Yes, it’s the bomb that wrecked the Internet. The hate mail and unhappy comments will be abounding. Oh well. All I ask is that you finish the review before writing them.
So this marks the seventh year of my blogging JaneAustenRunsMyLife and I’ve been thinking, it is about time I share how I got into Jane Austen.
So the first Austen-related thing I was involved in, was watching Sense and Sensibility (1995). I think I was 7 or 8 at the time, and I came into the living room and my mom was watching it. It was at the part when Marianne and Willoughby are going off in the carriage together. I watched a bit but then went off to do whatever it was I was doing before.
My sister read Pride and Prejudice in school and when I asked her what it was about, all I heard was “mother trying to marry five daughters…” and stopped listening. Romance?! Ugh. I was not about that and books that were only about people getting married. Ew! (Which P&P is not)
You see I was into mysteries-Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, etc-and “important” classics like Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Wilkie Collins, etc. Pride and Prejudice, no way.
Me, read Pride and Prejudice?
I know I was a snob.
And of course-gothic fiction. I had read Wuthering Heights, The Phantom of the Opera, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.
So time passed and nothing could tempt me into reading Jane Austen. We even had a lady in our church who “adopted” us as her grandchildren and bought a beautiful copy of Little Women and Pride and Prejudice for my sister and I. I already had my beloved copy of Little Women (I know I owned and repeatedly read it and didn’t consider it girly. Why? I don’t know. I was working off teen logic which doesn’t always make sense), and decided to take the Pride and Prejudice as my goal was to read all the classics. But did I read it? NO. I put it on my stacks of to-read books and forgot all about it.
So what finally got this stubborn, obstinate girl to change her mind? A sleepover.
When I was 15 going on sixteen (circa 2007) we had a church girl’s sleepover. Now granted, I was not in a good mood that day. I was bummed that the boys were doing their own sleepover and making potato guns while we did something I found really boring. I can’t remember what it was we did, I just remember wanting to make a potato gun.
It came for the time of the movie and I was not jazzed as the last time the assistant youth leader, Allie, picked-she chose Master of Disguise.
There were two choices of films and I can’t remember the one I really wanted to watch and argued long and hard for-but I lost to Pride and Prejudice (2005).
I was totally bummed and we started watching it. From the very start I was not happy.
First of all I do not like Keira Knightley as an actress. I don’t think she’s that good as I feel she is the same in every film. To me a talented actor should make you forget who they are, but think they are the character they are portraying. So of course being an emotional teenager I couldn’t stand her.
I didn’t care for anything else in it and to top it all off I could not understand anything they were saying or follow the film.
Now I have hearing loss in one of my ears, but I didn’t know that at the time. When I was a baby I had constant ear infections, so bad they wanted to put tubes in my ears but my doctor gave me a shot and I was good until 2015, when I got an ear infection but still saw Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. I had to go in that same year and do a hearing test and discovered that one of my ears is damaged from all those ear infections. So when I’m in an environment where there is a lot going on, such as a lot of people talking, it is really hard for me to hear. And when I watch TV or movies something about the volume always bothers me. Either it isn’t loud eough or it is too loud. So I was already upset and then it was probably my hearing problems.
Whatever it was, I was angry, upset, and I hated this film-with the frigid storm of hate that no one but a teen can give.
Anyways, I kept asking what was happening and just completely hating on this film when Allie said to me, “You just aren’t used to the accents. If you watch British dramas you would understand it.”
Oh no. Heck no, those are fighting words. I was deeply offended at that! You see I’ve been watching Masterpiece Mystery, BBC, and others on PBS since before I was born. English accents don’t bother me none.
She offended me so much I stopped watching the dreaded movie and spent the rest of the night reading in a corner. The next day I resolved to read Pride and Prejudice.
So of course, the first step I had to root through my pile of to-read and began.
As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked! I felt like Isola Pribby in The Guersney Potato Peel and Literary Society. How come no one told me that there were other men to go ape for besides the brooding Heathcliff and romance that is better than the way Cathy treats him.
To be honest, my sister did try. I just didn’t listen.
After that little taste it was over for me.
I was hooked on Austen.
I then had to watch every version of Pride and Prejudice-discovering that I had seen the Laurence Olivier version earlier when I was watching anything Olivier-related. He’s such a beautiful man.
So most people want to be Elizabeth, and friends said I was like her in some ways-however, I connected much more with Mr. Darcy, you know except the rich part.
When I finished P&P I then moved on to Sense and Sensibility. I took it along with me for my friend’s Sixteenth Birthday sleepover getaway and we ended up having Jane Austen pop up in more than one conversation.
I then watched all the Sense and Sensibility adaptations as well.
Mansfield Park was next and a little harder to get through. I liked Fanny but I really wanted her to punch Mrs. Norris in the face and was disappointed she didn’t. I mean I knew she wouldn’t do a physical punch, but was hoping for a verbal one.
I watched all the film versions of it that I could get my hands on, which wasn’t many as it is a hard one to get.
Then I tried to read Emma, but she kind of annoyed me and I skipped, planning to come back to it later, for Northanger Abbey, which I just adored. I loved, loved, LOVED, this book. I adored Catherine as that was me!! I was such a tomboy growing up! I loved Gothic fiction! I had an overactive imagination! I loved that no one expected her to be heroine, but she became one. I loved the whole girl reads books and then has an adventure right out of a story. AMAZING! And I loved Mr. Tilney.
I did the same with the films-although I prefer the Felicity Jones and JJ Feild one to all others!
Then Persuasion, so romantic and sweet. I’m really bummed that Persuasion and Northanger Abbey get passed over so much. Persuasion is slowly climbing it’s way out of obscurity, but doesn’t get the love it deserves.
I then watched all these adaptions as well.
I began to talk different, act different, dress different. You know how it goes. Watching all those films and reading those books your speech is extremely affected.
You’re view of the world changes:
Your idea of the perfect man changes:
My sister used to poke fun at me, but I didn’t care.
Your life is consumed:
So I know, you are thinking-what about Emma. I decided to watch it, since I was struggling with the main character, and in the middle of watching it-I realized…Emma is Clueless.
After that-no problem at all. I LOVED Emma and how unique she was to the other Austen characters and women of her time.
Read it, loved it (some of my earliest posts were on it), and watched every adaptation I could.
So there we go, my Austen addiction all started because I couldn’t stand a certain adaptation and I was offended that someone thought I couldn’t follow British films. Looking back on it, it all seems so petty. But hey, that’s what teens are right?
I then started a blog back in 2011-12 and then couldn’t find it as the title was too generic. I decided to create a new one and that’s how JaneAustenRunsMyLife was born. I mean it’s not that my friends or family don’t like listening to me, but if you have been following you know that when I like something, I really like it and love to talk about it. Sometimes making it annoying for those who don’t care about it as much as me, or who really don’t care about it at all.
And I know, you are all wondering-do I still hate Pride and Prejudice (2005)?
I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I don’t like it. It is my least favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Pigs in the house? What? And why did they try and make them look dirty all the time? They were ladies!! And discount-Orlando Bloom who plays Wickham has no charm. However, I do think that their Mr. Collins was good, I liked how Matthew Macfayden and Simon Woods interacted with each other…and that will all have to wait for a review on another day.
So this marks seven years, and the seventh anniversary is wool. Hmm…what should I give myself? I always try to choose pictures from through the years. How about a Mr. Darcy in a wool coat?
Mr. Tilney in a wool coat:
Or Judd Nelson in a wool sweater from Making the Grade Valentine’s Day post:
How about a wool coat and scarf from Sherlock as well.
How about a rugged Charlton Heston from The Ten Commandments anniversary post, in his wool coat.
There’s not enough wool coats, let’s throw Mr. Sinclaire in from Desire & Decorum
So thanks for the past seven years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!
In other news, I have decided to do a give away in honor of my 7th year. Now those of you who have been following me, know that after no one, and I mean literally 0, people entered my last one, I planned to never do one again.
But I decided to try again. I’m still putting it together and since “wool” is the theme of the 7th anniversary, I will be dropping it in the fall. So keep an eye out and of course, follow me on instagram, facebook, tumblr, twitter, or here on wordpress. And a special thank you to all who follow me:
For more anniversary posts, go to I Want Candy