So back in July of 2020, I was celebrating my blogiversary, and on instagram I would ask Jane Austen questions and then post the responses the next day.
One of the questions I asked was which Jane Austen supporting characters needed their own story? The answers were: John and Isabella Knightley (Emma), Miss Bates (Emma), Captain Benwick (Persuasion), the Admiral and Mrs. Croft (Persuasion), Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility), and William Price (Mansfield Park). Sarah.with.an.h commented on my post that she thinks Georgiana Darcy needs her own story and shared that she had made a short video from Georgiana Darcy’s point of view, letters to her brother.
Georgiana Darcy from Death Comes to Pemberley.
I thanked her for sharing and planned to watch it, but you know me. I have so many plans and ideas, but life gets in the way…
I had thankfully screenshoted the comment so I wouldn’t forget who commented on it, and found it when I was going through my photos the other day and decided it was time to give it a watch.
In Dear William: Letters from Georgiana Darcy the Jane Austen story of Pride and Prejudice is set in modern times with Georgiana being sent to a boarding school and calling her brother William (Fitzwilliam); along with George Wickham.
I really enjoyed the short video as I think Sarah captured Georgiana’s sweetness, naivety, her inexperience, and how she was manipulated into believing she loved Wickham.
From Death Comes to Pemberley.
This video also showed the closeness of the Darcy siblings, but also as Darcy is her only immediate family and much older than her-at times he is also a fathr figure and Georgiana, like any teen girl, is rebelling a bit, pushing her boundaries.
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and as I started the month off with the modern Jane Austen Christmas adaption, Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe, I thought what better way to end the holidays than with a review of another modern Jane Austen Christmas adaption.
When I saw that this was a Persuasion adaption, I was jazzed, as Persuasion, Northanger Abbbey, and Mansfield Park are often ignored.
So let’s move on to the book. Persuasion was published after Jane Austen died, along with Northanger Abbey. It is a truly romantic story as our main character Anne Elliot, became engaged to marry Fredrick Wentworth (who was about to go off to war), but was persuaded to refuse him after hearing the arguments of all that could go wrong-he could die and she be widowed, he could return injured and unable to work, they could be penniless, they are young maybe they aren’t right for each other-and so on. She ends their engagement and he leaves, and years pass and Anne still loves him. She grows older, her father loses a lot of their fortune with poor business sense, and they have to rent out their home. While they have nosedived, her old flame is now Captain Fredrick Wentworth-having nothing to hold him back he took a lot of risks, made quite a bit of money, and rose in the Navy. He reenters Anne’s life when his sister rents Anne’s family home. They interact frequently, with her still in love with him and he still VERY hurt and upset with her.
Besides the romance of it, (that letter *sigh*), there is a lot of other things to love in this book. The powerful and wonderful relationship of Captain Wentworth’s sister and husband, Admiral & Mrs. Croft; Jane really puts some zingers in there about the way the culture viewed women; and more. It is a great book, and if you haven’t read it, you should check it out.
So with our tale-the story is set in modern day, Portland Oregon. The book switches between the present holiday time (2019) when Wentworth arrives back into Anne’s life, with flashbacks as to what happened between them eight years prior (2011).
Anne is the middle daughter to a politician, Senator Walter Elliot, but very content at staying out of the spotlight. The only times she enjoys everyone’s attention on her is when she is DJing and mixing tunes. But that was so long ago, now she is a professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University and the author of the novel, Perpetual Engagement. Her wanting to stay out of the spotlight also seems long ago as her father is in every paper with the rumored scandal he’s engaged in an extramarital affair, he may have misused funds, and he just landed in the hospital with a heart attack.
And right at this stressful time, made even more so by the fact that it is the holidays, her ex-fiance walks right back into her life.
Eric’s (Captain Fredrik Wentworth) sister, Sophia, and brother-in-law, Henry Croft, are renting Senator Walter Elliot’s house while he and his oldest daughter hide out in Sonoma. They invite him to spend the holidays with them, and he wants to spend time with his sister and family, as his brother David also lives there, but is not happy to run into Anne.
He still is angry over her breaking up with him, his time served in the Marines didn’t help him get over it and he is now the West Regional correspondent for the Associate Press.
I like that North and West decided to keep the military aspect of Wentworth as I hate when they do the modern adaptions of Colonel Brandon and make him a doctor, or nurse, or walking tour guide.
One thing that West and North added in this adaption, is that they made Wentworth African American. I personally love when I see biracial or multicultural romances as I am biracial and come from a multiracial family. I can’t help comparing this to Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe and how this book did it much better. Having Wentworth be a different race adds to the story, as he feels the reason Anne turned him down was not because she was afraid of what could happen-him dying, getting seriously injured, coming back a different person, meeting someone in his unit, being too young to know if she was really in love, etc (all valid concerns) and he believes it is his background and skin color that made her eventually turn him down (feeling the pressure from her father).
I felt that added to the tension, just like I believe in Austen’s work, that Captain Wentworth felt the same way-Anne said no because of his background not of her fear.
With Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe adding a twist of a gender swap did nothing to further the development of the characters or add to the story. There was no new avenue added other than Luke/Lizzie was a total jerk, the younger Bennet brothers/sisters were psychotic, and Darcy was so underdeveloped it was like when you buy those decorating kits that come with everything to decorate but have to buy/make the cookies separate, no substance at all.
So we travel back in time to 2011, when Eric and Anne met. So Eric’s brother David is in politics and interning with Senator Elliot, David drags Eric along with him to their holiday party. When he tries to escape the crowd that is not for him, he meets Anne- a beautiful curvy woman who loves junk food, music, and captures his heart.
So back in 2019, Anne is staying with her sister Mary as her plumbing is being taken care of…wait let’s stop a moment and talk about her sisters. In Austen’s book her sisters were awful narcissist-Elizabeth a spendthrift and bully to her sister and Mary a whiner and hypochondriac. Elizabeth isn’t really in this adaption, but North and West captured how I imagined a modern version of her to be, along with how Anne still cares for her.
“Anne loved her sister [Elizabeth] the way a woman might love a pair of beautiful but uncomfortable heels.”
So back to the story, Anne and Eric run into each other. And I really enjoyed that chapter. I think it was extremely well done in showing the character of Anne as in the previous one, which takes place in 2011, she is confident, assured, exclaims how she feels-and in this chapter, 2019, she can hardly speak to him and the way the authors described the feeling of heartbreak and how it affects the way you dress, eat, act, etc.-was perfect.
This chance meeting shocks both, more than they realize. With Anne, seeing how well Eric looked just magnified how much she had let herself disappear and slowly, in little steps does she find herself putting herself back together. With Eric-seeing how hurt, thin, sad-eyed, and broken Anne is doesn’t have him react in glee, but makes him reconsider the past and how maybe he was wrong in what he believed happened.
Meanwhile-reporters are harassing Anne trying to get a story, Sophie and David try their hand at matchmaking Anne and Eric, Charles’ younger sisters both make a play for Eric, and a Will Ellis starts going after Anne. Will Anne and Eric get their happily ever after? Or just remain two ships that bumped in the night and parted ways.
So I enjoyed this story. Being an adaption, I know they aren’t going to stray too far from the original plot-so I know the end-but they did add enough of their own style and twists that it kept my attention.
Being a modern adaption, there are changes from the original storyline-Sir Walter is a Senator, David is gay and a politician instead of a parson, they don’t do a big group vacation to Brighton or Bath, etc. But I think the authors did a good job trying to not stray too far from the original plot, but make it applicable to today.
I liked that we see more of Eric’s relationship with his siblings, and enjoyed their interactions.
They do change Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne’s novel, which is cute-but I will always be partial to the letter.
I can’t help but compare this to Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe and how much better this is than that book. Both North and West paid attention to the family relationships in the original book, and even though some of the characters aren’t in it that long they give you the makeup of each family really well. You can tell that these authors love the original story and paid attention to the important parts of it.
Unlike Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe the characters all talk and act like real people and interact the way people do. I mean both took a story that spanned over a year, and condensed it into taking place in few weeks, but while in Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe where Darcy and Luke/Elizabeth have like three conversations with each other-mostly fighting and Darcy being I’m the best-with Holiday Mix Tape they did a great job developing the romance by showing us their interactions in the past (not just saying they have crushes in high school) which makes it believable them falling in love as we see they never fell out of love.
So I hated Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe and I think that if you are looking for a modern Jane Austen Christmas novel, you should check this out.
My only complaint about this book, is that every chapter starts with “Track __” as you know it is a holiday “mixtape” and Anne was a DJ, but the chapter titles are not real songs. I know, it bummed me out too as I thought it would be cute to add links to the Holiday Mix Tape playlist. If there was anything that I would want to be changed, that’s it.
For those of you who might have missed the last post, Rational Creaturesis an anthology of short stories on the different women of Jane Austen:
But not just the main heroines-there are a few other side characters like Miss Bates-and of course a couple of bad girls like Mary Crawford and Mrs. Clay. Each story gives us a look at these rational creatures.
In Persuasion, Anne is the middle daughter of a Baron and is often ignored by her father who really only cares about himself. She becomes engaged to a naval soldier, but after speaking to her mother’s best friend, was persuaded it wasn’t the right decision.
Years pass, and another proposal, and Anne has grown older, wiser, and regretted turning her love down. With her father spending more than they have, they have to let the house, and the Admiral and Mrs. Croft rent it. Mrs. Croft’s brother, Captain Wentworth, comes to visit who happens to be the same soldier that she was engaged to! I don’t have to tell you that an interesting plot ensues!
I’ve only read a few adaptations of Persuasion and I’m excited to read this one. I like that there is a Mrs. Croft story.
An Unnatural Beginning by Elizabeth Adams
The story takes place before the events in Persuasion, starting when Charles Musgrove is trying to court Anne, but she is not interested, she still pines after Wentworth.
It’s not that Charles Musgrove is a bad man its just he isn’t the right man.
“He was a perfectly decent man. Kind, respectable, well-mannered. But alas, he possessed one fatal flaw that not even the best of manners could redeem.
He was not Frederick Wentworth.”
And being with Charles only makes her think even more when she met Commander Wentworth. He was visiting his brother in Monkford and Anne encounters him at a get-together and the two spend time together. She is completely struck by him.
Back to the present, Charles continues to talk and court her, but she isn’t really present. The flame of her youth feels like it is dying.
Frederick proposes and Anne accepts, but then when she seeks advice-Lady Russell resoundly says no. I really enjoyed this part as all of Lady Russell’s arguments are extremely valid. I mean things could go wrong and she could become poor widow-a poor widow who’s father isn’t going to help out (you’ve seen him). Or she could have ended up like Mrs. Price, Fanny’s mom.
“A large and still increasing family, an[sic] husband disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor, and a very small income to supply their wants…”
I really enjoyed how Adams makes Lady Russell not evil, cruel, or even a snob (just a touch snoby). And I liked how fear drove Anne’s decision to break it off with Wentworth, but it is an extremely relatable fear
I really liked that we got a view into both proposals, as I have always wanted to see how both went down. And raise your hand if you think Charles continued to pine after Anne even though he married her sister (that line about Sir Elliot moving Charles to take Mary off his hands was gold.)
Both hands are up!
But that ending though. It pierces the heart.
This story was so sad, absolutely heartbreaking, but in a god way. A real way. This was so relatable and I really loved the language used. One of my favorite parts is when she describes how she feels about her beauty and youth fading. I think we all feel that when we are disappointed, injured, or broken in love, that we used to be more fun, gregarious. etc. The whole thing was so good, so sad, so heartbreaking, and I think Jane would be proud. As for me:
I’m going to hide under the covers with my ice cream
Just kidding. It was a wonderful read, just get those tissues ready.
Where the Sky Touches the Sea by KaraLynne Mackrory
So this story picks up in the middle of Persuasion about chapter 8 before and after the dinner party. The Crofts are heading to out and their gig gets stuck in the mud, but they get through it together. This leads Mrs. Croft to think on their relationship and thier marriage.
This story was so cute and sad. But the good kind of sad. I don’t know how to review it without giving anything away. Just be prepared, if you are a crier-have tissues ready. It is just a sweet little story.
I’m so sad and happy!
I’ve always loved the Admiral and Mrs. Croft and it makes me love them more. One thing I love about Jane Austen is how she has these horrible marriages (like Charles and Mary Musgrove, Sir Walter, etc.) but then these amazing ones like he Crofts. I think Mackrory really got the heart of the characters and I loved her story.
So Mrs. Clay has an interesting backstory in this. She was “married” to a corrupt merchant who juggled the book and raked in every extra but he could. When things got too heated he took off, leaving Mrs. Clay with her two boys and nothing.
She heads home hiding her disgrace under the guise of widowhood and then implements herself into the Elliot household. It wasn’t her idea, but her father’s, the Elliot’s solicitor, as he wants her to gather intel on the Elliot’s expenditures and hopefully influence them to spend less.
Mrs. Clay does so and better than ever. She becomes Elizabeth’s best friend, so much that Sir Walter and Elizabeth choose to take her with them to Bath and leave Anne behind.
Mrs. Clay can’t really stand either of them, but is thrilled that about her new position. So thrilled at how Sir Walter trusts and leans on her. With this new possibility opening up, now Mrs. Clay starts using all her wit to try and snare him. She doesn’t like him, but does like becoming a lady, having a father for her sons, prestige, etc. And to rub Elizabeth, Anne, and Lady Russell’s faces in it would be great as well.
Sucks to be you
Everything was going well until Mr. Elliot came to town.
Smarming and plotting away.
Yes, Mr. Elliot plans on seducing both sisters and Mrs. Clay away from Sir Walter. Will she resist or succumb?
I really enjoyed this as I always thought Mrs. Clay (like Charlotte Lucas) was cunning, although much shrewder, and a bit more a mistress of her fate than they show in adaptations. I like how the author made her witty and shrewd even though she wasn’t “educated”. (That line about Paris was hilarious). This was great and spot on-that ending was perfect.
“A lady would have said, ‘Sir! What do you take me for?’
I whispered, ‘Yes.”
She and Mr. Elliot deserve each other.
And this was perfect right after the two sadder stories.
So we start this story after Louisa has had her fall. Louisa was very headstrong, stubborn, and always insisted on having her own way-
There was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. In all their walks, he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her. The hardness of the pavement for her feet, made him less willing upon the present occasion; he did it, however. She was safely down, and instantly, to show her enjoyment, ran up the steps to be jumped down again. He advised her against it, thought the jar too great; but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, “I am determined I will:” he put out his hands; she was too precipitate by half a second, she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless! There was no wound, no blood, no visible bruise; but her eyes were closed, she breathed not, her face was like death. The horror of the moment to all who stood around!”
We start off with her recovering and North does a great job showing what it is like. My friend’s brother injured his head in a car accident and North was spot on with what they go through .
Louisa slowly recuperates, and who is by her side? Wentworth? No. Captain Benwick. Captain Benwick has a sad backstory, he fell in love with a woman who became sick and passed away. He hasn’t been able to do much since, but here he aids Louisa, by her side every moment, eating with her, reading to her, just all around supporting her.
So romantic! So cute!
The rest of her family feels awkward or unsettled or unsure what to do, but Benwick takes charge and helps.
Louisa has to relearn what to do, has violent headaches, a lot of trauma to noise, and seizures. Everyone thinks she is in love with Captain Wentworth, but Louisa has fallen head over heels (literally?) for Captain Benwick. Now how to convince him?
Oh my gosh this story was so cute. I never really liked Louisa in Persuasion she just kind of annoyed me and of course we want Anne and Wentworth TOGETHER. But this gave a whole new spin and view on her. And I have always loved Captain Benwick, and I think this story just continued to show how wonderful a character and man he is. And they are so gosh darn cute together!!
“Are you certain?’…’Am I certain? No, my dear captain, it is far worse. I am determined.”
For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund
So I picked this book up as you know I will review anything Austen. I thought it was going to be about Pride and Prejudice as most are, but it surprised me and was about Persuasion instead.
Persuasion was published in 1818 after Austen’s death, alongside Northanger Abbey. Out of all the Austen works, these two seem to have the least amount of fans and notice.
It is sad they don’t have more.
I have always found that strange as I love both of these novels.
Even though it isn’t as loved by people, Persuasion has had two films made of it and a lot of it is based on Austen’s feelings of her first love and a wish fulfillment of being reunited.
Anyways, just in case you’ve never heard of it (and as I have yet to work through it as I am still stuck on Emma) I think we need a quick review.
Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth fall in love. He asks her for her hand in marriage, but Anne’s father refuses. Anne is unsure and goes to a family friend for advice; as her mother is dead, her father lives in his own world, and her sisters don’t care. This family friend persuades her to say no as Anne is above him in station, Fredrick has no options for promotion (as his family can’t procure it), the likelihood of him dying and living Anne a penniless widow (as her father will leave her nothing) is very high, and the two are so young.
Anne goes to Fredrick and refuses, him becoming angry as he thinks it is just because of his lack of money and station. (In Anne’s defense the real thing that made her unsure was the stressing of him most likely being killed and her being left alone.)
Years pass, Anne has never seen Fredrick again or stopped loving him. She had other men interested, but refused them as she didn’t love them.
What has changed is the Elliot family fortune, her father and older sister have blown through their money so fast that they are being forced to let out their home to a sea Admiral. A Captain Admiral Croft and his wife, Mrs. Croft. Mrs. Croft who turns out to be Fredrick Wentworth’s sister!
Anne goes to stay with her sister, Mary Musgrove, for a while, while her other sister and father are staying in Bath, with Anne to join them later.
When she is staying with Mary, Fredrick Wentworth returns to visit his sister and husband. Now a Captain, he has also become extremely wealthy; having taken so many risks in the war that he excelled monetarily and was promoted. Captain Wentworth is searching for a wife, and is funny and kind to all; but Anne.
It appears that old hangups remain so. Will Wentworth and Anne be reunited? Will Wentworth marry another?
You have to read the book!
So this science-fiction/Fantasy book takes place in the not too distant future…
Sorry, anyways…there were advancements in technology, so much that they were able to do DNA procedures to make your body excel in ways previously unimaginable, almost cyborg like.
These DNA procedures cause a war between people who believe this is not what God wants, and those who believe that the pursuit of science is the only answer. Unfortunately, they discover they did not know everything, as many of these experiments go wrong as people lose a majority of their faculties.
After wars, bombing, and a complete restructuring of the world they know, the people are divided into two groups: Luddites and the Reduced.
Luddites are the royalty and own all the land, they care for the Reduced in a feudal system/slave system as the Reduced are tied to the land, but more extensively like slaves, yet not traded and sold as slaves are. Reduced are mutes, who aren’t in complete control of their faculties, need to be supervised, etc.
Recently, things have been shifting as there are “Reduced” who are born very intelligent, able to speak, often called “Children of the Reduced” or “CORs”, and “Post-Reduced” or “Posts” by themselves.
Our main character is Elliot North (Anne Elliot) a wealthy Luddite, one of the oldest Luddite families. She, her father, and sister have a farm; but it is going downhill as her father and sister don’t care about the people, the farm, long term care, but only themselves and what they want. For instance her father has cut down all their apple trees for a “better view” or destroyed Elliot’s planted field for a racetrack.
Elliot tries hard to keep things running, to take her mother’s place, but finds herself drowning in the debt her father and sister, Tatiana North, create. In fact, they have had to rent out her grandfather’s, Chancellor Boatwright, home and ship yard to a set of wealthy free Posts- Admiral Innovation, his wife Dr. Felicia Innovation and their crew: Captain Malakai Wentforth, Andromeda Phoenix, and Donovan Phoenix.
Elliot’s only solace is the barn, where she would work on her plans, and relive her memories with her old friend, the boy she loved, and Post; Kai. Since she has lost her field and all her months of hard work, nothing seems right. But there is plenty to do on a farm.
When the Innovations and their crew arrive, Elliot finds herself admiring and enjoying the company of the Innovations and the crewman Donovan. Andromeda doesn’t seem to like her one bit, although Elliot has no clue what she could have done to upset her. However, everything changes when she meets Captain Malakai Wentforth. It appears it is her old friend and love has returned-Kai (Captain Fredrick Wentworth).
Years ago the two forged a friendship, (despite her father’s constant striving to keep them apart), a friendship that turned into love. The two made plans to run away together, but in the end Elliot couldn’t do it. She knew she had to fulfill her promise to her mother and take care of the farm and the Posts. She wrote Kai a letter:
Please do not hate me. I couldn’t bear it if you hated me.
But I cannot go with you.
I thought I could. Last night, I thought everything was possible. I thought you were right, that there was nothing for me here, either. Mother’s dead, Grandfather’s locked in his own head, and you’re leaving. Why in the world should I stay? It was a beautiful dream. But outside your room, outside the barn, in the cold light of morning, I realized that was all it was. A dream. There is nothing for me here, but that doesn’t mean I am nothing to the North estate.
Today, when I was supposed to be packing, I wandered the estate. I watched the Posts in their little cottages, I watched the Reduced in the fields, and I thought about our lots in life.
We can’t escape who we are born to be, Kai. The Reduced are Reduced. They will always be Reduced. And I will always be a Luddite. I was born this way. I will die this way. I can’t turn my back on that. Luddites were handed a sacred trust-we are the caretakers of humanity. Without us, the world would have burned, and all mankind would have been destroyed. I cannot ignore that. I cannot forget who I am.
But you are not a Luddite.
That’s why I cannot go with you. And also why I can’t ask you to stay.
God be with you.
Elliot’s feelings for Kai resurface but he wants nothing to do with her.
He is rude, cruel, cynical, and nasty around her. He spends a lot of time with their neighbors, the Groves-Horatio and his younger sister Olivia. Olivia has fallen for Kai, and to Elliot’s utter disappointment it looks like he feels the same way.
But Elliot cannot focus on that only as her long lost cousin, Benedict and air to the North estate, returns eager to regain control of the promised land, her grandfather grows more ill, and her father tries to engage her in even more power plays.
During one of her free moments, she joins Andromeda, Kai, Donovan, Olivia, and Horatio on an outing to the sea cliffs. Kai and Donovan jump from incredible distances, and Andromeda explains that they recognize the wind shifts because of their piloting expertise. As they continue, Elliot realizes something is not right.
When Olivia tries to do the jump, she falls and is horribly injured. While they try and help her, Elliot realizes that Kai is hiding a big secret, one that could destroy everything.
Once again Eliot finds herself at a fork in the road. Should she follow the man she loves? Or cling to her Luddite responsibilities.
I thought it was pretty good story and interpretation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Having Wentworth as a slave/serf rather than lower standing put a completely new spin on the relationship.
I liked how in between the time of the novel, there were letters and notes their younger selves passed, giving us a view of how their relationship started.
It doesn’t follow the book exactly, but the author did a good job in staying true to the core of the story, while at the same time doing her own thing.
Now there are two things I didn’t like.
First, I didn’t like how the author inserted God to create conflict between those who wanted change and mutation and those who wanted things to remain the same. The insertion wasn’t really what bothered me as much as the author not really giving us a stand on how our main character felt. One of the laws is to not try to play with genetics as you are raising yourself for a a fall, messing with things you shouldn’t control, etc. As much as the main character struggles with her ideas and wondering if they are against God, we never see what her relationship to God is. Is she extremely devout? Who or What is her God? What exactly do they believe in their religion? She brings it up constantly, but we never really know why this is such an issue to her because the author chooses to ignore it. We never see her pray, attend church, do any type of worship, etc. In my opinion you either need to go all the way or just leave it out; no in-between.
The second thing that bothered me was how mean Kai was in this. I mean he was horribly cruel. Now in Persuasion she doesn’t really explain herself as to way she refuses him, so he draws his own conclusions. I this Kai knows! He knows that she needs to help care for the people! He knows how her father and sister are, and without Elliot they would be cruel, starve everyone, and run the whole farm down into the groumd! Yet even though he knows this, he is so horrible to her. I understand why the author made him that way, and it completely makes sense as to character to behave in such a way. But it makes it hard to read as he acts like a jerk, before he finally comes to his senses.
But otherwise I thought it was an excellent read and one of the better Austen reinterpretations on the market. I suggest you check it out for yourself.
So this post was inspired by my ex. Last summer we were watching Sense and Sensibility (1995), aspart of a deal we made, and he noticed that a lot of the same actors were in Harry Potter. So I, being the huge Jane Austen fan I am, decided I would compile a list of actors who crossed over from adaptions of the Jane Austen novels into the world of Harry Potter.
Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
So many of you out there know of Severus Snape the Potions instructor from Harry Potter. He is first depicted as a mean, bulling, horrible teacher who dislikes Harry with a fiery passion.
Harry thinks Snape is a truly evil character, but it is later revealed that Snape is secretly helping and aiding Harry, working as a double agent against Voldemort.
He loved Harry’s mother Lily, and tried to do everything in his power to protect her. Loving her ’till he died.
Well Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter films, and also played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. He is rich and of high social standing, but doesn’t allow those customs to dictate the ways of his heart. He continues loving her and even though she may not care for him, he still wishes her well.
When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. When she catches a cold and almost dies he travels a great distance to bring her mother to her. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.
Both are men who are absolutely romantic, continuing to love their first love and will do anything to help their children. Snape becomes a double agent to protect Harry, all without his knowing. Brandon cares for the daughter of his first love, treating her as if she was his own. They are just amazing characters that you can’t help but love them. Truth be told, I would marry either one.
Elizabeth Spriggs as the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
The Fat Lady is the portrait that guards the Gryffindor chamber. The kids have to give her the password before they are allowed in.
Mrs. Jennings is Lady Middleton’s mother, Sir John Middleton’s mother-in-law. She is kind and caring, always trying to send the Dashwoods extra food or inviting them to dinner as she knows the family has a fixed budget. She also invites the girls to join her for a season in London, knowing that they could never afford such a luxury. When stupid Willoughby breaks Marianne’s heart, Mrs. Jennings is in her camp and ready to skin him alive. However, her gossipy and meddlesome ways, does at times make her a difficult person to like all the time.
These two characters aren’t very similar, although they both like to state their views. After the first film, they change the Fat Lady, but I don’t care for those depictions as much as I liked Elizabeth Spriggs.
Emma Thompson as Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter Series and as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Now the Sybill Trelawney costume is done so well that many of you probably didn’t recognize her. But Trelawney is played by Emma Thompson, who not only wrote the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, but also was one of the lead characters, Elinor Dashwood.
Professor Trelawney is the divination teacher, and I have to side with McGonagall that I feel she makes up more than what she actually sees. But at times she does see things, such as she predicted the destruction of Voldemort. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort.
Elinor is very different from Prof. Trelawney. Elinor is always sensible and quiet, keeping all her feelings and thoughts inside her head, never spouting them off at random times. She is very serious as everything to keep the house going and family together falls on her.
Gemma Jones is Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter Seriesand Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
In Deathly Hallows, Madame Pomfrey is a great healer. She is able to fix everything, from Hermione’s cat appearance to Harry’s broken arm. She is always in charge, cool, collected, and knows just what to do.
Mrs. Dashwood on the other hand is nowhere near the level of Madame Pomfrey. Truth be told we never see how she acts pre-grief, but after the death of her husband she lost in it. Besides the grief/loss, she is also being kicked out of her home, losing everything she owned, forced to move, and is put in conditions she never thought she would be a part of. She does not cope well, both living in the past and doing nothing; leaving everything for her daughter Elinor to take care of.
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Charlotte Palmer in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
So as Dolores Umbridge she is evil incarnate. I mean the writing lines in your own blood? How horrifying! How does someone like this work around children? Seriously! And keeping Moody’s eye on her door like some great prize!!! What a, I can’t even say the words…just
She deserved everything she got from the centaurs.
As Palmer though, she isn’t mean or evil, she is just very loud and prattles on ALL the time. You know the type. She is kind of annoying but you love her relationship with her husband (played by Hugh Laurie)
Anyways, even though Charlotte can be annoying and never stops talking, much better than ugh, Umbridge.
Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter Series and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Now as Fudge, he’s a horrible man. He chooses to be a little ostrich and keep his head in the sand rather than deal with the issues that are abounding. He is also extremely awful in the way he tries to turn everyone against Harry. He even brings dementors to the school and tries to kill Buckbeak. He then becomes so afraid of losing his job as Ministry of Magic that he goes crazy trying to make Dumbledore the villain.
While some find Sir John annoying I think he is a really nice guy. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life), but he still has a kind and gentle heart. When the Dashwood’s are kicked out of their home, he lets them his cottage for a price far under what it is worth. Not only does he do that, but he invites them over to his house daily, supplying them with food and comfort far beyond their current abilty. He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the planned outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. Just an extremely kind man (who definitely deserves more love from the Austen community).
Ciaran Hinds is Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion (1995)
Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Aberforth is. He only comes in at the very end; helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry sneak into Hogwarts for the final battle. He ends up joining the last fight, even though he promised he would do nothing to help his brother as he still blames him for his sister’s death.
Similar to Persuasion, his character Fredrick Wentworth also knows how to hold a grudge. He is upset at Anne for having rejected him all those years ago, but unlike Albus, forgives, moves forward, and the two reconcile.
Fiona Shaw was Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion (1995)
Now here are two characters that couldn’t be more different. As Aunt Petunia, Shaw is just horrible. Petunia is a mean, jealous, cruel, abusive woman. She has always been jealous that her sister Lily had the powers and she had none, therefore unable to go to Hogwarts. She unleashes all her unhappiness and issues on her nephew; locking him in a cupboard, practically starving him, letting her child bully him, etc.
Mrs. Croft on the other hand totally rocks! She and the Admiral’s relationship is so cute as you can see how much the two love each other, so much that Mrs. Croft refuses to stay on land when her husband is at sea, but travels with him as she hates for them to be parted. She also cares deeply about her brother and wants him to be happy. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.
Sophie Thompson as Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) and as Mary Musgrove in Persuasion (1995) AND Miss Bates in Emma (1996) AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow Version
Now in the film Malfida Hopkirk doesn’t play as large a role as she did in the book. In the film she seems to be really a nothing character, only being there so Hermione has someone to change into when she, Harry, and Ron are breaking into the Ministry of Magic.
In Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Elliot-Musgrove, Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s kind of like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her older and pretty sister Elizabeth, and the nice, quiet, sensitive, sister, Anne. Whenever one of them gets attention she just goes on and on whining about how unfair it is.
Ugh I hate her. I’ll be writing on her more later.
Miss. Bates is a spinster, poor, and dependent on the help of others. She lives through her niece Jane, which subsequently means she will not stop talking about her. Everything makes her think of her, she continuously talks about how perfect she is, going on and on. But unlike Mary, Miss Bates is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she does come to live there.
Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in the Harry Potter Series and John Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA The Kate Beckinsale Version
Now Pius played a bigger role in the books than they give him in the films. In fact, you hardly spend anytime seing him the film, making him pretty nonexistent.
Guy Henry also plays John Knightly in the Emma (1996) and John is so annoying. He doesn’t care what anyone says only what he thinks is right. He is such a wet blanket and AWFUL I have a whole ‘nother post on him.
Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter Series along with Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (2008)
As Arthur Weasley, we have the pure, albeit poor, wizard. He is deeply interested in muggle things and always asking questions on what is the purpose of this item or that one.-just utterly adorable!
But don’t let that fool you. He still is a butt-kicking member of the Order of the Phoenix and will do anything in his power to take down Voldemort. He also is a great father to not only his kids, but to Harry and Hermione as well.
Now Sir John is kind and adorable but as said earlier, often people find him annoying. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life). Now in this remake they toned it down from how active he was in the book and 1995 version, causing his mother-in-law to be the one who really is the busybody.
He is fiercly loyal and caring for his friends and just one of the sweetest guys ever.
Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter Series and is Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (2009)
As Dumbledore, Gambon plays the extremely powerful professor, who has a ton of secrets and never reveals them to Harry Potter-even though most of them have to do with him. Before the death of his sister he was wild, opinionated, rash-but after he lost her, he became calm, cautious, tempered, and loved by all the students.
As Mr. Woodhouse, he’s completely different. After he lost his wife to illness, he shrunk as a man. He became very fearful; everything could cause issues and pain, like cake, going outside, etc.
The two are similar in that tragic deaths in their past changed them significantly, but unlike Mr. Woodhouse, Dumbledore isn’t afraid of the world, but afraid of himself.