So back in 2013 I had this idea that I would reread all the Austen novels, starting with Pride and Prejudice as it was turning 200. I thought it would take me only like a year to read through each one, writing a post on any little thing or thought that came to mind while writing. In my timeline, I’d be halfway through Persuasion.
Uh, yeah. It didn’t happen. Life got in the way.
So then I adapted. Instead I would do the first four chapters of Pride and Prejudice, then Sense and Sensibility, then Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion.
I finished up the four chapters in March 2015 and then moved onto Emma, skipping Mansfield Park (sorry), as it was Emma’s 200th year.
I’m just burning through
Then that’s where we ran through another snafu. Life got in the way and I am still currently finishing up the first four chapters of Emma.
Yes, problems arose last year-the 100th anniversary of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. I took a break from Emma to work on Northanger Abbeyand Persuasion. I planned to work on both throughout the year. Great plan, right?
Yeah, that didn’t work out either.
So this year, I was little lost and decided why not do all three? I’ll be doing the first four chapters of Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion, instead of making them wait.
But then I started thinking about Mansfield Park. Poor Mansfield Park, you’ve become like your main character Fanny Price-forgotten, ignored, seen as not as important, witty, or powerful. Poor little Mansfield Park.
And I decided that I am going to throw it into the mix as well. Yep, all four books out at once!
Yes, Lady Catherine be darned-this stubborn gal has them all out at once!
So thanks for putting up with my lengthy intro, now onto the (mostly) serious part. Mansfield Park like Northanger Abbey gets very little love. Mostly because people think Fanny is “boring” and “spineless”.
But Fanny isn’t boring or spineless. Mansfield Park is a great book and Fanny is a fantastic character! Fanny is a sweet kind girl-niece to the Bertram family, and was sent to stay with them. Instead of being treated as family, she is seen as “less” because of the “bad blood” inherited from the low class, wastrel father her mother married down to.
She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Fanny is the essence of sweetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation.
While she is humble and kind, she is not timid or spineless. When push comes to shove, she can out-stubborn Elizabeth Bennet.
So if you haven’t read it, I would start reading it-you won’t be sorry.
Or you can follow me as I journey through Mansfield Park and the books/films based on it.
If you have, sorry for this little moment of explanation for the non-Goodreaders. Goodreads is a site where you can keep track of the books you have read, create to-read book lists, follow authors, review books and read reviews, etc. If you haven’t checked it out, you should now.
So why do a post on Goodreads? Goodreads has changed my book loving life.
Flashback to 2009, here sits Moreland having finished a wonderful book, but angry because again she has read a series out of order.
Blast it!! I read book three instead of book one because this series listed their book in alphabetical order on the inside of the cover instead of numerically! Why does this keep happening to me? Why must I constantly be troubled by reading books out of order and getting confused as to what book comes next! If only there was a way to find this out, a place I could go to…
Ugh, if only…
[Narrator voiceover] And as she sat in her room contemplating this, little did she know that her whole book loving life was about to change, in an instant with a click of the mouse.
So all dramatics aside, I don’t know about you but this has been a serious book problem with me growing up. I don’t know why publishers have to make it so ever-loving hard for us. The publisher decides to list them alphabetically, I end up reading book three or four first.
They decide to do it by most recent publishing, same thing. It is so stinking annoying.
I don’t remember exactly how I came upon Goodreads, I think I was looking for a book and clicked on the link and came upon it, (I’m not 100% sure as this happened almost ten years ago), but whatever brought me there has made the last 10 book loving years fantastic!
With Goodreads I haven’t read a series out of order and actually get to understand the characters, the plot line, and the direction that the author intended to go.
With Goodreads I can track authors and see all they have written and get updates on what is coming. There are books my favorite authors have written that I had no clue about until I went on this site.
Since then I’ve been able to keep track of what I have read as well. And that is so helpful. I know it sounds weird, but everyday I’m at work-I work at a library-I run into people complaining about these same issues. What order to read it, what else has been written, did I read this already?
We have people “brand” books, make some kind of note or symbol to show they’ve read it and I tell them all about Goodreads.
Maybe you’ve finished a book or series and don’t know what to read next? I have parents ask me that all the time, and the answer? Goodreads. For every book in the upper right hand corner there is a suggestion of 18 others that people who have read that have liked. AMAAZING!
You never have to feel this way with Goodreads!
Plus the reading challenge? I started in 2011, and love creating a book reading goal and reaching it!! And I love how it lists out how many books you’ve read that year, the longest, shortest, most read by others, least, etc.
You can join groups, connect with other readers, make friends, etc.
So I was not paid to do this, or receiving any compensation at all. I just was feeling nostalgic and grateful and wanted to just let Goodreads know how I so very much appreciate all the work they have done.
So after you watch every single version of Jane Austen movies, what do you have to watch next?
Hmm…I don’t know!
That’s why I started this list, to have non-Austen films that Austen fans can enjoy.
I can’t stop watching!
Here we go with:
I lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOve this movie!
So years ago my friend and I were having a hunk-a-thon, a movie marathon with films that had men we found attractive in it. We used to do this every three or four months.
Squee! I loved it!
I remember that my friend Anne had brought this and wanted to watch it. I wasn’t feeling it as I wanted to watch another movie, but it was her turn to choose, so we did and I straight up loved it! She fell asleep as she had seen it before, while I wanted to watch every minute.
I love it so much I will watch this film over and over again.
I loved it so much that of course I wanted to read the book…and I did. Let me say that this is a statement I rarely ever, ever say: The movie was way better.
I know, the world must be ending again.
Anyways…let’s get back to the plot synopsis.
There is a small village called Wall that resides next to an ancient wall. No one knows why it was built, who built it, or why they are supposed to keep people from crossing it. On one side of the wall is the village, and the other is a field.
A long time ago there was a break in the wall, and as long as they can remember there was a guard there to keep people from crossing it. One young man, Dunstan Thorn, has been very curious and decides to vault over there.
When he does he finds himself in a magical world. There is a market by the wall, and Dunstan stops at a caravan which houses a beautiful woman, Una (Kate Magowan), an enslaved princess. She is trapped by witch Ditchwater Sal and can’t be free until the witch dies.
That’s my life. 😦
She offers the wares, and sells Dunstan a snowdrop flower for a kiss. The snowdrop is a very special enchanted flower that offers protection to the owner. She invites him into the caravan, and after Dunstan returns home.
Dunstan tries to get over the wall again, but the spry wall guard will not allow it. He thinks that is all, until nine months later a baby is left at the wall with a candle, a note for Dunstan, an a note for the boy, Tristan.
Years pass and Tristan is a young man and played by the very handsome Charlie Cox, also known as Daredevil.
Tristan is just an average boy, with an average life. His father is a farmer and he works in a shop. He is in love with the town beauty, Victoria, but she isn’t interested. She wants Humphrey, who has money.
I’m on the Tristan side as I find Cox attractive and love that name.
He loses his job at the shop for being more focused on Victoria. He feels out of sorts, but his dad encourages him and he surprises Victoria with an amazing picnic and watch a falling star. He tries to woo her and Victoria tells him that he has a week-until her birthday-to get her that star or she will marry Humphrey.
Now in the magical land on the other side of the wall, Stormhold, the King is dying. He had seven sons and one daughter. There is a fierce competition for the throne-although three of the sons have been murdered, the sister has vanished, and one is pushed out the window-leaving three left. A male heir must take the throne and to decide who will inherit the king throws his priceless ruby into the sky-knocking a star down (the one Tristan and Victoria saw)-and whoever finds it will be the next king. Another brother is disposed of and we are left with only two- Primus and Septimus (Mark Strong)-both searching for the jewel.
Mark Strong, you say?
Meanwhile, the falling star awakens the three witch Queens-Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mormo, and Empusa. They need the star’s heart in order to maintain immortality. Lamia eats the remaining part of a former heart, giving her some youth and power, and she sets off to find the new star.
Meanwhile, Tristan wants to get over the wall, but the wall guard won’t let him and beats him up. When he gets home his father sees him and after they talk, decides to reveal his true parentage. Tristan reads his note and that his mother wanted to keep him but was unable to. She gifted him with a Babylon Candle, that will send the owner anywhere they think of when they light it. She tells Tristan he is the only one who can save her and tells him to light it and think of her and nothing else.
Tristan does, but instead of his mother ends up on top of Yvaine (Claire Danes), the star. Yes, when a star is knocked out of the sky it becomes a human form. It turns out Tristan was thinking of Victoria and went to the star instead.
He chains Yvaine to himself and prepares to take her to Victoria, promising that if she goes with him to win his true love, he will give her the rest of the babylon candle and she can return to the sky.
As they go along, the brothers are also searching and plotting against each other. Meanwhile, Lamia, prepares a trap for the star.
That is not good,
Tristan and Yvaine are separated when she can no longer walk on, and Tristan goes in search of how far the next town is and falls asleep. A unicorn comes to help Yvaine, but instead goes right into the trap that Lamia has set up-a fake inn. There she gives Yvaine a bath to refresh her as she sees a happy, glowing star.
The forest wakes Tristan and warn him that something bad will happen to Yvaine. He wakes up and catches a ride with Piramus, who is still searching for the ruby.
They manage to get to the inn before Lamia puts her plan into action. Although, Piramus isn’t so lucky-he gets his throat cut.
Tristan pulls out the Babylon candle and tells Yvaine to think of home, he thinking of Wall-she thinking of space, and they end up in the middle-the sky!
There they get picked up by Captain Shakespeare and his lightening pirates. Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro) is known throughout the land to be fierce, strong ruthless, and has a dreadful reputation.
It turns out that Captain Shakespeare isn’t as bad as he seems. He is fun, loves England (named himself Shakespeare after the author), ballet, music, clothes, etc. He “kills” Tristan to protect his reputation and then gives him a fierce makeover (sorry I have been watching a lot of America’s Next Top Model). And teaches him to sword fight, dance, etc.
He takes them to as close as he can and gives Tristan some advice to not pass over Yvaine. They continue to the Wall, but will Tristan continue on his quest to give a jerk not worthy of his time something priceless? Will he ever find his mother? Will Yvaine get her true love and find her home? Who will be King? And will they outsmart the witches, or Yvaine be on the menu?
So an AMAZING!!!!! AMAZING!!! AMAZING film!!! I LOVE it.
So what makes it something an Austen fan will love?
So the first thing that kept popping in my head when they spoke about Tristan was that he was a lot like Catherine Morland. Both growing up in okay families, seen as ordinary and average-nothing special.
“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.”
But Catherine ends up being whisked away to the big city, has two men after her, goes to a mysterious abbey, etc. Tristan has to fight witches, get kidnapped by pirates, outwits princes, etc.
Catherine is also like Yvanie. Both are dreamers wanting more. Catherine a reader-reading romances and dreaming about them. Tristian dreams about adventure as well. And both find themselves smack dab in the middle of a romantic adventure with gothic elements.
Yvaine: You know, it’s funny. I used to watch… I used to watch people having adventures. I envied them.
Tristan: You ever heard the expression “Be careful of what you wish for”?
Yvaine: What, so ending up with my heart cut out – that will serve me right?
Tristan: No, I didn’t mean it like that. Look, I admire you dreaming. A shop boy like me… I could never have imagined an adventure this big in order to wish for it. I just thought I’d find some lump of celestial rock, take it home and that would be it.
Yvaine: And you got me. [they both begin to laugh] If there’s one thing I’ve learned about all my years watching Earth, is that people aren’t what they may seem. There are shop boys, and there are boys who just happen to work in a shop for the time being. And trust me Tristan, you’re no shop boy. You saved my life. Thank you.
And then there is Victoria.
Victoria is the girl that Tristan likes and wants to win her heart, but she doesn’t care about him. She is just interested in money and wants Humphrey as he has it. She plays around with Tistian’s feelings, enjoying how he does things for her, let’s her cut in line at the shop, gets Champagne, etc. She reminds me of Mary Crawford and Mr. Wickham with their search for a wealthy partner to take care of them; along with being like Mr. Wickham and Frank Churchill in how she flirts, teases, and plays on other’s affections-when she has no intention of being with them at all. Frank just messes around with Emma, and Wickham toys with Lydia and Elizabeth.
And of course, Mark Strong is in it. Mark Strong played Mr. Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version.
So this painting was completed in 1877, 59 years after the last Austen novels were published. It has nothing to do with them or Regency times. And the capper, it is set in Paris!
What’s that have to do with anything?
So even though it has nothing to do with any of that, I felt like sharing it because whenever I look at it it always makes me think of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, even though they didn’t have any boulevards and probably wouldn’t sped their weekend strolling along that way but would be in a carriage or be walking in the roads/lanes outside.
It also makes me think of Anne and when she and Captain Wentworth walk together.
This painting was done by Gustave Caillebotte. It is an Impressionist painting, a scene of modern everyday life. It’s not as fluid or fast stroked as the others, being more “realistic” in the brushstrokes.
In the painting we see the modern day of the city, the new boulevards, buildings, paved cobblestones, etc.
Most people would go on these new boulevards for walks, to relax, see and be seen by society-rich and middle class alike.
So what do you all think? Can you see it too, or do you think I’m just stretching things and including a picture I love?
So this title of course references The Policesong, even though it has nothing to do with the episodes plot.
Sorry, anytime I think of Sting and The Police I think of that scene from Footloose. But yes, the song:
I’d rather not be watching this. I have already watched two episodes and have not been impressed. I can see why it was canceled after one season.
I know harsh, but I speak the truth. Basically, the story is that Marianne and Elinor Dashwood live together and are friends with Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, and Grant/George Knightley. All live in modern times and are an accountant, jobless, real estate agent, divorce lawyer (!!! I know Emma, really?), and I don’t know what “Grant” does.
So we start off this episode with Marianne trying to make eggs and falls of course because she is a dumb blonde. Why do they make her that way?
Elizabeth is over and complains about the awful Darcy, who she has been emailing and she can’t stand him.
I am with her, they make him too jerky-seriously I hate him.
I know, I know
This series killed me okay. It made me utter what never should be uttered and then I died. It is a ghost of my former self that is writing this.
An angry ghost
And I’m sure if Jane was around, she sure wouldn’t appreciate what you writers did!
Elizabeth gets a call about a house and it is Collins looking for a realtor. Remember in the last episode he had his date where he tried to pump Elinor.
See Hook agrees with me.
Elinor, the accountant, has to deal with a tough client, who’s angry that she has to pay so much. I actually like this part of the episode because that’s what I have to deal with sometimes at work. It feels very real and it isn’t silly or stupid like a lot of other parts of these shows.
What I wish I could say to some people.
Poor Elinor, that sucks.
Yes, Elinor I know exactly how you feel.
She’s complaining to Knightley, I find that interesting. I like that he has taken that friendship role with all the girls. Plus in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor and Colonel Brandon talk quite a bit (as everyone feels the need to confide in her) so it kind of meshes that with this. Good job TV show, there are two things you are doing right.
But will it last?
For the thousandth time
Elinor has a promotion, woohoo!
Meanwhile, Marianne is shopping online and Emma hires her as the receptionist at her firm. Marianne is thrilled to be around hot lawyers, but down about that she has to be there at 8.
So Elinor’s promotion, she doesn’t get much time to settle in. Not only does she have to start her new job that afternoon, the IRS is coming and she has to deal with them. I know the show is trying to add drama, but I really don’t think that is how it works. I don’t think they would just “throw you in”. And certainly not throw you to the IRS, I mean I think she could defintely complain about that to HR.
An IRS agent is coming and all I can think of it it kinda makes me think of Parks and Rec when Ben comes and Leslie’s all mad about it and then they fall for each other-I just have a feeling Edward Ferrars is to be the IRS agent.
But seriously, you have a giant IRS dilemmea with your firm and you are going to promote someone from lower to take care of it. I mean I get they are probably trying to set up a fall guy, but wouldn’t you want someone who knows to take care of it and make sure all is good?
Woohoo, gold star theIRS agent is Edward Ferrars-did I call it or what?
Edward is like really cool and collected…I never pictured him that way since he was so controlled by his mama.
Anyways, the two hit it off and he acts really sweet and gets command of the situation and calm a freaking, babbling Elinor down.
Interesting, a very different portrayal…
Hmmm…I don’t know of I like it.
All the girls meet up and Emma complains about Darcy, And oh my gosh he is so awful. No wonder this TV show was canceled. Like can we just sock him in the face. Please leave.
I know, I know-I said the dreaded words again-but I’m already dead inside from watching this.
Marianne offers to get revenge by mixing up his messages, but then she will get fired, so I’m not sure that is a good revenge idea.
So not fun…
So Elinor and Edward are eating breakfast and hanging out-telling stories and it is pretty cute. I like their interactions.
Elizabeth meets with Collins to discuss “houses” but its a total date. Like seriously Lizzie, he has you meet at a restaurant for DINNER!!!
Liz is all business and Collin is all let me try and get info because I want to date you. The vibe is as strong as a 7th grader spraying himself with AXE for the first time-super ob.
Emma is working and Darcy is throwing a full on B.F.
Ugh I hate him. Like I want to STOP WATCHING. If I could I would throw my fist into the TV and punch him in the face. UUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!
I hate you, I hate this series, I hate the writers…
Back to Liz and Collins, nothing is getting done and Collins is all yeah she’s into me.
Emma and Darcy fight some more-ugh
Marianne is too dumb to know the difference between a fax machine and a copy machine. Although, I have to admit that happens a lot at the library.
So Liz goes to Elinor’s home and she’s all “glad you are home” So Liz lives with her? I thought in the first episode Elinor was all “it’s my apartment Marianne” and going on and on and on about how it was her home and she wasn’t sure she wants to share with her and she has everything just how she likes it, blah blah blah. But if Liz lives there too, shouldn’t she have a say in her home? And shouldn’t she have spoken to her about Marianne living there? This makes no sense within the context of the first episode, but I guess it explains why all the girls are there all the time. I thought they were just limited on sets, I mean Collin takes Liz out to the same place he took Elinor. Which does work for his character.
Liz complains-and Elinor knows why he is flirting-but doesn’t tell her. Bad friend.
See Hook agrees with me.
Finally she spills and Liz is so angry- and she’s right, she been wasting her time getting her chained yanked while he is just goofing around pretending to buy. I’d be so angry.
Marianne is on the hate Darcy train as well after dealing with him.
Marinne tears a message for him, hmm…
Darcy is all blah, blah Emma I’m an angry stupid prick and I want you to do all this work even though I’ve complained that this is my area of expertise and I don’y want you touching it. I can’t find a file and its all your fault ad I hate how they make him.
I hate this
Do I have to finish this series, because I don’t want to. Why did they make Darcy so awful, he was not that awful in he book.
Emma is angry and justifiably. She should report him to HR. He should not treat her that way.
Liz is walking and Collin surprises her. They meet to discuss her dropping him. And he’s infuriating . Liz is pretty nice, I think I would have been more upset.
Marianne and Emma are walking and eating. Marianne left Darcy fake messages to the movie theater and weather station. She tells him, sorry the numbers came in too fast, maybe try a few combinations. It’s pretty funny, but Emma warns her he could her fired for it.
Marianne does’t care as it is only a temp job. Marianne shares some backstory on her family, and the writer’s got it right, thank goodness. When their dad died, Elinor took over taking care of everything, and making sure things were done-causing her to quickly grow up and adopt the “sensible persona”. And how her mom just let Marianne be herself, she’s always been the one taken care of versus taking care of others like Elinor.
Edward and Elinor grow closer together, and they are very cute. I like it! More Edward please and less Darcy.
I think a thousand fangirls died over that statement.
Darcy starts acting like a human being and actually tells a not really apology which makes me still want to punch him.
They have a loooooooooooooong way to go to fix him.
I am NOT happy!
Collins stops by Elinor to see Liz. He wants her to show him a house as he has settled on an idea of what he wants. Liz gets mad an tells him he needs boundaries. True dat. Good job Liz-stick to your guns.
Collin leaves and calls her on the phone to set an appointment.