I Have Been Remiss, My Deepest Apologies to The Darcy Monologues

So as you know I have just reviewed Part I of The Darcy Monologues.

I decided to look over the review that I posted and I was shocked:

I had failed to share how much I enjoyed this first part of the novel.

I mean when I first heard of this collection, I thought it sounded interesting:

It is a good idea.

Then I started reading it, only planning on looking at a few stories, but finding it hard to stop!

So I don’t know why I was so reserved in my review. I want to apologize to all you authors and editors for being so stingy in my praise .

I thought over why I reacted in such a way and have come up with four explanations:

1) I’ve been rereading Emma lately. Maybe subconsciously I took a card from Mr. Knightley’s deck.

2) This weekend was not only Mother’s Day, but a family member’s birthday; along with being a weekend that my niece stayed over. In my rush to get it posted in time, I could have just put up my notes leaving the “heart” out of it.

3) I’m highly allergic to scents and at work someone had sprayed something that gave me a bad allergic reaction, causing me to feel bad the rest of the day. I could have just been out of it.

4) Whatever air freshener they were spraying caused a chemical reaction that changed me from Moreland to Miss Snide.

Beware of the Snide!

Out of all of them I think the fault lies anywhere from 2-4, especially four. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking caused it.

But joking aside, you know that I always am honest on this blog. Maybe I fudge names of friends and family or where I live, to protect my anonymity, but when I post a review I post how I really feel. And I feel that this first part, as I haven’t posted on the second just yet, is amazing. 

Fantastic!

I’m serious! Yes they might make alterations to the story, and maybe they chose paths I wouldn’t have gone down. But none of that takes away from the amazing work that these authors did. I enjoyed every one of them as each presented the Darcy we all love in a different view. You guys did a wonderful job.

This first part is something EVERY Jane Austen fan, Pride and Prejudice fan, or Darcy fan should read. You NEED to check this out.

In fact, I am going back to update my post to make sure it reflects the enjoyment I felt in reading it.

But will I love the second half, Elizabeth and Darcy traveling throughout time?

It is hard enough to take a story and bring something new to it in the time period, let alone trying to keep the story while transporting it to other times. You have to know your history, try to navigate the issues of the day, keep old constraints relevant in a different world, decide how much to keep of the original tale, etc.

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out!

And don’t forget to check this book out for yourself!

Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Dracula. Dracula: not myth, nor ravings of a mad Irish novelist, oh no. He’s real, I assure you.

A long time ago, AMC used to do Fear Fridays. Every friday night at 8 they would show a horror film, and not stop until early Saturday morning. But then they pushed it back to 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1 am, then 2 am; still calling it Fear Friday although it was actually Saturday morning. And then they just stopped doing it, which deeply saddened me as I saw many a good, creepy film those Friday nights.

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

This however, wasn’t one of those good movies.

Hate YOu

My sister and I saw this on one of those Friday nights and I hated this film. I thought it was dumb, stupid, boring, made no sense and couldn’t hold a candle to Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931). And I vowed to never see it ever again.

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Last week, my friend and I were having a horror film marathon. We saw Once Bitten and then were in the mood for a more serious film. She was going through the list and wanted to see Dracula 2000 as she has never seen it before. I was like

No thank youhowaboutno

She then asked me what the film was about, if I could give her a summary, and I tried to tell her…

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

But I couldn’t remember. The only thing I could think of was that it had Johnny Lee Miller (who played Mr. Knightley in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999) as the regular person thrust in the adventure (the only character I liked); Gerald Butler as Dracula (the reason I watched it the first time) but he was so young that it didn’t even look like him and I hated his character; a weird scene in the record store; and that I hated it. Why did I hate it, I couldn’t remember. The movie must have been so horrible I just wiped it from my memory banks.

Where

Since I couldn’t remember it, and thought maybe I was too harsh a judge, we decided to watch it and see if it was different this go round.

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I HATED IT!

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I thought it was horrible and stupid. So you know what that means! A countdown!!! Yes, let’s go over everything I liked (barely anything) to everything I hated (practically everything!)

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Synopsis:

The film is supposed to be Dracula set in modern times rather than 1831, so the year is 2000. In London, Matthew Van Helsing (Abraham’s descendent) has an antique store in which he is training Simon (Johnny Lee Miller). That night everyone but Matthew goes home, and unbeknownst to him his secretary Solina is part of a ring of thieves that breaks into his vault. They find nothing in there but crosses and a coffin, taking it as it must be valuable.

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

When Matthew discovers the theft, he goes after them, leaving Simon to watch over the business. However, Simon is worried about his mentor and follows him instead.

The thieves open the coffin and reveal that it is Dracula (Gerald Butler) who turns them all into vampires.

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: "Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!" Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly]

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.
Van Helsing: Doing them?
Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!”
Van Helsing: What did he want you to do?
Renfield: That which has already been done!
[giggles sinisterly]

He then heads to New Orleans, LA. There lives Mary Heller, a devout Catholic, who has had strange dreams/visions her whole life but they seem worse now than ever before. She keeps seeing this man, unsure of who he is, but us viewers know him as Dracula.

Dracula

Simon and Matthew team up and try to destroy the new vampires, Simon originally shocked but after being attacked admits they are real. Matthew then reveals his secret, he is really Abraham Van Helsing, the Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing. [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here. [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing. [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

[Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

When he discovered nothing worked to kill Dracula, he imprisoned him in a coffin and took his blood to keep him young as he continued to try to find a way to destroy him. He was married and they had a daughter Mary, and in her blood is Dracula’s blood. When he told his wife the whole story, she left him and took his daughter to America.

And run fast

Dracula has lost his male vampires, but has three wives: Solina, the secretary; Valerie, a news reporter; and Lucy, Mary’s best friend. Simon and Helsing split up to look for Mary, Helsing being killed by Dracula and the wives at Mary’s house. Simon finds Mary and they escape, only for Mary to be captured later. Simon tries to help her; but is no match for all the vampires.

Dracula

Before Dracula turns Mary into a vampire, he reveals that he is Judas Iscariot and that is why he hates silver and crosses. He tried to hang himself, but the “rope broke” and God turned him into a vampire.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

I know. He turns Mary into a vampire, but I guess her already vampire blood counteracts it as she is not his slave.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

She saves Simon, kills Dracula, and decides to continue the family business (although if she killed Dracula it is over) turning into a female Blade, kinda-sorta.

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So What Was Good?

There was only one thing I liked in this entire film, and that was Johnny Lee Miller’s character, Simon.

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Simon was extremely likable because he was just a regular person thrown into this situation and trying to make sense of it. All his reactions are spot on to when he thinks people are crazy to finally becoming a butt-kicking vampire hunter. He is kind, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and extremely witty.

Marcus: [Simon produces a cross] Sorry sport. I’m an atheist.

Simon Sheppard: [a dagger pops out of the cross’ base] God loves you anyway.

The other thing I like about him was how he represented the everyman or everywoman. Here is a guy who has read old inscriptions, heard stories, studied antique weaponry, etc; but studying and hearing it is much different than having to use it, have the myths be real, and be expected to hunt down vampires. He tries his best as he discovers this new reality, and even though he makes mistakes, all is forgiven as he is us, the viewer, in a sense. I thought he was fun and the best thought out thing in the film.

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

Everything else. Seriously, I mean it. The rest of the film was absolutely horrid.

1) Too Many Stars

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Like Scre4m it is hard to focus on a plot of a film when you are being hit right and left with people who are really famous. In every scene it felt more like a game of “Which Star Will Pop Up Next” rather than watching a film about Dracula. I mean we have Shane West, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Nathan Fillion, Vitamin C, etc. When casting you really have to be careful and not have too many recognizable people, or else your audience will be going bug-eyed.

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2) For a Dracula film there isn’t a lot of Dracula in it.

Dracula

Dracula is supposed to be about Dracula; but Dracula actually has a small role in this film. And unlike previous films, Dracula wasn’t even played by a big star with top billing; instead they choose Gerald Butler who had very little on his acting resume at the time this film was made. To me that is incredibly strange as he is the main character, THE TITLE CHARACTER. He should be the star, the biggest personality. Instead Dracula has very little dialogue and spends most of his time just creepily staring at people.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

I didn’t like that, not one bit. As much as I disliked Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I did a lot, at least that one knew what to focus on, DRACULA! It was a weird decision made by the writers, and a bad one.

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Mary was so boring! I mean it what a yawnfest. All she did was cower, snivel, and act as if she was going to have a breakdown. Her character was bland and completely underdeveloped other than “good”, “Catholic”, and “British”. Now don’t get me wrong, the breakdown character can work but only in films where it is about psychological damage, like Rebecca, Gaslight or Under Capricorn, not a monster movie. In this type of film that kind of behavior is boring!

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4) Taking Blood to Live Longer, Yet He Doesn’t Become a Vampire

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In the book Dracula, the way to have someone become a vampire is to give them vampire blood. In this film Van Helsing keeps transfusing vampire blood into his body to live longer, but doesn’t become a vampire. That makes zero sense! If you ingest vampire blood you are a vampire. Pure and simple.

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5) Dracula is Judas

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Yes. It turns out the reason Dracula hates silver, crosses, bibles, Christianity, etc…is because he is Judas.

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Why would God turn him into a vampire? Why would God create a being that cannot be killed but kill his people making their souls unable to move on? That is just unbelievably dumb.

I mean if the devil was the one who did it, it would still be really dumb, but make a lil’ more sense.

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So yes it was dumb, incredibly dumb. Just stupid and horribly boring. My advice? Just skip it.

And after we finished the film, I asked my friend “What do you think of it?” Her response:

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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For more Dracula, go to We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

For more vampire films, go to I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

For more modern remakes, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

For more sucky remakes, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

For more Gerald Butler, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

Baby Jane Austen

So I’m sure some of you might be thinking that I will be writing about Jane Austen’s life as a baby.

Hoe cute she probably was

She was probably a cute baby.

Well no, I’m not. Instead I am talking about Jane Austen novels for babies!

OMG gasp

I know, how cool is that? There is a company called BabyLit that takes classic novels and turns them into baby primer board books; that is learning books for babies.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Now they can also read classic novels!

readclassics

So far they have Dracula on counting: Alice in Wonderland on colors; A Christmas Carol on colors; Wuthering Heights on the weather; Moby Dick on the ocean, Jane Eyre on counting; Romeo & Juliet on counting; The Jungle Book on animals; Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of Baskerville on sounds; Anna Karenina on fashion; Jabberwocky on nonsense; Frankenstein on anatomy; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on colorsand Huckleberry Finn on camping.

keanu Whoa

And of course they have covered Jane Austen with Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility.

Double double yay

And of course me being a major fan, I just had to buy them and check them out.

LifeasaFangirl

But as I have no children and didn’t have any extra book space to hold onto them for if that ever happened (my books are already in every spare spot I have) I bought them for my friend’s baby. So far I have only purchased two (Emma and Pride & Prejudice), one for Christmas and the other for her first birthday. When I buy Sense & Sensibility for this Christmas I’ll review it.

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Emma

Emma: A BabyLit Emotions Primer by Jennifer Adams

So we know the story of Emma right? The bare bones of it is a bored girl tries her hand at matchmaking:

Emma-Woodhouse-mr.elton

But in the ends her schemes don’t go anything like she planned.

clueless mybad oops

However, that is too advanced for a baby; so this one is all about emotions with cute illustrations. Emma is excited! Mrs. Bates is scared! Mr. Knightley is Loved.

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You got that right!

EmmaMrKnightlyP&PMrDarcy

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Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams

So Pride & Prejudice, the most famous of the Jane Austen novels. In it a mother is trying to marry off her offspring, but her meddling can cause some issues.

Pride&PrejudiceTruthUniversallyAcknowledged

Plus some manipulations, misunderstanding, and perseverance see that four couples find their happy match (once again bare bones).

Pride&PrejudiceDarcy

So once again too much for a baby, so this one is all about counting: nine fashionable dresses, five sisters, two gentlemen, etc.

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sense&sensibility

Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams

So this is the story of two sisters who go from being wealthy, to having nothing.

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold. Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man. Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

They get caught up in others manipulations, in their own striving for happiness, and discovering that being all sense or all sensibility isn’t the right way to be; their should be a balance of both. Plus sisters will always be there for the other.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

There are also manipulations, secret affairs, meddling matchmakers and more. But of course, that isn’t something babies can grasp so instead we have opposites: big, small, happy, sad, etc.

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So What Did I Think Of It?

So while it doesn’t tell the whole story of these novels (which I didn’t expect it to) I thought these were a wonderful idea and I want to purchase them all.

ShutUpTake MY Money

In a world where less and less people are reading, especially the classics: it is important to bring these memorable works back into the mainstream. I mean there is a reason why they were chosen as classics and they need to be read by everyone.

classicnovel

And while this book focus on it’s theme (colors, counting, feelings) more than the plot of the novel; two very imoprtant things come out of here.

First, the child is being given a classic novel and grows up hearing that name and the characters; making them much more open to reading the real book when they are old enough.

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And second, you reading to your child teaches them the importance of family time and the importance of reading. Thus making them book fans too.

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So I highly recommend buying these and adding them to your child’s bookshelf. After all:

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Save Our Youth! Read Classics Today!

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For more on Emma, go to When You Shockingly Relate to Mr. Woodhouse

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Emma variations, go to The Austen Series: Amanda

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more Sense & Sensibility variations, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

The Austen Series: Amanda

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Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith

So this book is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in modern times Australia

Under Capricorn

I know, Australia was an odd choice for a retelling of Jane Austen. I mean most people in Austen’s time wouldn’t really like Australians as they would see them as robbers, thieves, criminals, etc.

I also had a few issues with it being Australian as I am not scholled in Australian. Sometimes they way they talked I had no idea what it was about.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But moving on…

Emmafakesmile

Amanda Wood Priebe (Emma Woodhouse) is a successful owner of a travel agency. She lives with her father and takes care of him as he is aging. Even though he doesn’t really need additional care.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

This was one of the problems I had with the book. In Emma, her father was destroyed with the death of his wife and became the biggest hypochondriac and worrywart you could ever imagine. He ages exponentially and this is why Emma want to stay and take care of him. She knows that he needs her or will fall apart, and that factors into her decision to never leave or ever marry.

Emma

In this he is confident, lucid, and perfectly al;e to take care of himself with maybe a little extra help. There is no reason why she feels the need to stay with him. In fact it is kinda weird…

awkward-look-on-face1

So Amanda’s best friend is her secretary Haley Schmitz (Harriet Smith). She is currently dating Roger a farmer, who Amanda feels isn’t right for her. Instead she wants to set her up with the new music minister, Mason Eldridge.

EmmaWoodhouse

Her other best friend is Nathan Knighton (Mr. Knightley) owner of a well to do department store. He is also the younger brother of the man that Emma’s sister married.

JAH_Mr-Knightley-Jeremy-Northam-jane-austens-heroes-9172970-1024-567

So the book mostly follows the story of Emma with a few differences.  Instead of a ball, Emma throws a yearly party at her agency. You know, small things like that.

No big deal

No big deal

So let’s go over first what I liked in this adaption.

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Nate Knitghton/Mr. Knightley

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I really liked the way that Smith wrote the Mr. Knightley character.

Say What

Yes. Unlike other adaptions, she really got into his head and showed aspects of the story from his point of view. Often authors only go so far, but I enjoyed how he interacted with Amanda/Emma and the other characters, how they built up his attraction, and his qualms about having a relationship with a friend, what if she doesn’t reciprocate? What if it goes bad?

Knightly proposel28o7_250

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Haley/Harriet

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The Harriet character was also done well. Giving her a background of foster care and being moved from place to place established the perfect level of insecurity to blindly follow all Amanda’s plans with matchmaking.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

I also like how you see her love for Roger has a few insecurities with him going away and focusing on the business, coupled with her own insecurities and Emma’s manipulations; all creating the perfect breeding ground for her to be swayed to another. But at the same time we see how she is able to quickly move past that heartbreak of Mr. Elton (as she didn’t really like him), and return to her real love of Roger.

HIMYM TedLove you and not tolerate quirks

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Now what I didn’t like:

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Colonel Wood Priebe/Mr. Woodhouse

I already talked about the Mr. Woodhouse-Emma relationship, so let me move on.

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Christian but Not Really

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Another thing I didn’t like about this book was that it marketed itself as Christian but isn’t really.

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

In reality the the praying or  when they talk about their “relationship” with God is just a footnote or an afterthought.

Blah, blah

I mean write if you want to write a non-Christian retelling of Emma then write it. If you want it to be Christian then write that. Just don’t give me this lukewarm mess that is “Christian” but only a smatter. I mean go big or not at all, no in between.

No thank youhowaboutno

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 Amanda/Emma

Emma

So to our final piece, the one that carries it all…how did she do?

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I did not like the character of Amanda.

Something is not right!

Mostly because Emma just didn’t work in this modern setting.

No thank youhowaboutno

In Jane Austen’s work, Emma is from a wealthy class and doesn’t really have any friends her equal to spend her time with; especially with her sister and governess married. She is extremely lonely and bored.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

She begins manipulating, not out of spite, but because it is far interesting than another night alone with her dad, reading, just doing the same old thing. It doesn’t fit with Amanda having this other outlet, as she is great at her job and her work is something she loves. Australia is not as constrained by “social standing” so there isn’t the same level of alienation either. Instead of being bored and turning to matchmaking, she just comes off a controlling manipulator who only cares about herself.

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It just didn’t work; instead of the character being lovable or enjoyable she just seemed cold and cruel. A real “Mean Girl”, if you know what I mean.

MeanGirls I know right!

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So in conclusion? I didn’t like it.

dislike hate you

I mean some parts were good like Harriet and Mr. Knightley’s modern counterparts, but on a whole the book was kinda boring and just didn’t work without a fantastic main character, Emma/Amanda.

No thank youhowaboutno

If I were you, I would just pass this one by.

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For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Emmago to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

For more Emma variations, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more on bible verses, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

Have you ever read something, watched a movie, or seen a TV show and it gives you an extreme case of deja vu?

Hasn't this been done before?

Hasn’t this been done before?

Maybe it isn’t exactly the same storyline, but there is just enough similarity that it just keeps pushing on the front of your mind.

stopthinkingofyou

And that’s what Daring Chloe is.

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Daring Chloe (Getaway Girls #1) by Laura Jensen Walker

So while this book isn’t exactly like it, the plot does bring to mind Emma.

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So first let’s talk about the book, and then the similarities.

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Chloe is about to marry her dream guy, Chris, when he breaks off the engagement right before the wedding as he realizes marriage isn’t “for him” as he has other things he wants to do first with his life.

How rude

Her friend Adam was the one who relayed the message, the one who told her all along that Chris wasn’t right for her.

You should listen to me

You should have listened to me

Meanwhile, a very saddened Chloe doesn’t know what to do until one of her friend’s makes a suggestion. You see Chloe loves book and belongs to a book club that meets once a month to choose and discuss books. But now, instead of just reading the book, they will go on adventures too, in a way, “live” the book.

Booksfullofthings

I know, awesome right!

Taking fandom to the EXTREME!

Taking fandom to the EXTREME!

But while Chloe is trying to move over her heartbreak, it seems as if Adam is entering every facet of her life and always trying to give advice and help her, but instead reminding her more and more about Chris.

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But Chloe has her faith in God, good friends, and a whole library to help her through the pain.

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So now, why did this book remind me so much of Emma? Well all because of two characters, Chloe and Adam.

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Nothing else of the story is really anything like Emma, except for these two’s relationship. They are good friends, although Adam is harboring a secret crush on her, (obvious to everyone except Chloe).

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Also like in Emma, Adam tries to help Chloe by supporting her, but also being the one to advise or call her out on things. And Chloe, just like Emma, has a tendency to believe she is right, even when she is clearly wrong.

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And just like Emma and Mr. Knightley; they eventually come together in the end. Realizing that they are perfect matches for each other.

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I thought the book was okay until the end as that was predictable and a bit corny. However, the book club of reading and acting them out was inspiring. I might just do that in the future.

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For more on Emma, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more books based on Emma, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more Emma adaptions, go to 200 Years of Glorious Emma

Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

So when I say I’ll be reviewing Emma (1996), most people think about this:

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I however will be talking about this:

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So this film follows the book of Emma pretty accurately. It doesn’t have everything, of course, as it is only a hour and 47 minutes, but it does a good job. So how I am going to do this review is a bit different, instead of looking at the storyline I am going to review how the characters were portrayed and the set design.

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Set

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So let’s look at the indoor set featured above. Now I know that A&E Television was trying to go for a more realistic feel, but heads up movie writers; if we cannot see the action happening then you need to skip “accurate” for enjoyable. Nobody wants to spend their money on something that can’t tell them what is happening.

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I agree that the chiaruscuro and candlelight is a nice effect, but not worth it. It is like when you watch Onegin and you have those scenes where you have no clue what anything looks like. Good thing for Ralph Fiennes’ amazing voice.

The rooms also lacked any pizazz or beauty.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

The outdoors were extremely lovely, and kudus to the screenwriters who show how the servants had to carry every component of the picnic up the hill for their Box Hill little party. That was great.

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Costumes

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So while Emma (1996) aka Gwyneth Paltrow Version had this absolutely beautiful and stunning costumes, this version’s ones were so boring. I mean even Catherine had better things  than what the very rich Emma wore in this.

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And “poor” Elizabeth also wore more attractive and beautiful garments.

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These ones were just too plain and not befitting someone as important as Emma. I mean even her ball gown was boring.

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Mr. & Mrs. Weston

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV / Rex USA ( 525489SJ ) James Hazeldine and Samantha Bond in 'Emma' - 1996 ITV ARCHIVE

So in the book Miss Taylor turned Mrs. Weston was Emma’s governess, but in reality her confidant and best friend. While they don’t spend as much time together, with her married, in a new home, and concentrating on her new family; still they are buds. In this we hardly ever see Mrs. Weston and I can’t recall a scene in which she talks to Emma, except to warn her about Frank and Jane’s upcoming marriage. Great job there A&E turning her whole character into a little blimp in the story.

Mr. Weston also hardly has any scenes or interactions in this film, which is a complete shame as he is a incredibly cool guy.

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Harriet Smith

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This is one area where the film was fantastic. I have not seen a portrayal of Harriet Smith as fantastic as the one done by Samantha Morton.

Wow

Wow

In this she doesn’t play Harriet as the empty flower pot or the kind-hearted klutz; instead Morton focused on the aspect of Harriet’s unknown parentage and ran with it in her presentation of the character. Before I watched this film, I never thought of what Harriet went through not knowing who her parents were. I mean if you think of how people treated those who were in a slightly lower class, but respectable (like the Bennets in Pride & Prejudice) imagine how they would treat someone who is unknown. When someone would not claim their child as their own, it typically meant an illegitimate birth, usually the mistress. So those girls in school were most likely not interested in becoming besties with Harriet, or having anything at all to do with her.

Noo!

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This completely explains why Harriet is so eager to do everything Emma says. After so long of being alone; family-less and friendless, she finally has someone who cares about her and will do whatever she can to keep it.

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I have to say one of the best scenes is when Emma is chattering away about how Harriet’s father must be an important gentleman and you see Harriet looking down, brokenhearted saying something like I hope so.

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The way she acts around Robert is also just adorable. You can tell she is crazy about him, but also scared. Scared of being abandoned again, rejected by her friend Emma, and making the wrong decision as she has no family to guide her.

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Great job Morten.

And I truly mean it

And I truly mean it

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Jane Fairfax

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Jane Fairfax is Emma’s character foil. While Emma doesn’t play piano well, paints okay, doesn’t read, has a meager education as she isn’t into studies, enjoys meddling, can be rude or snobby, and likes to do what she wants without thinking of others; Jane is the opposite. Jane is a superb piano player, an excellent painter, enjoys reading, has a high level of education, enjoys privacy, is kind, compassionate, and considerate of others. A regular Goofus and Gallant, (J.K. I love Emma). This is one of the reasons why Emma dislikes Jane, as she is envious of what she has accomplished.

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However, in this film they didn’t show that at all. Emma dislikes Jane, but we hardly see them react or why Emma is so jealous. We don’t hear others praise Jane, and the conversation when Emma is pumping Jane for information wasn’t intriguing.

This Jane hardly even seemed there, she wasn’t a very intriguing nemesis.

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Mr. & Mrs. Elton

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So Mr. & Mrs. Elton are some of the villians in the novel and film. Mr. Elton proposes to Emma and when she refuses him he is extremely rude to her and Harriet; going out of town and picking out a shrew of a woman to be his wife.

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In this depiction they didn’t have as much of a role. We see them for the crucial scenes of Elton proposing, them cutting Harriet, and so and so.

I didn’t like their depiction as they are supposed to be more hatable. You are supposed to extremely dislike them and want bad things to befall them.

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Mr. Frank Churchill

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Frank Churchill is also supposed to be the villian in the book. At first he seems like a nice, sweet guy, courting Emma; but in reality he is a major jerk. He ignores his father, ignores his real fiancé, and leads Emma on.

How rude

The Frank Churchill wasn’t quite as sleazy as he should have been, in my opinion, but he did a good job. He had a painted on smile and gave off an air of insincerity; which worked really great. This actor did a great job and I give him a ten.

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Mr. George Knightley

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I thought this was the worst depiction of Mr. Knightley. Where to start? Well first of all his hair. Why did they pick that particular hairstyle? It looks too mulletish and makes him have the appearance of a receding hairline.

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My biggest issue with Mark Strong as Knightley is that he is just too brooding to be Knightley. Knightley is older, but still relaxed enough to be best friend with Emma and joke around with her. He is serious but can also have fun.

Strong as Knightley is just brooding all the time and whenever he talks his eyes flash and he practically yells in anger. He makes me think of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast the way he reacts to everything and everyone.

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I thought Strong made the character too dark, he would have been better as a Darcy than a Knightley.

I also didn’t like the scene of him with baby Emma, that was a little too weird. And the scene he announces his proposal he sounds as of he is yelling at everyone as if he is planning to destroy them all.

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Emma Woodhouse

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I really hated this version of Emma. I thought Beckinsale was a horrible actor, just kind of staring off into space and being blank and like a piece of wood.

If she wasn’t being totally deadpan she had this creepy expression on her face like she wanted to devour everyone like a female praying mantis.

I thought it was horribly bland and boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

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Ending conclusion:

Something is not right!

I thought the way the characters were portrayed was boring, the transitions weird, and the film all around mediocre. There was no fun to it and the actors talked as if they were being paid an extra bonus if they could finish their lines in under three seconds.

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For more on Emma, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

For more Emma adaptations, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more Jane Austen films, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Now I know that some of you may not be football fans, but I love the sport. I don’t normally post something for it, celebrating it, but I felt that this was Super Bowl 50 I just had to.

I decided that I would approach it in a way I’m not sure anyone has done before, if Austen heroes were real, alive today, and fans of American football (or in some ways at least semi-interested). Here are my pairings of teams with the characters.

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Edward Ferrars & the New Orleans Saints

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So Edward Ferrars doesn’t strike me as a real sportsy guy, so I think he would be a Saints fan just because of the name.

Their theme song is of course, The Saints Go Marching in, another point with Ferrars.

Super Bowl Trivia: Went to the Super Bowl in 2009 and won. 1 of 3 teams to win the year they went. 

For more on Edward Ferrars, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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Colonel Brandon & the Buffalo Bills

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So unlike Edward, Colonel Brandon is a sporty guy. I almost went with the panthers as it would be a connection to his time in India, but settled on the Buffalo Bills. The Buffalo Bills are reminiscent to the cowboy and Native American age, along with the mighty Buffalo. I thought this fits perfectly with Colonel Brandon’s bravery, expedition, and love of the exotic.

As the team has never won a Super Bowl, and are underdogs; they also appeal to Colonel Brandon. After all the sadness he has encountered, and how he has a soft spot for those who have obstacles thrown in their dreams, he would be a faithful fan until the end.

Their theme song is Shout, and while I don’t see him as someone who would dance or get into it; he’d be a secret hummer or singer.

Super Bowl Trivia: They are the only team to go to four consecutive Super Bowls.

For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

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Elinor Dashwood & the Tennessee Titans

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Elinor is quiet, reserved, not one to show her emotions or be picked out of the crowd. That’s why I chose the Tennessee Titans as I have never heard of them.

Originally the Houston Oilers, changed to the Tennessee Oilers, and then ultimately the Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl Trivia: After the changed their name to the Tennessee Titans they went to the Super Bowl.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

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Marianne Dashwood & the Oakland Raiders

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Marianne has a lot of emotions, likes to share her feelings and thoughts, is impulsive, at times brash, and doesn’t care what others think of her. That makes her perfect for being a fan of the Raiders. All Raiders fans, myself included, intensely feel for their team and even though others may make fun of us we are fans until the end.

The Raiders used to be in Los Angeles, but were returned to Oakland; that move from a big city to a smaller one is something Marianne can also relate to as she was forced to move when her father died (entailment sucks).

Super Bowl Trivia: Against all odds, the Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to It Doesn’t Exist

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Mr. Darcy & the Chicago Bears

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A man like Mr. Darcy is someone of old money and societal standing. Therefore I think he would pick a team that is well established. As the Chicago Bears are one of the oldest teams in the league. Originally created in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois as the Decatur Stanleys; they moved to Chicago in 1921 and in 1922 changed to the Bears.

The Bears have won nine NFL Championships and one Super Bowl and hold the NFL record for the most enshrines in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more regular season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise.

Super Bowl Trivia: For the 1985 Super Bowl recorded a rap song, the Super Bowl Shuffle.

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

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Elizabeth Bennet & the Seattle Seahawks

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I’m not quite sure why Elizabeth would be a fan of the Seahawks, it just seemed right. Maybe it’s because they aren’t as established, having been formed in 1971, yet not the newest team on the block. It might also be because they are a Western team, and anything established in the West is seen as a lesser pedigree as the East.

Super Bowl Trivia:They are the first and only, post-merger expansion team in NFL history to play in consecutive Super Bowls.

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to The After Partyheading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Edmund Bertram & the Cleveland Browns

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Edmund is all about believing he can change the people he loves, such as Mary Crawford. That is why the Cleveland Browns are perfect. They have never won a super bowl, but that won’t stop a fan like Edmund who will never stop believing.

Super Bowl Trivia:They have never gone to the super bowl.

For more on Edmund Bertram, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

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Fanny Price & the Green Bay Packers

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Fanny is from a humble home, moving to her rich relatives; and later showing that her heart and character surpasses everyone else. I thought her perfect match was the Green Bay Packers. Started as a “small town team”, named after the meat packers, and have become one of the best teams in the league (although the color scheme is horrible).

Super Bowl Trivia: The Packers won the first two super bowls, the trophy being named after Vince Lombardi the Packers head coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls.

For more on Fanny Price, go to Opening With…

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Mr. Knightley & the New York Giants

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The New York Giants were established in 1925, the only team created then that is still in existence. With it’s pedigree and being ranked third, it seemed like Knightley’s top pick.

Super Bowl Trivia: The Giants have featured 28 Hall of Fame players, including NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winners Mel Hein, Frank Gifford, Y. A. Tittle, and Lawrence Taylor.

For more on Mr. Knightley, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

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Emma & the Arizona Cardinals

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Emma doesn’t strike me as a football team, but if she had to root for one I think it would be the Arizona Cardinals. They have a huge pedigree as they were established in 1898 in Chicago, moving in the ’90s to Arizona.

Super Bowl Trivia: Their 2008 super bowl was the first time the franchise ever played in the Super Bowl

For more on Emma, go to We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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Mr. Tilney & the New York Jets

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The New York Jets are one the first teams established as part of the American Football League (AHL). That pedigree matches with Mr. Tilney as he too comes from an old, established family. I also think he would have fun singing lyrics from West Side Story;

“When When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a Jet, let them do what they can,
You got brothers around, you’re a family man!
You’re never alone, you’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own– when company’s expected,
You’re well protected!
Then you are set with a capital J,
Which you’ll never forget till they cart you away.
When you’re a Jet,
You stay a Jet!”

They kind of plays in with his jokey moods.

Super Bowl Trivia: In Super Bowl III they beat the Baltimore Colts and solidified the AFL in professional football. 

For more on Mr. Tilney, go to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen

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Catherine Morland & the Baltimore Ravens

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First of all, out of all the Austen female characters, Catherine would be the most likely as a football fan. Grew up as a tomboy, probably loves the sport. So there is only one reason why I picked this team, as Catherine is a huge fan of Gothic Romance and fiction; she would love a team that is based of the Gothic writer, Edgar Allen Poe.

Super Bowl Trivia: They are currently the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances

For more on Catherine Morland, go to Storybook Ending: Northanger Abbey (2007)

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Captain Wentworth & the New England Patriots

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As a current member of the military, it is clear that he would choose the New England Patriots, although he wouldn’t agree with all their dirty tricks.

Super Bowl Trivia: They have eight super bowl appearances, tying with three other teams for the most appearances of all time.

For more on Captain Wentworth, go to A Fredrick Wentworth Sighting

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Anne Elliot & the Saint Louis Rams/Los Angeles Rams

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The Rams didn’t start out in Los Angeles, but if you meet any diehard Rams fans that is all they talk about, and how they need to come back. They are waiting and hoping for that decision. That type of perseverance of hope and patience made me think of none other than Anne Elliot, the woman who waited and waited for her love to return.

And just like Anne was rewarded by receiving the man of her dreams again, so will the Rams fans as they are coming back to LA.

Super Bowl Trivia: The St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV in a thrilling 23-16 last-second victory over the Tennessee Titans.

For more on Anne Elliot, go to Fall for You

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For more Austen Mashups, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to To Edward or Not to Edward?

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told from a Whole New Perspective

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

For more on Persuasion, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Happy 50th Everyone!

Coach Eric Taylor Friday Night Lights clear-eyes-full-hearts-cant-lose

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For more Friday Night Lights, go to What a Fanatic!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

For the past two years I have done a countdown post of 25 of my favorite films that feature Christmas. I was going to do another one this year, but was too tired from yesterday’s post. So instead I am going to do something different, I’m going to finish up our 25 Carols of Christmas posts.

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But before I do that, I want to stop and acknowledge who’s birthday today is, other than Jesus. Today marks the 200th birthday of Emma.

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This book was published in 1815, and changed literature. Yes, what started out as a character that only Austen was supposed to like, turned into something beloved by all.

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From her radical views on marriage and love:

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To her crazy schemes that always ended comedically.

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And let’s not forget the handsome Knightley, the purveyor of common sense and one handsome hunk.

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Happy 200 Emma! Here’s to another!

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And a Merry Christmas to all!!!

At Christmas

For more on Emma, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

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Now for today’s Christmas Carol. It was hard to choose the final one, but in the end I decided to go with my absolute favorite Christmas Carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

This Christmas Carol came about from the tradition of wealthy Englishmen giving treats to Christmas carolers, such as fig, raisin, or other type of pudding.

I just love the beat and the lyrics. This song is so much fun and truly helps you wish a Merry Christmas.

So in that case I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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 For more on We Wish You a Merry Christmas, go to On the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, & 1st Day ’til Christmas: The Music of Christmas

For more Christmas posts, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

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It was hard choosing just 25 Christmas Carols to post on, but if you would like to listen to my choices follow the links below.

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Angels We Have Heard on High by REO Speedwagon

Christmas Don’t Be Late by Alvin & the Chipmunks

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) by Bing Crosby

A Cowboy’s Christmas by Wayne Newton

Do You Hear What I Hear from The Little Drummer Boy: Book II

Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, Welcome Christmas from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The First Noel by Bing Crosby

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Various

Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Celtic Woman

Here Comes Santa Claus from The Year Without a Santa Claus

Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas by Bing Crosby and Martha Mears

I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In) by Various

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Bing Crosby

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

Joy to the World by Celtic Woman

Just What I Always Wanted from Jack Frost

Oh Come All Ye Faithful by Celtic Woman

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives

Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town by Fred Astaire

The 12 Days of Christmas by Various

When Christmas Comes to Town from The Polar Express

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

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And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Merry Christmas!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

So today is one special day, Jane Austen’s 240th birthday! Yay!

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Jane Austen is one special woman who changed literary history with her amazing characters, plots, etc. She faced all kinds of adversity from living in poverty; losing the love of her life as his family felt she wasn’t in the same class; she continued to wait for her true love, although he never walked back into her life; Her first book she ever wrote was published post-mortem; her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published; etc.

But through this all she was able to preserve and create classic tales that have not only influenced literary history, but enriched the lives of so many readers.

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So as I am a huge fan

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I decided to dedicate this post to some of Austen’s greatest creations. Her Austen men.

Don't Stop Believing!

Don’t Stop Believing!

I’ve discussed the women in the past, so here we are with our lovely gentlemen that can rest at my house anytime.

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Ah I love you too, and I want to wish you a merry Christmas. Mr. Darcy, the man that makes women all over the world go ape. Starts off tall, dark, and brooding; but in the end becomes kind, sweet, and will do all he can to help the woman he loves.

“I sincerely hope your Christmas…may abound in the gaieties which the season generally brings…”

-Pride and Prejudice, pg 122

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

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ColonelBrandon

Colonel Brandon loved a women, but his parents drove them apart. When she went down a dark road and left a child, he cared for her as his own. He falls for Marianne, but when she chooses another man, he never tries to sway her or pressure her; but is instead is content as a friend of the family. His brimming kindness wins her heart.

For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Edward-Ferrars-mr-edward-ferrarsSense&Sensibility

Edward Ferras has a lot of issues in standing up to his mother, along with being easily manipulated; but when he was told to break an engagement or lose his inheritance, he throws his money to the wind, choosing loyalty. His fiancé proves to be unworthy of such devotion, and Edward finds true love with Elinor.

“I remember last Christmas…danced from eight o’clock to four, without once sitting down.”

Sense and Sensibility, pg 30

For more on Edward Ferras, go to To Edward or Not to Edward?

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Mr. Knightley starts out as the best friend, trying to assist Emma in everything and being there; but never using their history to try and push her into marriage. He is content to sit on the sidelines and just be a part of Emma’s life, as little or as much as she wants him in it. He always cares about Emma being the best she can be; calling her out on the things she screws up on, but encouraging and praising those she does well.

At Christmas every body invites their friends and thinks little of even the worst weather.”

-Emma, pg 97

For more on Mr. Knightley, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

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Ah Mr. Tilney. Unlike the other Austen men, Mr. Tilney breaks tradition; speaking to Catherine without an introduction, teasing, and allowing his genial nature to push through the rigorous rules of society. He falls for Catherine, believing her to be a perfect match for him (and rich.) When he finds out that he was mislead about her finances, he wants to marry her anyway; risking disinheritance for the woman he loves.

…last Christmas–the very first moment I beheld him–my heart was irrecoverably gone.”

-Northanger Abbey, pg 142

For more on Mr. Tilney, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

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Frederick Wentworth

Captain Wentworth fell for the woman of his dreams, but when she was persuaded not to marry him, as he wasn’t as wealthy as she was, he ran off to the military taking all kinds of risks and increasing his fortune. He returns and finds the woman he once loved, preparing to ignore her and not involve himself with her in anyway. But he quickly recognizes that his feelings for her are as strong as ever, risking his heart again.

On one side was a table occupied by chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire…”

 Persuasion, pg 80

For more on Captain Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

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For more on Jane Austen, go to Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Opening With…

For more on Persuasion, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

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And to close us out we have the Christmas Carol, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. This is one of the oldest Christmas carols, stating back to the 16th century.

I love the deep music and just how powerful the song feels when you hear and sing it.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to Joy to the World

 

 

Mr. Knightley’s Diary

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Mr. Knightley’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #2) by Amanda Grange

So I read this book mostly because it was recommended to me and because I am trying to review every book based on Jane Austen’s works. However, I wish I hadn’t read this as in my opinion this book sucked!

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Now this should have been a hit. We have the handsome, kind, wise, amazing Mr. Knightley…

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And the hilariously comedic story Emma.

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It should have been an instant win. But it wasn’t.

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I sure won’t get the time I wasted on this book back.

And why? What went wrong? Well I will tell you.

So my biggest issue with this book is how they present the character of Mr. Knightley. First he is so formal, his writing stilted, and it is just a rehash of Emma.

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I mean I understand that it is his diary, so of course the writing won’t be on the same level as a novel, but come on it’s his diary! It should be so interesting it is impossible to put down.

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As a diary there should be more leeway and less formality as this is a diary. It’s not like letters which were read aloud and basically the TV of the 19th century, this is a diary! It’s private, it’s an entrance into his mind, and there should be more there. It shouldn’t be so dry and boring. And it should not be a rehash of the novel.

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As a diary and a look into the mind of Knightley, we should get more development of his character. For instance, Mr. Knightley is the older brother, has the estate, is making enough money to have married years ago, but yet is single.

Hmm

Hmm

Eventually we discover that he is in love with Emma, but was he at the beginning of the novel? Or did it develop over time? If he wasn’t aware of his feelings at the beginning, why didn’t he marry? Was there no one he was interested in romantically? Had he just been focused too much on his land? Did he have a bad experience with a woman or witnessed a bad marriage that has made him cautious? Does he just not want to upset his routine?

The plot thickens

We don’t know, but as the diary of Knightley you could chosen any of those answers and built up his character more. But what does Amanda Grange decide to do?

“And now [John and Isabella Knightley] have five children. It is, perhaps, time that I too, thought of taking a wife.”

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Is that the extent of character building you are going with? BORING!

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Take for instance, An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aiden. In that she followed Pride & Prejudice exactly, but added a few things to Darcy’s character to broaden out “his version of the tale” along with allowing us a more complete picture. We saw more interaction with his sister, Mr. Bingley, etc.; giving a bigger picture of Darcy.

Take note Hollywood

So I did not like this book and am not looking forward to reviewing her other diaries. But I will for all of you out there. Ah, my love for my followers.

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For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For another book inspired by Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged