoyed with his proposal, and her doubts about his belonging to one Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton – the Bond’s girl) are quickly quelled by the man himself, who says that he doesn’t care one bit for our Lizzy. Amanda accepts and her head is full of plans for their happy union when Caroline Bingley tells Darcy to enquire after Amanda’s past. When Darcy learns about her many flings, he breaks the engagement. He can’t marry a non-virgin. Darcy proposes to Caroline Bingley, and Amanda feels bereft.

In the meantime all of the havoc Amanda caused to other characters hits the roof, and Mr. Bennet is deadly wound in a duel with Bingley. Amanda finds her way back to the future and is desperate to find Elizabeth. Darcy, who can’t overcome his feelings for her, follows her and declares his undying love again. Amanda finds Lizzy, who is working as a nanny (the producers say that it means that she fared in the future very well! really!) and is enamoured with internet. While at Amanda’s flat Lizzy shows Darcy all of the P&P sites she had found, but it seems he’s still only after Amanda. When he fights with Amanda’s ex over her, Amanda takes him and Lizzy back to Regency.

And here we are. With Darcy engaged to Caroline, in love with Amanda, and not caring one bit for our Lizzy , while Amanda is as in love with him as ever, and afraid that he might now fall for Lizzy once he had met her. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Amanda? Hmm…

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about possible outcomes to this macabre. Here they are: Continue reading

You Know That You Created Mary Sue When…

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price

Everyone who has ever read fanfiction must be acquainted with the concept of Mary Sue. Why fan fiction and not fiction? Because professional authors don’t have this problem! It’s something that happens to 13 years old home writers of Harry Potter’s mysterious encounters with Draco Malfoy.

Or so I thought before I looked through the iTV press release for their new mini series. It seems that one doesn’t have to be 13 years old to be a freshman and find themselves Lost in Austen!

The authors’ original idea about coming with an original idea by marrying original ideas of others (Austen’s DNA in conjugal bliss with Life on Mars) is already discussed by John Sutherland in the Guardian. I, however, would like to focus on their prime achievement: their ORIGINAL CHARACTER Amanda Price is a superior human being.

Don’t read further if you don’t want to have the Lost in Austen tv series spoilt for you. What follows is a list, the list, I should say, of characteristics that make Mary Sues all over the world blush in their inferiority. Continue reading