Are You Prepared to Encounter All of Its Horrors?…Let’s Just Say That All Houses Have Their Secrets, and Northanger is No Exception.: Northanger Abbey (2007)

It’s Time for Our Jane Austen Pick!

It’s exactly as I imagined. It’s just like what we read about.

Are you prepared to encounter all of its horrors?

 Horrors? Is Northanger haunted, then?

That’s just the least of it. Dungeons, and sliding panels; skeletons; strange, unearthly cries in the night that pierce your very soul!

Any vampires? Don’t say vampires. I could bear anything, but not vampires.

Miss Morland, I believe you are teasing me now. I have to say, there is a kind of vampirism. No, let’s just say that all houses have their secrets, and Northanger is no exception.

So every year I have been trying to find a way to include Jane Austen in my Horrorfest posts. I lucked out with Death Comes to Pemberley as that gave me two years, (I posted in between as three years seemed a really long break.) Then last year I did the Midsomer Murders episode “Death by Persuasion“. This year I was like, ugh I guess I have to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (I didn’t care for the book so I’m not enthused about watching the film.)

Oh, if only Jane Austen had written a Halloween-y book.

Then it hit me, how could I be so blind- she did!

So I decided that this year would be the year I review Northanger Abbey (2007). I’ve wanted to review this movie for a while, but haven’t as when I do then I can’t review it again. Does anyone else ever feel that way?

I’m happy to include it as I know of Catherine was around today, she’ be all over Halloween,

So in my post on The Blob, I mentioned that back in January when my book club read Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon, I thought what better way to end Horrorfest IX than to end with The Blob. I thought it would be cute to have it a few months apart from the book review.  Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the review. I was still planning to end with it, but then I got an idea.

I was switching some posts around and was going to move Northanger Abbey to a different day when I decided why not end with Northanger Abbey? And if I’m celebrating? Why not encourage everyone to as well!

So I’m going to watch the 2007 adaption, but there are others to watch if that doesn’t interest you:

Or you can read the book or other adaptions:

And don’t forget to #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey so I can see what you do!

So Northanger Abbey is probably my favorite Jane Austen book as I just love Catherine, she’s so me.

And I LOOOOOOOVE this adaption. I felt that everyone who did this production really understood the heart of the novel and brought it to life perfectly! There are a few changes/additions, of course there always will be, but I felt these added to this film. And JJ Feild and Felicity Jones were beyond perfect!

But enough gushing, let’s get on to the review!

So I love the way we start off with this gothic creepy spooky music over the actors and title. I could just listen to this it over and over again.

We start the film off perfectly, the first lines of the text narrating and we get a great view of Catherine’s life. A family of 10, her father a reverend, she loves to play cricket and baseball (how can you not like a heroine like that?) Although, at 15 she settles down and changes her hobbies to reading. I like how we see her playing with her siblings and sports, but then off to hide away and read.

I am soooo jealous I wish I could go off in the beautiful English countryside and hide to read.

When Catherine reads she imagines herself in the stories and I love it. It is just like how I imagined her to be when I read the novel. I love how the characters in her imagination are played by the same actors in the film, but we don’t see their faces until she meet them in the story.

The Allens have arrived and want Catherine to come with them on their trip to Bath. This was the first book Jane Austen wrote, although not published, and it makes sense that she used Bath as she stayed with her aunt in Bath when she was young.

As they are traveling Catherine is reading and I love how she imagines herself in the story and then attacked by highwaymen. I LOOOOOOOVE, LOVE this movie! So much!

I mean it is so relatable, don’t tell me know of you bookstgrammers and book lovers haven’t done that because I am sure you have!

I like how when Catherine first comes to Bath it is beautiful but then right away we see an ugly underbelly as two jerks call her a “tasty piece”. Ugh, some things ever change-but also alludes that a pretty facade can hold ugliness, makes me think of the people she is to meet but also has me think of Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet. 

And their names are Thorpe and General Tilney

Felicity Jones as Catherine is cute and adorable which is exactly how I imagined her to be in the book.

Mr. and Mrs Allen are so sweet:

Mrs. Allen: Have you ever seen anything prettier Mr. Allen?

Mr. Allen: You mean besides yourself.

I love how they have Catherine from a small parsonage thrown into this crowded room full off gross men, snooty men, and crowds, crowds, crowds.

Mr. Allen ditches the ladies right away, for the men’s room I believe.

See ya!

Then JJ Feild as Mr. Tilney enters, and he is utter perfection.

I’m all about that Henry!

I love their whole interaction together, JJ Feild is just perfect-a joker, sarcastic, but at the same time fun. I love when he says Catherine’s line about how her gown will fray, and such a white knight getting rid of the wolves and getting them a table, then procuring an introduction.

But I love how when he is following protocol he looks like he will spurt out laughing at any moment. The teasing-it’s too perfect.

I love the jokey sillyness of them talking, such a contrast to the “we have to talk when dancing” scene you see in Pride and Prejudice. JJ Feild says the lines perfectly-so theatrically “astonishing” that it fits his character perfectly. I just love it!

Ugh, but then the horrid-John Thorpe (William Beck) skulking in his bulldogg-ish way. He spots Catherine and eyes her like a piece of meat.

I love this scene.

Catherine: [Puzzled] Why does he look at us?

Mr. Tilney: I imagine he likes what he sees.

Catherine: [Incredulous] You don’t mean me?

So I love this scene because for a girl who was sporty and never considered pretty as a youth it is so difficult to believe when someone says you are pretty. I also think this is another reason why Catherine is a favorite as she has gone through body image issues like most teen girls. Not to say that Elizabeth doesn’t suffer some, constantly being compared to the “beauty” of her elder sister, but with Catherine she is in a different situation and younger, plus she isn’t as powerful a wordsmith as Elizabeth or able to laugh off her hurt in front of others. I think she and this scene resonate really well. Her being baffled at the thought that she could have the interest of two men, let alone have a man to watch her from across the room because he thinks she is pretty just puzzles her. I also like that Mr. Tilney uses pretty to describe her multiple times. On one hand pretty is more jestful, he just met her he doesn’t want anyone thinking he’s proposing, but at the same time him saying it is more of something for Catherine to cling to. Someone who has never been called beautiful, but cute or nice-being called beautiful they would never believe it. But being called pretty after being considered “almost pretty” is more something they can can accept.

When Mr. Tilney teases her about writing a journal and Catherine sasses back it is beyond adorable. I love it except how could he ever think Thorpe more handsome than him.

And then that night we see she is writing in a journal. I love it!

Catherine again reads but this time in her mind she sees the people as Thorpe and Tilney-the handsome hero of course being Tilney

The next day they are out and another horror-Mrs. Thorpe and Isabella, Mrs. Thorpe being an old friend of Mrs. Allen. They hone in on them, wanting to join their party, Catherine and Isabella immediately going out together, You know I always felt like the interaction between Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Thorpe was weird, the way Mrs. Thorpe “just happened” upon them, but this time watching it I can see how contrived it is. The Thorpe’s must have been planning the harpooning the Morland’s for quite some time. Something in their manner must have made them think they were a great catch. Thorpe sees Catherine at the dance (knows what she looks like and probably heard from James she would be there, not to mention the book where people signed in) and the next day the other Thorpe’s were on the hunt. I’m not sure if the plan was always for them to snag both siblings but from what I see of Isabella she’s been working on James for some time, the “beloved friendship” of his sister helping capture him even more.

You know I never noticed it before there are a lot of creepy dudes in Bath.

SUPER creeped

When they go out, Catherine looks for Mr. Tilney’s name and Isabella says that there is something strange about the family. Not going to lie, that would probably intrigue me more. Oh, do tell.

Hmm…spill please.

They are followed out of the place by two men-creepy, but Isabella seems in to it. Weird.

Strange girl.

Catherine is afraid, but Isabella laughs it off. She is trouble.

Do not be friends with her!

They come upon John Thorpe and James Morland (Hugh O’Coner) as they have come to Bath as well.

Poor James

James: [To Isabella] When I heard you were here nothing could keep me away.

John is the opposite of Henry-John is brash, bulldoggish, curses-although he was introuduced the proper “way”. I’d rather do things the Tilney way.

John doesn’t read novels as he thinks them silly and for women (ugh) We don’t like him. We don’t like boys who don’t read.

Ugh…this guy

At the dance, Catherine sees Mr. Tilney with a beautiful woman and her whole face falls. Then she hears it is his sister and her face lights up like a Christmas tree. I love it!

Eleanor and Catherine are so cute I ship their friendship-Catherine needs a wiser woman to help her not horrible Isabella.

They see General Tilney (Liam Cunningham) across the room and Eleanor’s cryptic message about her father sets him up as a perfect villain. Henry look is grim after talking to him, Eleanor calls it “his way”, he does look positively scary. He just casts a shadow over everyone.

Catherine and Eleanor get on smashing, both like to read and walk-while Isabella likes being in town, in a party, with men hanging off her every word. Don’t go with Isabella-stay with Eleanor and Mr. Tilney.

This next scene is perfection with showing the story and the characters so let’s break it down.

The next day Catherine is preparing for the date she planned with Mr Tilney walk she planned with the Tilneys when Isabella, Thorpe, and her brother James all come in convincing her that the Tilneys are out of town and she should come with him-John stats this  with “I think I saw them leaving”, Isabella backing him up, then he says he knows, then he insists that in this brief passage in the street from far away that he heard them saying they will be gone. Of course when I say it like this you can obviously tell it is a lie, but when he and Isabella work in tandem it is incredibly well done. Catherine bring up a point, one sibling parries it while the other puts in a stab that gets to her. Isabella “my dear one, in this false world, people often make promises they have little intention of keeping. Remember, we are your *true* friends”, when they are in fact doing the very things they are warning her against. This is a perfect representation of the Thorpes who will lie, scheme, and do anything to get what they want and how they manage this so perfectly off the cuff. Immediately, you can tell they have done similar schemes before bur above all that we get a great sense of their character as they see no wrong in it, experience no guilt, Isabella dosen’t even blink an eye when she is the very person she warns Catherine about.

And then we have brother James. True he’s no brother John (Sense and Sensibility) but he is not a good brother. He so badly wants this alone time with Isabella and is so consumed by his “love” for her that he doesn’t even see the inconsistencies in the Thorpe’s speeches. Instead he insults his sister, being her brother he knows where to get at her. The Thorpe’s pulled down Catherine’s defenses, but the betrayal of her brother-his stab is the thing that really gets her to join in with them. Harsh. And the use of “scatterbrained sister”, for some reason that really gets her moving, the need to show him she’s not that. It’s not hard to imasgine that maybe that insult was used a lot growing up. It is such a quick scene but a really good one that let’s is know each character’s motivation.

Speaking of James, does any Austen heroine have a good brother besides Fanny Price? I mean Elinor and Marianne have John, who is ugh, the Bennets have no brothers, Emma doesn’t have a brother and hasugh John Knightley as a brother-in-law, and in Persuasion no brothers. The only good brother out of the three is William Price, Fanny’s brother. I mean James isn’t as horrible as John, but not as good as William. Jane Austen had six brothers, I wonder if each brother and brother-in-law where based off of them? Anyways, that’s for another day-back to the renew.

From Clueless

We see more of how rude Thorpe is when Mr. Allen is crossing the street and Thorpe almost hits him. He interrogates Catherine about Mr. Allen saying they are rich with no children and she’s the favorite. She doesn’t really answer, so he takes that as a yes.

Then she sees Mr. and Miss Tilney. Now Thorpe here is awful. Catherine wants out and he purposefully speeds up so that she can’t. He flat out tells her that he doesn’t care that he lied and then goes on to manipulate and convince her that she is “needed” to chaperone so her brother and Isabella can be together, uh..why can’t you do that if you “care” about your sister sooo much.

He then goes on to explain that he was not lying or manipulating to her (my words) with any evil intent he is just “protecting” her against the Tilneys. John insists there is something strange about the mother’s death-and then continues to lecture her about being more careful about making new acquaintances they are not as honest as you and I.

You just lied and admitted you lied…like do you not hear yourself?

This is another reason why I love Jane Austen-remove the carriages, regency clothes, and language and you could set this scene in any time period. Her work is beyond relatable. Who has not met someone like this in their life, espechially when you are young, friend or romantic partner people like this abound. I wish Catherine just stormed out of the carriage and away from him, but of course she’s young, she does want to help her brother, and she doesn’t want to disappointed. This whole manipulation is abuse and that is another reason why Thorpe is a horror. Run Catherine! Run from him!

So Catherine goes with them…

And it rains and they get blocked with sheep. Good! May Thorpe always be sheep-blocked.

Sucks to be you

Then we have Catherine and Isabella in their underwear waiting for clothes to dry-I think this exchange is odd as why not wear robes-aren’t they cold after being in the rain? But it is part of the “sexy” Austen they have since added in.

Isabella encourages Catherine and John, although Catherine is not that interested besides someone being pleased at someone finding her cute. Isabella encourages her to red the very “naughty” book The Monk as it is John’s favorite. It doesn’t surprise me that the only thing John wold deign to read is a “naughty” book.

The worst!

So feel like after Catherine reads a part of The Monk, she has a fantasy where she is in a bathtub, but that isn’t i my copy. Did I just imagine that?

The next night they go to the opera, the Thorpe’s joining them and John Thorpe “compliments” Catherine, ugh.

Why are you with him?!

Catherine see the Tilmeys and runs over to apologize, I love how she speaks to Mr. Tilney when apologizing not Eleanor Mmmhmmm.

How sweet!

She also tells Mr. Tilney she would have run out of the carriage and back to him (using you not the two of you.) Felicity Jones is so cute as Catherine, I just love it!

Soooo cute!!!!

I also love how hurt Mr. Tilney is and trying to pretend that all is fine, when you can easily tell it is’t and the look Eleanor gives him is priceless. She knows her brother was hurting.

I see people talking about Georgiana having to put up with a heartbroken Mr. Darcy, but what about Miss Tilney? She probably had to spend the whole walk hearing about how hurt Henry was and how Catherine was just whisked away from him and all in the rain!

Mr Tilney: I felt a little slighted.

Mmmhmm a little?!!

I love how Eleanor states you were quite cast down when you heard that Miss Morland preferred the company of others. Good job Eleaor, good sister-prodding your brother.

They renew the invitation and we see John Thorpe talking to General Tilney about how rich the Allens are, oh no. General Tilney then engages an introduction and he invites Catherine to spend the day with them. Catherine is so sweet but the Tilneys siblings exchange a look, oh no-Dad’s getting involved this won’t be good.

That’s not good.

They go walking and Catherine is cute she’s never traveled but has seen pictures and read books.

Catherine assumes that Tilney wouldn’t read books, but he shares that he loves novels and that there can be more life in it then in some sermons- cough cough Mr. Collins. Aw, he likes to read!

Guys who don’t are not.

By the way, Mr. Tilney’s green coat and cream breeches are the same that Mr. Darcy wears although I don’t love the cuffs. Speaking of costumes, fantastic choices. I love everything they have except the cuffs.

I noticed that Eleanor just happened to need to fix her skirt “it caught on something” allowing Henry and Catherine go on ahead. Mmmhmmm.

I like this exchange between Catherine and Mr. Tilney about the themes in books being ones you see in life. So true. Catherine doesn’t think so and we have this moment when we get a glimpse between the teasing, sarcastic nature we love to something vulnerable Mr. Tilney comes from a wealthy estate so he hasn’t had a harsh life materially-but we see that their has been pain and darkness. Catherine comes from a loving home so she doesn’t see the world the same way. I like this as often the people who laugh the loudest and are so flippant have some emotional scars we can’t see. It also rounds Mr. Tilney out, it would have been easy to write him as just  two-dimensional character.

The walk is interrupted by a man hurriedly riding a horse and Mr. Tilney explains that it is a secret, Eleanor is in loves with him, but their father doesn’t approve. He is leaving to make his fortune and wanted a final good-bye.

Aw!

The next day Catherine is reading when Isabella interrupts her as James’ has proposed. “You know my nature I can never trifle with a man’s affections.” MMhmm…

Catherine is pleased although in strage twist she’s the voice of reason thinking this is all rather fast. But James and Isabella laugh off  as they have been “in love” since last Christmas. Poor James is a blind fool in love.

James leaves to speak to their parents and John is going too. He then delivers one of the worst proposals

John: Perhaps I might look for one [a ring] for myself, do you think I should? [Catherine surprised says nothing] Frightfully good this marrying scheme, what do you think?

Catherine: I think it is good.

It’s not even a real proposal. They leave and Isabella is blue. She thinks that Catherine’s parents will not be interested as she has no money while Catherine is like thinking in her head we don’t have that much money, I guess.

Huhhhhhhh

That night they go out and Isabella goes on and on about how sad and heartbroken she is not to have her “love”. They see General Tilney, Mr. Tilney, and Miss Tilney. General Tilney leaves taking Catherines hand and placing it on his son’s and then vanishes. Oh my gosh, General Tilney has zero subtlety he makes it clear to everyone in a 400 mile radius that you want the two to get together. It makes me laugh, but it is so indicative of General Tilney’s style. He is General, he commands and all must follow his orders.

We also have another horror enter the scene, I believe this is number 4, Captain Tilney-the eldest Tilney.

He’s such a snob blowing Catherine off (although thank goodness)

Mr. Tilney: He’s always been iIl mannered. He was even ill mannered as a baby.

Catherine: [Teasingly] How do you know he was ill mannered as a baby, you weren’t even born yet.

I love Tilney and Catherine’s interactions:

Mr. Tilney: My rival having left bath.

Catherine: He’s not your ri- [breaks off]

Ugh Captin Tilney is so ill mannered. He wants to dance with Isabella, and Catherine tells him Isabella isn’t dancing with anyone tonight, shouldn’t have said that as it just raised the challenge he’s going to ask Isabella. Or did he? Could she have approached him? Hmm….

Hmm…

Catherine sees Isabella dancing and then later Isabella explains it away, hmm… She gushes about him, but reassures Catherine, she loves James.

Really Isabella?

That night Captain Tilney is the bad guy in the fantasy and he looks so devilishly evil. Perfect.

The next day Ctherine comes over to hear how James’ trip went, and Isabella is not immediately happy. James will recive 400 pounds in two years, so they will have to wait. She’s really hurt, and Catherine defends her father. Isabella thinks Mr. Allen might give money, but Catherine is extremely surprised. They have no expectations from him. Isabella realizes she’s losing the crowd and changes her tone to insisting that she doesn’t care about money but the wait to marry. Sure

The next day Catherine learns that the Tilneys will be leaving, but is invited to Northanger Abbey. Omg I wish I could go. I would say Yes! but Catherine does the right thing and asks the Allens, the Nothanger spooky music playing!

Creepy…

Their last time together Isabella drops that John thinks Catherine and him are engaged. You know I just realized if your name is John in an Austen novel you are a jerk. Catherine defends herself and shares she never did any such thing. Isabella is upset but all is forgotten when she sees Captain Tilney. Captin Tilney lays the flirt on thick…eyes give us torment, etc. Catherine is upset at the exchange and tries to get her and Isabella out of there, but Isabella refuses to go and instead is off with Captain Tilney, oh no.

That’s not good.

The Tilneys arrive to pick up Catherine and you know we talk a lot about Ms. Bennet, Mrs. Jennings, and the other women who are always trying to plan and scheme marriages for our heroines, but it seems like everyone forgets General Tilney practically throwing his child at Catherine.

Marry my son in this case.

Poor Eleanor. She looks so abused right here, she probably is with an emotional vampire like her father. Even Mr. Tilney stands at attention and ready to do the orders of his father. It is interesting as when both are apart from their dad they are completely different, but when father is around they are quiet, quick to respond, and follow his commands like good little soldiers. I never noticed just how like “at attention” they are around him Its very good as that will be important later ****foreshadowing****.

Hmm…

The general offers his son like the fattened calf and Catherine of course is eager to sit with Mr. Tilney.

They ride and Catherine asks about Captain Tilney, worried about Isabella. Mr. Tilney instantly responds with were you wanting his company and I love how fast Catherine tells him no. I can just imagine in her head HECK, NO! She shares her concerns for Isabella, Catherine is such a good friend.

My problem with Isabella is not the part of her liking men’s attention or whatever. I just hate people who play around with other’s feelings, liars, and those that do whatever they want never thinking of the hurt and pain they cause in others. Isabella is a completely toxic friend that everyone should immediately avoid.

Seriously!

Mr. Tilney tries to reassure her as he knows his brother isn’t serious, but doesn’t want to say why. He is a gentleman after all.

They come upon Northangr Abbey and its just what I imagined! The music plays so spooky.

One of my favorites exchanges and where the title comes from. I like this as it show the progression of thei relationship and how much fun they have yet twinged with sadness as Northanger Abbey houses a vampire.

But an emotional vampire.

[Riding in the curricle, Henry and Catherine see the first view of Northanger Abbey]

Henry Tilney: There.

Catherine Morland: It’s exactly as I imagined. It’s just like what we read about.

Henry Tilney: Are you prepared to encounter all of its horrors?

Catherine Morland: Horrors? Is Northanger haunted, then?

Henry Tilney: That’s just the least of it. Dungeons, and sliding panels; skeletons; strange, unearthly cries in the night that pierce your very soul!

Catherine Morland: [sardonically] Any vampires? Don’t say vampires. I could bear anything, but not vampires.

Henry Tilney: [laughing] Miss Morland, I believe you are teasing me now.[seriously] I have to say, there is a kind of vampirism. No, let’s just say that all houses have their secrets, and Northanger is no exception.

General Tilney always looks so foreboding even when he’s nice. Like Jack Nicholson.

Eleanor acts completely different in her home like a reversal of Mr. Darcy. All shaken up, nervous, wanting to please-her elegance, coolness, replaced by anxiety and fear.

First thing Catherine does is look in the wardrobe. Same. I would defintely go inside.

She then sits on a trunk and starts looking through it, but is interrupted. Same as well. She then goes to get ready, leaving that trunk for later.

Catherine is the first to walk in and paid all the compliments and I love at what a loss she is. This is too fancy. Eleanor has to help her out.

Hmm…

I like when General Tilney is trying to pay her compliments and she is at a loss, so is General Tilney as he doesn’t understand why the Allens have so much money but less than him. Both of them are utterly confused and the Tilney siblings share a look. Mr. Tilney eats his soup so silly he has to be doing that to set Catherine at ease as she is a bundle of nerves herself.

The night there is lightening and candlelight and everything feels so spoooooky. It’s perfection!

Catherine opens the trunk and finds old papers. Treasure map, notes, secrets? The wind blows the candle out and she can’t see it, instead jumping into the bed. The maid tripping over it the next day. Catherine tells the maid to leave it and as soon as she is out the door picks them up to read.

It is….

A laundry list.

Maybe, maybe its is code? Could be! Probably not.

Darn!

Eleanor and Catherine walk together and Eleanor shares she and her mom used to walk along the same path. Eleanor shares she was away when her mother died of an illness, it was sudden and short. The body was buried before Eleanor got there.

Hmmm…

Strange…

At Northanger Abbey.

Eleanor wants to take Catherine to her mother’s room to see the portrait of her mother as Catherine resembles her. However they can’t as it is forbidden. The Rebecca vibe is strong. Like Northanger Abbey is like the great grandfather of Rebecca.

General Tilney comes upon them and stops them. Darn.

Catherine writes to Isabella mentioning her thoughts that maybe this house holds a dark secret. At dinner General Tilney has to leave and Catherine, Eleanor, and Henry have the house to themselves. As soon as he is gone a shadow lifts and Eleanor returns to the way she was before, so does Mr Tilney.

Party time!

Henry takes Catherine riding to see his parsonage, how adorable. It is so cute and I love his coat.

The two share a moment when he tenderly wipes mud off her checks and they gaze into each other’s eyes. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww my heart melts…

Soooo cute!!!!

Poor Eleanor, they are walking and she is a third wheel, I know it is her choice but still…sad.

Catherine tries to question Henry about what he meant earlier when he said that there was a darkness, but he doesn’t say wanting to keep it a secret, but encourages her to think of the worst things she can and write a novel about it. I have to say Henry I love you, but maybe you should think about some of the things you say.

Catherine shares he is teasing but also that she feels that the house is not a happy one. Henry shares a bit, such as he envious of her childhood. His sister wants to marry Edward the man that met with her secretly, but he is a second son and has to marry the first son of a rich estate, his brother has to as well, and him too. Catherine is worried as she does not have a fortune an asks if he will, marry someone rich. Henry shares that he hoped he wouldn’t have to choose between love or money.

Mr. Tilney has to leave and will return the next day. That night Catherine starts investigating, with the men out she makes a run for Mrs. Tilney’s room

Mystery, you say?

The room is in bad repair and dusty. Is it grief or like Maxim de Winter he does he feel guilty about his role in it?

Sad…trauma from Rebecca.

Mr. Tilney arrives and sees her in the room and I can’t blame him being upset, it is rude Catherine. Although Eleanor saying the picture resembled her I could see me wanting to, although this portrait doesn’t look that much like Catherine. Probably a good thing as as that would bring these crazy theories that Catherine is the reincarnated mother set to enact revenge and have a plot like Chances Are, that was freaky movie. How did it get green-lighted?

Sorry I am just everywhere today. So I really love this exchange between Henry and Catherine when she shares she believes that his father murdered his mother. I like it because you can see Henry is hurt and upset, I mean would be too if the person I liked called my father a murderer-but I like that he’s not screaming, yelling or calling her names. He is calm but he is clearly hurt and upset. I’m glad they went in that direction, him being the opposite of how his father (and brother) would most likely react.

Although in her defense you did tell her to dream up the most horrible thing she could imagine so you can’t really be mad at her for thinking it.  And not going to lie the first time I read this I totally thought General Tilney killed her, and I’m not wholly convinced he didn’t . Like I don’t think he out murdered her but after being in an abusive relationship for that long, I defintely think his behavior really sapped her will for living. And people who are abused have lower immune systems as their health greatly suffers, so he definitely killed her. I wouldn’t win a criminal case, but I bet I could prove it in a civil case, Any lawyers out there want to give me their thoughts?

At the end, I love how Tilney says Catherine how could you-so disappointed, so wounded-he says it softly like a cry of pain and walks way.

And poor Catherine crying thinking she has lost her chance at ever claiming his heart, internally berating herself for being so foolish.

Aw!

Eleanor comes upon her in the garden with a letter and sees her crying. She tries to reassure her, but Catherine is sobbing-this scene is so good. OMG this actors are amazing. I don’t think there could be a better adaption.

And as the adage goes when it rains it pours. James sends a letter that the engagement is over. He is a gentleman and doesn’t say anything else regarding why but believes Captian Tilney and Isabella will be engaged. Eleanor tells her probably not. She’s sorry “that anyone she [Catherine] loves should be so hurt but Captin Tilney will never marry Isabella. He can only marry a wealthy woman ad currently is not interested in marriage. Eleanor is classy but she clearly spells it out that things will not go well for Isabella.

She should not have done that.

And to make it clear for the viewers, the next scene we see that captain Tilney took her to an hourly rate lodgings and had his enjoyment and is tossing her back to her parents. Looking sinister the whole time.

Isabella tried to net a larger fish, but failed. I do feel bad for her, like a thimble’s worth as girl you did wrong. She the writes to Catherine hoping her “dearest friend” will help her get back with James.

Eleanor: I’m not surprised

Eleanor is a good friend and she can lock into a person’s character right quick.  Eleanor just throws more shade.

Catherine I feel sorry for Isabella.

Eleanor: I’m sure shell be fine soon enough.

Classy Eleanor on Isabella

That night is spooky and dark and General Tilney comes storming in screeching for Eleanor. Poor girl.

Catherine is worried for her friend and she shares that her father is forcing Catherine to leave, and that she has to leave now. You know this is incredibly awful as they don’t even have her leave the next day but that night drop her at the public stagecoach alone, dumped on the side of the road like refuse.  And not only that he forces Eleanor to drop this bomb instead of telling her himself.

Poor Catherine doesn’t even feel bad about being treated that way. She thinks she deserves it for what she thought, believing Mr. Tilney told his father.  But this is seriously messed up . General Tilney is the worst as Catherine could be murdered, robbed, raped, kidnapped, injured, etc. She has to wait until a coach comes in the middle of the night in a strange place where she has no friends or protection. General Tilney:

Thankfully a coach comes soon.

Please, oh please! from Death Comes to Pemberley

No daydreaming this time, instead the journey home is spent in reflection. Catherine returns home so sad looking and hurt. She’s lost some of her heart and childlike innocence.

Darn!

They discuss this at her home with the Allens, the Morland’s being extremely upset. Thankfully these parents are on it-not cool and the mom is not impressed by these friends as no one even wrote. Catherine has pretty good parents in comparison to some other Austen heroines. Her mother s ays she is proud she dealt with it all maturly, she’s not so scatterbrained-aw there is it. They must have used that a lot when she was younger.

Mrs. Allen defends Mr. Tilney saying that she liked Tilney as he got them a chair and knew muslin. Oh Mrs. Allen. Knowing Muslin is all you need to impress her.

That night Catherine shares her trip with her siblings and one asks if she loves Mr. Tilney. She says no, of course, but we know that to be a lie. She’s in Love!

Catherine loves Tilney

Then Mr Tilney comes up on a white horse *SQUEAL*

Mr. Tilny tries to tell Catherine what happened-he shares he was upset with what she said but that wasn’t why she was sent away. He shares a little about his father:

Henry Tilney: Your imagination may be overactive, but your instinct was true. Our mother did suffer grievously and at the hands of our father. Do you remember I spoke of a kind of vampirism?

Catherine Morland: Yes.

Henry Tilney: Perhaps it was stupid to express it so, but we did watch him drain the life out of her with his coldness and his cruelty. He married her for her money, you see. She thought it was for love. It was a long time until she knew his heart was cold. No vampires, no blood. But worse crimes, crimes of the heart.

Catherine Morland: It was stupid and wicked of me to think such things as I did.

They are interrupted by her sister and the girl s the best little sister actress ever interrupting them all sassy saying they ned to come to the drawing room.

Then Mr. Tilney apologizes under the gaze of Catherine’s 5 siblings and mother.

Mr. Tilney wants to get Catherine alone so he can talk to her and asks her to show him the way to the Allen’s and mom’s a brick she knows why, she can sense what that “alone time” is going to be used for.

Wedding!

Tilney shares the rest of the story and why she was sent away. I love how Tilney is so angry at his father and doesn’t want Catherine to blame herself. I also like when Catherine asks, what did he say and Tilney refuses instead telling her what he said. I don’t need to know what General Tilney said, I can lready surmise it in my head.

Catherine Morland: He thought I was rich?

Henry Tilney: It was Thorpe who misled him at first. Thorpe, who hoped to marry you himself. He thought you were Mr. Allen’s heiress and he exaggerated Mr. Allen’s birth to my father. You were only guilty of not being as rich as you were supposed to be. For that he turned you out of the house.

Catherine Morland: I thought you were so angry with me, you told him what you knew. Which would have justified any discourtesy.

Henry Tilney: No! The discourtesy was all his. I-I have broken with my father, Catherine, I may never speak to him again.

Catherine Morland: What did he say to you?

Henry Tilney: Let me instead tell you what I said to him. I told him that I felt myself bound to you, by honor, by affection, and by a love so strong that nothing he could do could deter me from…

Catherine Morland: From what?

Henry Tilney: Before I go on, I should tell you there’s a pretty good chance he’ll disinherit me. I fear I may never be a rich man, Catherine.

Catherine Morland: Please, go on with what you were going to say!

Henry Tilney: Will you marry me, Catherine?

Catherine Morland: Yes! Yes I will! Yes!

I love this as earlier whenever Tilney was around his father he was a “good little soldier” and did what he was told. But here we see that he mutinied and went after the girl he loves, even if it means no inheritance.

And they awkwardly fly into each other’s arms and it so cute because it feels so real instead of Hollywood. Aw, I want a Mr. Tilney.

Aw, and all are happy as they marry and have a baby. And Eleanor’s love is rich and they too get to marry! And General Tilney is all alone, as he should be, so it is a happy ending for all!

I just love this movie, it is so perfect. My only complaint: it ends.

Why is it over?

So writing, amazing. The lighting was also really good as sometimes period dramas try to be authentic and are too dark you can’t see what is happening. Acting superb! And costumes? I love everything besides Mr. Tilney’s shirt with the ruffled cuffs. I espechially love this coat, although I couldn’t find a really good pick of it:

It’s beautiful, but also romantic as he rides across the fields, it flowing in the wind. It reminds me a lot of the romantic coat Ross Poldark wears in Poldark. 

I also love Catherine’s blue coat and I really want it. I might have to get my own made.

You know Catherine is not the wealthiest character in the Austen canon, but of all the adaptions I think she has the prettiest clothes. Everything she wears I love, and her hair always looks fantastic.

I like Catherine Morland’s outfits.

So that end another Horrorfest!!! I hope you all enjoyed it!

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!

For more Northanger Abbey, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

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

For more Northanger Abbey variations, go to Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Jane Austen variations, go to The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair)

You’re Mother is a Shadowhunter…Like You: The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones (2013)

I don’t understand what any of this has to do with my mom.

Your mother was a shadowhunter, like him; like you.

So about a year ago, I read the book City of Bones (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare. I decided to read it as it is SUPER popular at the library. The book is returned and gets checked out as soon as it is shelved.

After I finished it…I was not pleased at all and I could not get the appeal.

It kind of felt like a mashup between Supernatural and Harry Potter. And it MOST definitely was not better than The Hunger Games. 

Seriously, they thought that?!

It was an okay story, but it went overload on the cultural references. Like these kids are into fantasy and Scifi, I get it-but when you just reference or quote things constantly to fill in your story instead of developing the characters-that’s where I have issues.

Not for me.

Plus I found the character Simon, Clary’s best friend, to be super annoying, and I wanted her to end up with Jace the shadowhunter she meets-as the author is constantly putting them together, but it turns out that they are brother and sister?

I mean why would you construct a story that way to want two characters to get together and then be all, psych they are brother and sister.

Why, why would you do that. Ugh, it made me feel disgusting after reading it.

Or are they? Could Valentine be lying?

Hmm…is it her?

Yeah, not interested in reading more…

So I was scrolling through my streaming sites, and the film popped up and I thought, why not? There was nothing else on. Let’s see how they did the film.

Hmm…

So Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is a normal 16-year old. She lives with her mother as her father passed away years ago. Her family is rounded out by her best friend Simon, who has a huge crush on her that she can’t see, and her mother’s best friend Luke Garroway (Aiden Turner).

Wait, what?

AIDEN TURNER is in this?

For those of you who don’t know-Aiden Turner is an Irish actor who is immensely talented and has the best looking curly hair I have ever seen. I became a fan of him and his hair after watching Poldark, so I was excited. As I said, it’s been over a year since I read the book, but I do remember Luke playing a crucial role in the end of the book and I couldn’t wait to see Aiden Turner.

Clary and Simon go out to a coffee poetry night. Clary sees this “hot” blonde guy and decides to be spontaneous and go to the club he is going to. To be fair it wasn’t just because of the guy-her mother has sheltered her, her whole life and tht coupled with her mom calling her again about when she will be home and her turning 16-she decides to have fun. The hot gut was the final push.

At the club she sees him with a girl and a guy and watches the group as they approach a man and kill it.

What!

She hurries away but its too late. Life has changed forever.

She has realized the “reality” of her world and its not going away. Clary gets in a fight with her mom, and later Jocelyn Fray (Lena Headey) calls Clary and warns her not to come back. Jocelyn is kidnapped and the apartment torn apart. Clary returns home, but is attacked by some wolflike creature. Jace, the boy from the club, comes and saves her.

Where is everyone?

He saves Clary and tells her the creature was a demon, as was the man the night before. Jace is a shadowhunter, shadowhunters are a race of mortals who have angelic blood. They reside in the shadow world but cross over to the mortal realm to hunt demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Shadowhunters can only be created by being born of a shadowhunter or turned into one by The Mortal Cup.

As you have guessed it, Jocelyn is a shadowhunter, meaning that Clary is too. That is why she could see Jace and his friends and no else could. They question the neighbor, a witch, and discover that people are after the mortal cup and believe she has it.

That’s not good.

They need a ride and Simon drives her and Jace over to Luke’s to get more information. Simon is less annoying in this, but is still annoying. And surprise, surprise he hates Jace as Jace is clearly into Clary.

The actors weren’t bad but Lily Collins and the guy who plays Jace have like zero chemistry. In the book they actually connected better.

They reach the antique shop to look for Luke, and find him being beat up. He tells the two guys (the ones who kidnapped Jocelyn) that he cares nothing for the Frays and only wants the cup too. If they let him go he will be able to find it.

The crew leave him-RUDE, like geez Clary this guy was a surrogate dad and you watched him get beat up and did nothing.

So Jace knows they won’t be safe in the city and takes them to the Shadowhunter Institute. On the outside the muggles mundanes see a dilapidated broken down church, but on the inside it is a beautiful building with weapons.

There she meets Alex (Kevin Zeggers) and Isabella Lightwood, and Hodge who runs the institute. The three of the Shadowhunters are on earth because of what their parent’s did. Years ago, Valentine Morgensten’s father was killed by a werewolf and that set him on dark path. He wanted to destroy all downworlders (demons, werewolves, vampires, etc) even ones that were not breaking the law or the Accords. He was aided by the Lightwoods and intended on starting the killing when the next Accord signing was set up. They were stopped and punishment ended up with them being sent from Idris, their home in the Shaddoworld to New York City. Later Jace was sent to live with them. Hodge on the other hand is banished to never be able to return to Idris.

Valentine was experimenting with The Mortal Cup to become more powerful, but he was believed to be dead. With them searching for the cup and coming after Jocelyn, he must have returned.

That’s not good.

Hodge tells Jace to take Clary to the Silent Brothers so they can reveal her memories. When she gets there she discovers that there is a lock on her memories only one person could do that-Magnus Bane.

Magnus Bane is the high Warlock in the area and is just happening to be throwing a killer party. Of course poor Clary knows nothing about fashion and wears boring clothes so we have a makeover by Isabella.

After the makeover all the boys are upset- Jace has been struck by cupid, Simon is mad that Jace is into Clary, and Alec has a thing for Jace and doesn’t like that he is into Clary.

They head to the party and Clary goes off with Magnus. Magnus tells her that her mother wanted to keep her safe and used to take her to appointments regularly. It was getting harder for the block to stay as she growing older and they missed the latest appointment which was to be on her birthday. Magnus tells her he can’t do anything but that without the last session in time everything and all her powers will develop.

Well, thanks for that I guess.

Well that was a useless detour-except Simon gets kidnapped as he is turned into mouse and stolen by vampires. The gang has to go after him and fight, only surviving when they are saved by werwolves.

So about here I was checked out of the film. I like that they had pared down the pop culture references but to be honest this movie is really boring. It was just too much like things you’d seen before you know. I wouldn’t be able to give specifics but it was like a large order of deja vu.

Back at the institute Simon recuperates while Jace and Clary grow closer. Clary is a prolific artists and it turns out that her Shadowhunter powers are very interesting. She can draw something and pull it off the page, or put an ordinary object on into paper. That gets her thinking…

Hmmm…

Jace, Clary, and Simon all have a spat as they are in a triangle-Simon likes Clary, and Clary likes the attention but she likes Jace who likes Clary, but Jace doesn’t like how close Clary and Simon are, etc.

Blah, blah

Clary thinks about her abilities inherited from her mom and realizes she has seen a painting by her mom of The Mortal Cup. It was on set of tarot cards her mom made or their neighbor, the witch.

Jace, Alec, Isabella, and Clary head to her neighbors to get the cup-but she is possessed by a demon. They fight and get the cup, but Alec is wounded. At the institute Isabella blames Clary as Alec is wounded badly, so badly they have to call Magnus as he is the only one who could do anything.

That’s not good.

Clary gives the cup to Hodge, who betrays them by bringing Valentine into their word-he’s been biding his time working for him, the Death Eaters, as long believed dead leader is back.

Oh, wow…

Valentine is back and played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, oh I had a huge crush on him in the ’90s.

From Bend It Like Beckham

So Valentine reveals that he is Clary’s father. Clary has special abilities she isn’t aware of as he experimented on her when she was a fetus with angel blood and his son (her brother) with demon blood. I am really disappointed that he isn’t in the film that long and second his character is top comical. He’s chewing the scenery in every shot-and he’s not usually like this, so I blame the director.

So Clary is asked by her father to join the dark side him but she refuses, She puts the cup back in the card and travels through a portal to Luke’s. Meanwhile, Valentine bring Jocelyn to the institute and tries to figure out how to turn his daughter. Hodge comes up with the plan to lie to Jocelyn and Clary that Jace is the dead son Jonathan. I’m glad they made it clear in this that the incest is a lie-although it is still a weird plot.

Apparently, in a later book it is revealed that Valentine faked his and his older son Jonathan’s death and took the identify of Michael Wayland becoming a recluse. Michael and his wife had died, Valentine has been experimenting on Jace’s mother without her knowledge and when she died he saved the child and raised it. Jonathan had extra demon blood and Jace extra angel blood.

Hmm…

So they get to Luke’s shop and he reveals that he is a werewolf (Valentine was trying to get rid of him and took him on a hunt to get him turned into one and killed). Luke has always loved her mother and traveled with her to this world to protect her. He reveals information about Valentine and tells her that he lied to the the men torturing him to protect them. After he escaped he fought with another werewolf and gained a pack, them being the ones that saved them with the vampires.

The werewolves and few shadowhunters team up to take Valentine down.

Back at the institute, Valentine has brought demons in to help him and the Shadowhunters and werewolves do their best to fight him off. Simon discovers Jocelyn in a comalike state in the crypt of the church and tries to revive her. Valentine and Jace fight, but Jace stops when he is told that Valentine is his father.

He stops fighting, as that’s his “dad”, but Clary defeats Valentine and tricks him by giving him a fake cup ands him through the portal. Later Jace goes to see Clary and invites her back in to the Shadowhunter world-telling her he doesn’t think they are really siblings.

That doesn’t change it, still…

This wasn’t that good of a story. I think it was better in some ways than the book, but it was boring. It felt like a Star Wars, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer smoothie-and not in a good way. I liked Aiden Turner-although I wish he was in it more. Otherwise, meh.

For more demons, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more on angels, go to Book Club Picks: This Present Darkness

For more Teen Horror films, go to Just Because I’m a Vampire Doesn’t Mean I’m Bloodthirsty: Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

For more on Lena Headey, go to The Story, We’re Living it. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

For more on Jonathan Rhys Meyers, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair)

The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair) [Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery #4) by Carrie Bebris

So this is the fourth book in this Jane Austen mystery series. I have an…interesting relationship with this series. You know I love mysteries, so when I first came across this I was so excited! Jane Austen mysteries?!!!!!

Mystery, you say?

So I read the first book Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged) and loved it!

It was a fantastic mystery that left you wondering, was something supernatural going on? Or was Caroline Bingley’s new husband gaslighting her?

The next book, however, left me extremely disappointed.

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) right away told you it was going to be the supernatural taking all the suspense out of it. Also the Dashwood sisters were hardly in the book, which strongly disappointed me.

I then decided to take a break, and went on reading and reviewing other things.

After a break I decided to read the third book North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley) as I plan to review a mystery every month (to stay in theme for the year) and because it has Northanger Abbey in it. It was good, but it really didn’t have as much Northanger Abbey stuff in it as there should have been.

I want MORE Northanger Abbey!

I liked the book, but was disappointed that there was hardly any Mr. Tilney in it and zero Catherine Morland. Extremely disappointing, but the rest of the book was good.

Hmm…

So now on to this one. My excitement for this was also high as I was excited to see Mansfield Park in something as it literally gets no love.

So one thing that happened in this book that is very different from the others is that there is no supernatural elements in it at all. The first book had a woman possibly going crazy/being mind controlled, the second a mirror with the evil spirit of the Dashwood’s great-great grandfather who possesses his great-great-grandson. The third we had the benevolent spirit of Mr. Darcy’s mother aiding Elizabeth through her pregnancy. In this, there is nothing.

So we start the book off with a Elizabeth and Darcy staying with Roger Fitzwilliam, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s older brother and the earl (you know the one that inherited everything making it impossible to marry someone without money). Lady Catherine is there with Anne as well. So remember in the last book…maybe not…quick review. So Darcy and Elizabeth were in Bath to meet with this super special doctor, who was a total jerk.

This dude, ugh!

There they received a note to visit with Captain Tilney, Mr. Henry Tilney’s older brother to visit and got caught up in a robbery of a dead man. No, it really tuned out that the man they thought was Captain Tilney was actually pretending to b him as the real Captain Tilney died a day earlier. The only one who could help them was Lady Catherine, so she traveled with them to Pemberley leaving Anne in Bath, with her companion.

She’s free!

Back in present time, Elizabeth was feeding her daughter early one morning when she runs into Anne. Elizabeth’s surprised to see her up so early, but Anne tells her she wants time to herself and Elizabeth understands-its hard to go from the freedom of Bath to then be back with your controlling mother, Lady Catherine.

The next day at the ball Elizabeth manages to get Darcy to distract Lady Catherine so that Anne can dance. She dances with her cousin Col. Fitzwiliam, who has always liked her. OMG, what if they were to get together! That would be great! Look at me, matching up people like Emma.

They also meet a Mr. Crawford, one of the people who dances with Anne. We know Mr. Crawford.

Just in case you haven’t read or seen the film, in Mansfield Park Mr. Crawford is an immoral man raised by his uncle. His biggest hobby is to seduce women, he likes them falling in love with him.

He and his sister Mary go to visit their half-sister and intersect with the Bertram family at Mansfield Park. He starts to seduce Maria Bertram who is engaged, with no plan of follow through, but it hooks her. Later he starts to fall for Maria’s cousin Fanny, trying to woo her, but when he returns to London he runs off with her.

He’s a bad boy

Time has passed, so he is free from scandal-Just like the Count in Anna Karenina. It’s really not fair that he didn’t get something worse.

Mr. Crawford asks Anne to dance with him, but she refuses. Elizabeth tries to get her to take him up on his offer but she goes upstairs and to bed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy has found out that Lady Catherine wants to have an engagement between Anne and Lord Sennex’s son, Neville (a horrible man with am extremely awful and abusive temper.)

That night they retire and Elizabeth finds a note from Anne, but decides to wait until morning to read it.

Oh no, that’s important-you should read it now!

The next day Lady Catherine starts an uproar when Anne is found missing. She doesn’t want Lord Sennex to know as she hopes that she can get her in time for Anne to marry his son. They search everywhere for her but cannot find her. Lady Catherine latches onto Anne’s letter to Elizabeth and in there it is revealed that she decided to follow Elizabeth’s advice and run off with Mr. Crawford.

Oops! She misconstrued Elizabeth encouraging her to dance with her encouraging her to run off and elope.

Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy run off to follow them hoping that they can reach them before they are wed at Gretna Greene. Oh, poor Darcy this is the third elopement he has tried to stop. Lady Catherine is furious beyond furious and blames Elizabeth 100%.

The two men follow and Colonel Fitzwilliam seems extra invested? OhMyGOONESS! Maybe he was in love with Anne but never did anything about it because he thought she was going to marry Darcy, and let’s face it Lady Catherin would never pick him even if he is a Fitzwilliam. Thinking back he did seem awfully eager to dance with her?! Hmmm…

Hmm…

They reach Gretna Greene and are too late, Anne is already Mrs. Crawford.

Darcy kind of starts to lecture her but she rips him a new one when she shares how she feels! Her whole life her mother has been telling everyone they would wed and chasing all suitors always and then he up and married some other girl and she is just growing older. Ouch, I feel bad. I had never thought about Anne’s predicament.

Darcy and the Colonel try to warn her that Mr. Crawford could be a gold digger but she tells him she has seen plenty of those and knows Crawford isn’t one. She is extremely upset that she has to marry the cruel Neville Sennex and saw this as the only way out. The men are resigned and start to take her home, but unfortunately the wheel of the carriage breaks Anne injures her leg, and their are stuck by Mansfield Park.

So will we see Fanny and Edmund and the whole gang?

No.

A few Mansfield Park characters have brief moments but they aren’t really even in the story. This was the problem I had with the other books. Why bother to bring in the other titles and stories if you aren’t going to use them?

I mean, you could set this anywhere else and just add new characters, like the Sennexs. But instead Bbris gets my hopes up making it sound like we will see all the gang and we don’t, and that really upsets me. Why do this? Just to get my hopes up?

So Lady Catherine is angry and wants to make sure that Anne’s inheritance will stay controlled by her and she sends for her lawyer and he, Lady Catherine, and Elizabeth all travel to Mansfield Park.

When all arrive they discover that Henry Crawford has a very bad reputation. They hear the whole story of how he ran off with Maria Bertram Rushworth and how he had proposed to Fanny Price Bertram.

Anne starts to regret her decision, especially after his other wife comes to town.

It turns out years ago he pretended he was just a sailor and got involved with this girl Meg and then left. He sent her money, but after a fire burned the farm and the death of her only family member she goes to find her husband, the only clue being a jewelry box that leads her right to Mansfield Park.

So now who is really married to Mr. Crawford? They call the magistrate who is of course Edmund Bertram speaking on behalf of his father and it is a real sticky wicket. Mr. Crawford married Meg first, but under a false name, but one he was well known so a good lawyer could say that it was legal. And then there is Anne who married him under his legal name. This sound like a Poldark or Mary Balogh novel.

To make things even worse Mr. Rushworth and his mother, along with Maria Bertram Rushworth and her Aunt Norris, all converge on Mansfield Park to speak to Henry and give him a piece of their minds-ALONG with Lord and Neville Sennex (who happens to be friends with Tom Bertram and stays over at Mansfield Park).

Elizabeth and Darcy remark that things would be a lot easier if he was dead…

So I’m sure you all saw what was coming next. He escaped on his horse and there is a search party out for him. They finally discover his dead body.

At first the Bertrams want to declare it a suicide but after Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam look it over they discover he was murdered.

So who did it? Was Anne angry that she may not be legally wed, but also that she has lost all standing in society? Was it Lady Catherine upset that first this man upset her plans and then that he embarrassed the de Bourg line? Could it be Mr. Bertram, Tom, or Edmund…wait not Edmund as he is a minister, Sir Bertram or Tom avenging the humiliation of their sister? Mr. Rushworth out to get revenge for Mr. Crawford sleeping with his wife!? His mother for embarrassing the Rushworths? Maria, angry that he remarried and is in society while she is doomed to be an outcast forever? Aunt Norris, furious that someone hurt her favorite girl? Meg, the first Crawford wife, furious that he lied and abandoned her? Colonel Fitzwilliam maybe trying to get rid of the competition? Lord Sennex or Neville for the embarrassment? Mr. Darcy…haha yeah right it isn’t him or Elizabeth.

We’ll never know.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are on the case to figure out who and why and get themselves and their family out of this entanglement in order to return home.

But then it is discovered that Henry Crawford isn’t really dead. Well then, who was murdered? And if Mr. Crawford didn’t die was he the intended victim or the murderer?

Hmm…

To further complicate things it turns out that Mr. Crawford has some sort of amnesia and thinks he is a sailer named John married to Meg (the first wife and first wife connection).

It turns out that the person is after Henry Crawford as he is murdered, then Neville is killed, and Colonel Fitzwilliam declare his love for Anne- the Darcys need to find the truth before whoever it is is planning on striking again.

So the mystery was really good, and the double identity and then Crawford turning out not to be dead really threw me for a loop. I had to read to the end.

Tell ME!!!!!

The mystery and the characters were really enjoyable, my only compliant was that I wish it involved more of the Mansfield Park characters. I want to see Fanny, Tom, and William Price.

From Mansfield Park Opera

For more by Carrie Bebris, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Hart of Dixie’s Jane Austen Scene

For more on Mansfield Park, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Unmarriageable: Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan

For more Mansfield Park variations, go to Modesto Jane Con: Opera Modesto Presents Mansfield Park

For more mysteries, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: Cat Burglar Black

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Interference: Friday Night Lights Meets Emma

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 11, The Clock Runs Out Part III

 

So as you can see in the title, I didn’t get to finish this chapter. This has been an expensive chapter.

Creators of Choices

It has been two months, so quick recap.

From the beginning.

First of all, this chapter starts off with a warning:

This chapter contains scenes of implied sexual violence that may be upsetting to some players. Discretion is advised.

What does that mean? This sounds bad…

Hmmm…

In the last part, I found out that my father is dying, and instead of keeping it from my arch-enemy, my stepbrother Mr. Marcastle, I told him. He has been trying to destroy me, but it is his father too. Family, right?

While I am commiserating, my maid Briar gives me a stack of love letters. Of course I want to read them-maybe something sweet about my parents or even useful information that can help me is in them?

I discovered that my grandfather is the one that tore my parents apart. Shortly after my stepbrother’s fiance warns me that I need to hurry home as my stepbrother and stepmother are plotting against me. As I was about to leave, I ran into the Duke Richards who is not interested in me saying no to him, he threatens me and now I have the option to strike back. You know what I am going to do.

I verbally filet him and make it clear-I’m not interested in him at all!

Unfortunately, being told no, just set the Duke “afire”. He then tries to attack me, but I evade him and kick him in the balls.

ninjaAustenlandfightkickpunch

As he writhes in pain he continues to insult me, and laughs at my interest in Mr. Sinclaire and calling him a gentleman. For those of you who may have forgotten, Mr. Sinclaire is a gentleman who was very good friends with my father, gives off the Mr. Darcy vibes, and one of your possible love interests (the one I’m leaning toward). I mean how can I not-he’s so Mr. Darcy.

That was defintely worth the diamonds I spent.

But its not over, unfortunately-the Duke gets up and grabs me, he’s not letting me go easily. In fact, I’m sure he has very unsavory plans for me. I’m surprised though, I know I’m lower than him, but I am an Earl’s daughter, not just a maid or serving girl. I mean, there would be repercussions. But before anything could happen who should come marching in?

Yay! Aw yeah, Mr. Sinclaire, and with a sword!

The Duke tries to shrug off Mr. Sinclaire but Mr. Sinclaire knows him too well and takes a firm stand, edging his sword closer to the Duke. Yeah, show him!

Th Duke gets scared off…for now. But we will worry about him later, I have a dying dad and a handsome hero. I was sure relived when he came and he admits he was too, and that he has feelings for me.

But why is he here? Mr. Sinclaire saw the Duke coming over and found that his feet were bringing him my way. Aw! He wanted to make sure I was safe as he knows something about the Duke and doesn’t trust him. But what is the secret?!

Tell ME!!!!!

He admits he can’t stop thinking of me and that he doesn’t know what he would do without me. I know I should be worried that my father is dying, but I can’t help feeling a bit mission accomplished. I mean this is the guy I want and I need to get engaged to ensure I inherit everything, right? Wait-I shouldn’t be like Marianne Dashwood, I need to be like Elinor and temper myself. He may not propose and my grandma still wants me to get with the Duke.

It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire has decided that it is time he stops keeping things hidden. Ohhh! Story time! So who do you think he will be more like? Mr. Darcy?

Colonel Brandon?

Maxim de Winter from Rebecca?

It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire’s wife betrayed him with the Duke and they were lovers!

Mr. Sinclaire offers to share his story and I’m like yes please! I want to get to know Mr. Sinclaire more and get the dirt on the Duke, I might need it to make sure my grandma doesn’t set me up with him.

I didn’t have enough diamonds so I said forget it and ended up buying some as I just had to know!

Tell ME!!!!!

So Mr. Sinclaire was married before and his wife passed away five years ago. They used to be very close to Duke Richards, Mr. Sinclaire would even invite him over for an annual London dinner and other events.

Six years ago they were having a dinner party-the Duke was there as always, and Mr. Sinclaire’s wife Roselyn (which you will recognize from the book Bloodbound) everything seemed well and normal BUT, that night Mrs. Sinclaire disappeared from her hostess duties, and Mr. Sinclair went looking for her and found her and the Duke together.

The Duke didn’t even care that he was caught! What a jerk!! He reminds of that jerk in Poldark, Monk Adderley-thank goodness Ross killed him (in a duel).

Poor Mr. Sinclaire-he describes it as a dagger in his heart. Ohh-such a romantic hero! I LOVE it. Pixelberry can write some characters so well.

Mr. Sinclaire found out that not only was Roslyn cheating on him, but she never loved him-she just married him for his money.

And that’s not all…

Mr. Sinclaire turned her out, but she became pregnant with the Duke’s child and he ended up taking her in after the Duke refuse to help her. Both she and the child died in childbirth. Ouch, that was really sad-like more than I was expecting.

I wonder of he still loved her, but when I ask-he says he no longer does as someone else has made his heart open again…

No winder Sinclaire hates the Duke. I thoroughly hate him too.

But aw, Mr. Sinclaire admitted he loves me. I should be happy, but playing these books have led me to see that something bad is going to happen.

This tender moment has been sweet, but my father is ill and I need to get back to see him before he passes on. Mr. Sinclaire escorts me to the stables and offers to come with me but I turn him down. Why? I don’t know as most women would not travel alone. What if I was taken upon by gypsies? Thieves? Murderers? Rapists? The Duke?

Such a man!

Mr. Marcastle took the carriage but I might be able to beat him on horseback-good thing I bought my own horse back in Chapter 5.

Luke Harper is coming with me, okay good that makes sense. The two of start off for my father when the chapter ends.  Will we make it on time?

So that chapter is finally finished, man I couldn’t believe it took so long. It was an expensive chapter, but for once I feel like it was worth every diamond. Until the next chapter…

For more Desire and Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 11, The Clock Runs Out Part II

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 11, The Clock Runs Out Part I

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5

So after you watch every single version of Jane Austen movies, what do you have to watch next?

Hmm…I don’t know!

That’s why I started this list, to have non-Austen films that Austen fans can enjoy.

I can’t stop watching!

So last week I reviewed The Buccaneers, episodes 1-2. These episodes 3-5 aren’t as similar in the Austen themes, but I’m going to finish the review of the miniseries.

So quick recap-four women, Virginia St. George, Annabel “Nan” St. George, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Elmsworth, Conchita Closson-daughters of new money industry, are finding it hard to be accepted into society. In order to circumvent that, the English governess, Ms. Laura Testvalley, hired by Mrs. St. George, comes up with the idea of them having a London Season. There they could hobnob with the titled English and when they come back be welcomed in open arms.

Conchita marries Lord Richard, who only got with her to get her money. He dumped her off at his family estate, took off gambling and carousing, and using up her allowance allotted by her father. Yep, she married a Wickham/Willoughby.

She has a little girl with him and then finds herself a lover to fill her lonely nights.

 

Lonely and sad from Anna Karenina 

Virginia married Richard’s older brother, Lord Seadown, but finds out on her wedding night he only choose her for her money as he already in love/relationship with another woman.

Replace beauty with money

Lizzy is being courted by Hector, a nobody interested in politics. He has no title, but does have a good sized fortune. Her rivals, Virginia and Conchita feel smug about having the superior men.

But Nan tops them all by landing Duke Julius of Trevennick. She was really in love with Guy Thwaite, but he had lost his fortune due to his father’s mismanagement. Guy left for two years to South America to make his fortune, and Nan wanted an engagement, but he didn’t want to be a man to use a woman’s fortune and doesn’t want to hold her back when he may make no money.

Nan feeling vulnerable, sad, alone, and having been sheltered falls victim to the Duke’s proposal-one of the best proposals. The Duke knows his stuff.

So Virginia is pregnant and gives birth to a son. Good but doesn’t keep her man from straying still. In fact, now that the family line is “secure” he spends even less time with her and more with his mistress. Poor Virginia, she had such dreams, such  hopes!

The Duke and Nan return from their honeymoon and Nan finds herself way over her head. Expected to run the household, send the first of their plants to the queen, meet the queen, her husband being too busy for her and so cold. Before they were married, he talked of love and now that they are there is this barrier between them.

This space between them

She is shocked that he doesn’t have passion with her like Conchita and Virginia’s husband’s do and that they have separate bathrooms and separate lives-so unlike her parents.

All alone

Nan loves the outside, the forest, the beautiful romantic ruins but is now trapped in a gilded cage-jewels, meeting the queen, expected to act like clockwork.

She makes some serious mistakes in the household duties and rankings of the many servants. Every time I watch this I think how much more this is suited for her sister Virginia. That is the type of thing she would love to do and life to live.

Julius loves it as he finds her perfect to train. Seriously? Like she is an animal or doll-just tp be moved and trained-ugh.

I take back what I said about him. Take back your castle. Take back your dog.

You are a MAJOR jerk.

The three married ladies get together and talking and complaining about their husbands-these men suck. Poor girls.

Conchita has taken a lover as her husband is always gone. He comes home unexpectedly with the news that he has syphilis.

Ouch

I had to do my 9th grade health report on it and oh my goodness that is one of the worst diseases. First it is hard to catch as most people don’t show the symptoms and if untreated it makes you go insane.

Nan gets attacked one night by a drunk Julian-yelling at her not to complain about wanting passion and then not enjoying when he is trying to romance her. The pig. The horrid man. Just a glimpse of the horrible marriage Nan suffers.

In other news, the St. George’s have lost everything in Wall Street. Without Virginia’s income the Lord’s are in serious trouble. The West Wing renovations have stopped, and everyone must cut back on spending. Something these Lords are extremely angry over.

Your father can’t give us any more money and we actually have to work or spend less?

Lizzy marries Hector Robinson who makes scads of money and ends up buying an old family mansion for his bride. Lizzy is the only on with a happy marriage. She chose wisely.

After that, Nan tries to remove all the romantic, passionate artwork. She can’t look at it anymore. Poor Nan, I know what that’s like. And she got pregnant from their “encounter”. That’s just agonizingly awful.

Noooo!

Nan wants to help her people, as the tennets are getting sick from typhoid. She tries to get Julius to come and help, but he doesn’t care. He only cares about himself. He isn’t the man you thought he was.

Broken dreams, illusions, hopes, etc.

Ugh, Julius treats her like a child, like a doll, a plaything. As if she knows nothing at all. I hate him. I want to punch him in the face.

Nan does the 1800s lady equivalent-she tells him she would rather be dead than have their child grow up to be like him.” Ouch-zing! And she then runs off in the rain at night.

Ouch

They can’t find her and start up a search party, eventually discovering her by the river, having fallen and lost the baby. Now knowing what she said, do you think she tried to kill herself on purpose? Or accidentally fell?

Hmmm

Nan’s governess, Ms. Testavalley, comes to visit and Nan shares her feelings. She describes how as soon as they were married he became a stranger. Ouch, I know how that feels.

Nan still idealizes Val’s life-when the truth is she is not that free or happy. Sir Guy’s father comes to visit, he has a thing for Ms. Testvalley and reveals that Sir Guy will be returning home, a very rich man, and entering politics. Hmm…interesting!

Conchita is pregnant by her lover, and with Richard having syphilis she can’t sleep with him and pretend it is his child. What will she do?

That is not good,

Julius decides he has given Nan enough time and comes to see test the waters and it is very awkward. And Nan begins rebelling against him. “How would you know what would bore me.”

This continuously makes me think of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. If only he had taken time to know her instead of looking at her face than maybe he would have married someone else and they would have had a good marriage. The same for Mr. and Mrs. Bertram.

Guy has returned home and thinks of Annabelle. Too bad you didn’t get engaged to her or had some understanding or else she would have been waiting for you there.

If only

It’s Christmastime and Connie is visiting Nan. She breaks down about how awful things are going, you don’t know how I feel.

No, Nan has it waaaaaay worse. Connie whines about how all this was all supposed to end happily ever after with marriage. Nan shares how she wants to just run away and pretend she never married. Connie begs Nan for money, but Nan has none. Connie begs and Nan promises to try and get some, but from Julius? Not likely.

Bad, very bad idea

Nan gets everything ready for their Christmas ball and as Julius is in a good move she tries to ask him for the money but he won’t do it. She gets £10 a month and can draw up to £5 a week. She tries to get a little independence, but no dice. She is angry at him treating her like a child but he threatens her saying if she wants him to stop them he must treat her like a wife. Nan’s not for, that discussion closed.

Ugh, you don;t rape your wife. I HATE Julius. he’s horrid, horrid, awful, terrible man.

At the party they dance around in the dark and who should end up in a room together, Nan and Guy.

That is not good,

Ms. Testavalley is interested in Guy’s father, but her friend warns her that he just paid off one woman and has two others.

He’s a no

Everyone returns from the dark except Nan who is still with Guy. Both still have feelings for each other…uh oh. Guy tries to encourage her and she listens, discussing how her feelings go up and down. Ms. Testavalley finds them and saves them both from scandal.

Julius gives Nan the money for Conchita but wants her to sleep with him. She can’t as she is so traumatized from before. He insists that he needs compensation for the money, treating her like a prostitute.

You jerk!

He abuses her, yells, curses, breaks her things, hits her. This gives me flashbacks. Ms. Testavalley has to leave and after she goes, Nan’s mother-in-law lectures her trying to help, but not really. At first I was a little miffed at her, but then she said that she isn’t blind to how her son is and how the late Duke was much worse. Poor mother-in-law-she must have a serious backstory. Full cycle of abuse.

Nan leaves Julius to stay with her sister and then will goes to stay with Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Hector are very happy, healthy, and wealthy. Hector is wary to have her come, as she is the duchess, but wants to court Mr. St. George as he is getting wealthy again on Wall Street. So he allows her to come.

Virginia buys back her jewelry she pawned off to pay for the household expenses and goes to see Idena, her husband’s mistress to confront her. Idena hasn’t seen him, he left her for a younger woman, and she lets off how she feels slapping her, Ouch. That’s the lady 19th century version of:

Nan visits Guy at the House of Commons and is seen by all-uh oh. I sense an Anna Karenenia

Rumors circulate and Lizzy tells Nan she can’t stay with them any longer. Nan goes to church and the Duke meets her there. He explains the rules in society, that she is the Duchess, his wife. She needs to stay 1/3 of the year at home and he will turn a blind eye to her discretions as long as they are private. If she makes a scandal, divorce and he will ruin the lover.

Nan returns home as she wants to protect Guy, but doesn’t tell him the truth. They cry over their love as she leaves and Guy looks on.

Or him

Nan returns home and Julian’s mother gives him some good advice. Leave her alone for six months and woo her, be a lover.

Lord Seadown returns home when Idena commits suicide. He tries to get back with Virginia but she isn’t interested. He pleads and looks at her with his sad eyes and she falls like a house of cards. Fool. He’s a loser & a user.

For the thousandth time

Guy and Julius get in an argument over his politics and the way Guy is leaning. But truth is they are really fighting about Nan. Julius lets Guy know he’s be nowhere without him and he can take it all away just like that. *snap* And then they get in a fistfight.

Wow!

GUY, GUY GUY GUY! Give him the chair.

Nan interrupts and ends it. She has the children’s choir perform Yankee Doodle. Woohoo! Let the stars and stripes fly Nan!!

Guy watches sad and despondent, but I don’t really feel bad as she coutld have been your woman. It’s your own dang fault. You should have made some understanding. He then writes her a sort of love letter-most of it is him half angry she’s not with him.

That night Nan hears strange noises and look for Julius and finds him in bed with a man!!!! A Man! Oh.

So of course I have to ask, does Julian being gay (or bi they never quite make that clear) add or take away from his character and villainous treatment. I mean don’t get me wrong, it is done well. The constant worry of his mother, comments about how he likes to be with men-women do not interest him, him getting worried/defensive/angry when Nan has questions about their love life, the girls talking about her not being pregnant. I didn’t catch it the first time, but did this time. But do you think adds or takes away from him being the villian? He already is abusive, narcissistic, a control freak, a rapist, etc. Do you think he would have been a stronger villain if he was straight, or do you think him being gay adds more to the dashed hopes/expectations of Nan. I mean everything else had already killed every romantic notion she has ever had, being gay the final nail in the coffin of the film. I don’t know if there is a right or wrong answer and I am just wondering your thoughts are.

Hmmm…

Nan runs away after hearing how Julius turned down his sister’s love because he feels she is too old and needs to be a home (like how the Poldark family treats Verity). She realizes he is a horrible brute and will never change, fleeing to her sisters, where Guy just happened to be. The two run off together in full view of EVERYONE! Oh, the scandal.

Meanwhile, Julius does not want to divorce and his mother pleads with him. She suffered too much to have a son and continue the line and Nan needs to do the same. Wow, she has a really dark backstory.

Nan and Guy discuss what will happen and hope that Julius won’t do anything. Julius sues Nan over adultery.

The elder Lord Seadown dies and Nan comes to the funeral. Lizzy is excited to see her friend but not allowed to spend time with her. Must ignore her because of her scandal. It reminds me of Anna Karenina, Nan is ostracized and alone while Guy goes about his duties, getting heckled and talked about but still is okay. Nan on the hand-must be dead to all. This also makes me think of The Duchess. Such a sad film.

Connie on the other hand stops to hug and see her, not caring at all what people think-Nan is her friend.

Guy goes to speak to his father and say good-bye that he is leaving to South America. His father tells him to give up Nan or else he will disinherit, and Guy does not care. He never wanted politics it was all his dad and Julius. His father yells, storms, and finally cries.

Poor Ms. Testavalley was badly burned in all this. Who will ever want to hire her? She’s not sure what she will do next, but is moving forward.

They end with Nan and Guy riding off together happy, but are they? Even though they have uplifting music, it reminds me of The Graduate, the future might not be as bright as they think.

So a great miniseries, but very sad. And it really helps you see how things would have ended if Elizabeth married Wickham, Marianne married Willoughby, Emma married Frank Churchill, Fanny married Henry Crawford, Anne married Mr. Elliot, Catherine married Thorpe, etc.

It also follows the same theme Austen has regarding getting to know a person’s character over title and appearance. Most important who they are and their character, over what they have.

For more on The Buccaneers, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 1-2

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: Stardust (2007)

For more Gilded Age, go to Book Club Picks: Julie

On a sad note, given the context of these episodes I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.