Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

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Jane Austen by Carol Shields

As this book lacked an interesting title in which to title my post, I had to pull lyrics from Jefferson Starship‘s song Jane. 

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About three years ago I was in the library. While I was roaming through the stacks, I came upon this book and was intrigued by such a slender biography. I had been disappointed by another Jane Austen nonfiction, published by Cambridge, which seemed to tear apart her books quite horribly. I hoped this one would be better.

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When I read the introduction, Shields confessed to being more of an Austen fan, then a researcher. In that moment I began to have high hopes for this book.

Or book

Or book

A fellow Austenite/Janeite?

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And then I started reading the book

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And I really enjoyed it.

Shields presents all the facts of Jane’s life very directly and resolutely, not over-dramatizing or romanticizing it, but presenting the truth.

Shields focuses on Austen as a writer, how her life influenced her works, it being one of the few avenues an unmarried women could try, etc.

Hmm

Not only was it informative, but Shields analyzation of her family, friends, and possible romantic interests was also very illuminating.

Good job

Good job

I highly recommend it for any Jane Austen fan wanting to know more about the women behind the books.

The Lovely Jane

The Lovely Jane

I do have one criticism. At times the book can be a bit dry. I love history and read such books all the time, so that wasn’t why I had issue. I just felt that at times it needed a boost as it became a little boring.

Otherwise, it was a great biography and you should check it out.

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For more on Jane Austen, go to One of a Kind

For more book filled posts, go to It’s a Fan World After All

 

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Redone Done Right

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Day 29) Best Disney Remake

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The Jungle Book (1994)

So I’m not a huge fan of the remake. You probably recall seeing this:

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But there are a few films that I truly enjoy that are not the orginal. Such as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail. But this is probably by far, my favorite disney remake ever.

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So this film came out in the ’90s and is based on The Jungle Book novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney film The Jungle Book (1967). It is similar to the cartoon except it is live action and tells the story of an older Mowgli. Actually, this is what Disney’s Tarzan was based on. While Tarzan is not an almost exact scene by scene ripoff,  like Atlantis is of the film Stargate, it is still extremely close.

Anyways, so the film starts off in the Victorian period with a group of English people going through India. They have many Indian guides helping them, one of which is Mowgli’s father Nathoo. Mowgli is one of the few children who is with the group, and his best friend is his wolf cub, Grey Brother. Mowgli soon meets one of the other kids there, Katherine “Kitty” Brydon, daughter of Colonel Geoffrey Brydon who is in charge of the trek and played by none other than the very handsome, Sam Neil.

Mowgli gives Kitty a flower to show his interest in her and Kitty gives him her mother’s bracelet. But the two’s friendship gets cut short as Shere Khan ramapages throughout the jungle. In this version of the film, Shere Khan is king of the jungle (as Khan means leader/king), and he watches the jungle for balance. When he finds somene killing for fun instead of food he takes them out. As he is going after one specific person, others get in the way and die. He kills Nathoo, and in the shuffle to escape Mowgli amd his wolf get left behind.

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Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle as Bagheera, the panther, takes him to the wolves to be raised by them. He also befriends Baloo the bear and a variety of other animals.

Twenty years into the future, Mowgli is a man and runs with the different animals of the jungle. They are even able to comunicate with each other. In the story there are a group of monkeys, Rhesus macaque, who are the foot soldiers of the lord of all apes, King Louie (an orangutan). They are called the Bandar-log an they steal Kitty’s bracelet for King Louie’s treasury.  

Mowgli is enraged and follows them to get his bracelet back. He finds the city of the monkeys where King Louie rules. He goes in and demands his bracelet back. King Louie agrees to give him the bracelet back, if he can fight the snake Kaa and win. Mowgli pulls out a jeweled dagger and uses it to fight against Kaa. And wins the appreciation of all the apes

Meanwhile, Kitty is a woman now, back in India and engaged to Captain William Boone, played by the very sexy Cary Elwes.

The jungle book

Unfortunately, Boone, while being hot, is a cruel, sadistic, gold-digging, ladder climbing, hunter. 😦 Oh well. One day Kitty and co. are out in the jungle painting and hanging out when she runs right into you-know-who…Mowgli.

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Mowgli is all dressed up, part of his trophies from winning against Kaa, and play-attacks/play-saves Kitty from Baloo. But she takes off.

Mowgli follows the group into the city, sneaking into Kitty’s room. Her screams rouse her bf and the guards, but before they come after him, she recognizes the bracelet he’s wearing as her own.  The guards chase Mowgli throughout the town and he ends up getting thrown in jail

Kitty frees Mowgli and she and Dr. Julius Plumford (John Cleese) try to help re-civilize him. (This scene is just like Tarzan, especially  the projection of images).
Mowgli begins to be able to talk amd act like those around him, but does not feel at home with the aristocrats, that is except for Kitty. He starts falling for her again, even though she is already spoken for. Mowgli also tells Kitty how he survived all these years and introduces her to all of his animal friends and tells her of the rules of the jungle.
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Meanwhile Boone and his friends  are eager to find the famed City of Gold (Monkey city) but don’t know the way. Everyone who has ever tried to find it has never returned. Boone decides to get Mowgli to help him find it.
Boone convinces Kitty to give him a day to hang out with Mowgli, apologizing for having been so mean. He brings Mowgli to his hunting trophy room, but after Mowgli sees that he doesn’t keep the jungle law, he refuses to help him out at all.
There is a ball, and Mowgli is excited to be there with Kitty. Unfortunately, that is when he hears the announcement of their engagement and hears of the plans they have for India. Mowgli decides to leave the city as he could never belong there, and decides to spend the rest of his life in the jungle.
But unbeknowest to him, Boone has other plans for Mowgli. He and his minions try to capture him, but Mowgli is saved by Baloo. Unfortunately, Baloo’s intervention causes him to be shot. Mowgli rushes to the city to get Dr. Plumford, but finds out that he and recently unengaged Kitty are headed for England.
While Mowgli chases after them, Kitty, her father, and the doctor are ambushed by William’s men. Mowgli is able to save the Doctor and sends him to help Baloo, and continues after the Brydons. He agrees to help Boone if Boone will ensure the safety of the Brydons.
The next day, Mowgli is able to get rid of one henchman, by tricking him into some quicksand. He also sends Kitty’s dad to safety on an elephant.
The other henchman is disposed of by more of Mowgli’s knowledge of the jungle. Soon all that is left is Mowgli, Kitty, Boone, and Boone’s remaining minoin. However, as they have finally reached the Monkey City, his minoins accidentally sets off a booby trap and finds himself a goner.
Only Boone, Kitty, and Mowgli make it to the treasure. Boone and Mowgli fight, but Mowgli wins and takes off with Kitty. Boone starts filling his pockets and bags with gold, not realizing that he still has Kaa to deal with.

Shere Khan confronts Mowgli and Kitty as they exit. Khan still does not trust Mowgli, and the two stare at each other a long time before Khan is stared down and leaves in submission – the fulfillment of a dream Mowgli had where he, already a ‘half-tiger’ in spirit, would stare Shere Khan eye to eye and become a ‘whole tiger’.
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Shere Khan recognizes that Mowgli another creature of the jungle and allows him to live. Mowgli and Kitty reunite with their friends and family, including Geoffrey and Baloo, both cured by Plumford. Kitty and Mowgli are now together (just like Tarzan and Jane)
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I just love this movie and thought it was amazing. It is far better than the animated sequel as it doesn’t retell te orginal story too much, and still keeps all the elements of it when going in a new direction.
For more on both versions of The Jungle Book, go to Snakes on a Post
For more on Disney, go to Once upon a Dream
For more films based on books, go to Second Star to the Right
For more films based on cartoons, go to Disney Lesson

On the 12th Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas (2009)

On the 12 Day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me

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The 12 Men of Christmas (2009)

Now this is a film that is very pleasing to any woman out there. E.J. Baxter is a genius New York publicist that after being betrayed by her fiance, leaves that life to move out to Montana. When she gets there she clashes heads with good-looking bad boy, Will Albrecht. She hears the plight of the volunteer search-and-rescue team, as their lack of funds are causing them to use out-of-date equipment. E.J. comes up with the idea of creating a “naked” calendar (nothing is shown but bare chest) to raise the money.

The calendar is a success and both Will and E.J. realize that there is more to each other than meets the eye and they fall in love. After some misunderstandings the two break up, and E.J. returns to the big apple.  When she gets there, she realizes how dissatisfied she is and goes back reuniting with Will; the end!

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However, when I was watching it I realized that a lot of the storyline was just like Pride and Prejudice

1) Their Names

  • Their names are
  • (Main Guy) Will = Fitzwilliam Darcy
  • (Main Girl) E.J. = Elizabeth Jane
  • (Main Girl’s BFF) Jan:  Jane -E = Jan
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2) Comment Trama

  • Will Albrecht says something to E.J. and it causes them to hate each other. Just like how Darcy makes that comment about Elizabeth. In this film Will was the one who was prejudiced while E.J. was the one who was prideful.

I-could-easily-forgivePride&Prejudice

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3) Water Scene

  • They also do a water scene [copying Pride & Prejudice (1995)]. E.J. visits a fancy manor house and happens across Will who is swimming in the pool. Of course this scene is taken much further than P&P. In this version Will is in his birthday suit, but because it is on TV, we don’t see anything.
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4) Wickham Surfaces

  • E.J. starts dating this guy Mike who hates Will. He tells her that Will is a horrible guy as he dumped his fianceé on their wedding night, leaving her stranded at the altar. He also goes on about there was this perfect modeling job that Will had for his store, but Will kept Mike from getting it because he was jealous of him. This is just like when Wickham goes on and on about Darcy being awful and taking away his inheritance and chance to become a minister.

Jerk

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5) Persuasive Person

  • E.J.’s friend, Jan, has been in love with Will’s best friend Eric forever and has been waiting ever patiently for him to ask her out. He is about to, but Will convinces Eric that Jan doesn’t really care for him. Eric listens to his friend and drops all of his attentions to Jan, completely breaking her heart. Just like Bingley was easily swayed by Darcy; Eric is swayed by Will.
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6) Terrible Proposal

  • One random day Will decides to go to E.J’s office and tells her that even though he fought it and is disgusted with himself, he is in love with her. He goes on and on about how displeased he is, just like Darcy does to Elizabeth when he asked her to marry him. And just like Elizabeth Bennet, E.J. turns him down cold; claiming that he was the last person in the world she would ever get with.
Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

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7) Disgrace Be Gone

  • So the calendar is going well and they have finished the first 11 months and ready to start on the 12th when the last guy drops out. They can’t find anyone to replace him and don’t know what to do when Will steps forward and fills in their empty slot. Not only does Will save the day, but E.J. realizes that she loves Will. Just like when Darcy saved Elizabeth’s family from disgrace over the Lydia scenario, E.J. too was saved from disgrace.

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Pride&PrejudiceDarcy

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8) Miss King-ed Out of My Mind

  • Mike stops paying attention to E.J., eventually breaking up with her. This is fine as she realizes Will is the one she wants to be with. Later we find out that just like Wickham tried to go higher than the Bennets by attempting to get with Miss King, Mike traded up. He gets with a rich, recently divorced woman. Unlike Wickham, he ends up with her.
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9) Wickham’s Wicked Reveal

  • At the end we find out that Will wouldn’t give Mike the job because he stole his fiancee. His fianceé cheated on him with Mike, and left Will stranded at the altar, not the other way around. Just like in P&P as we find out that the lies spread about by Wickham to the whole town are untrue, we find out the lie spread by Mike about Will dumping his fiancé is also false.

Darcy Wickham Pride&Prejudice

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10) Reunited Couples

  • In the end Jan and Eric have finally gotten together; along with Will and E.J. working through their pride and prejudices. Just like P&P, we have a very happy ending.
12 Men of Christmas
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It’s a great film and you should watch it. You definitely should check out the calendar. Mr. May is my favorite, I’d keep him up all year long. I mean I would rather end up with him as he is super HOT!
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If you’re wondering Mr. December, as I said earlier, is Will and  Mr. July is the very uncute Mike (I don’t see how anyone would find him attractive).
I think it is a great movie and I highly recommend you watching it! To find out when it will be playing on Lifetime go here.
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For more modern works based on Pride and Prejudice, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
For more Pride & Prejudice posts go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys
For more of my fav quotes, go to It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year