But what if you are looking for further drama than the usual Regency Society maneuvers. Say adding something a little more difficult…such as zombies.
That’s where this expansion pack comes into play.
Afew years ago Iwas gifted Marrying Mr. Darcy as a birthday gift and I really enjoyed playing it. (You can check out my full review here). And like most game owners, I’m always interested in expansion packs that come out afterwards, especially as the Undead Expansion Pack was recommended to me by SewMelissaWrites.
The Undead Expansion Pack is influenced by the book Pride & Prejudice & Zombies; and while I didn’t enjoy the book I decided to keep an open mind about the game. When I first opened my gift, I and my mother (who gifted it to me) were disappointed. This expansion pack cost $20 (prices have gone down since) and has only 20 undead cards (one of which is a rule card).
Let me put this in perspective for you, the Emma Expansion pack is also $20 and includes 6 new Heroine Cards, 5 new suitor cards, and 60 new event cards.
My sister has the game Legendary which comes with expansion packs and she and I have purchased multiple different expansion packs, all about the same price as this, and they all came with 100 cards. I really felt that for an expansion pack and the price being paid, there should have been more.
The cards don’t even come in a box, they just just wrapped them in plastic. At least the Emma Expansion came in a box. I really think they should have at least given you a more long lasting cardholder.
The expansion rules don’t change too much from the original game, as you still set it up as normal.
However, each player does get to start off with a slight advantage, as they each one gets a random Instrument of the Living card. Instrument of the Living cards consist of two chemicals that can cure a “cursed” player, two weapons (cricket bat and broadsword) to fight, and two pairs of shoes to help you run or sneak away. The remaining cards are put into the character cards and pulled out and played like usual.
Like in the original game, your goal is to try and earn character traits (the more points you get at the end helps you win) along with making a good match. Depending on your character, you have an ideal man (the one who will give you the most points), but you still earn points for whichever man you marry. Your choices are: Mr. Wickham, Mr. Collins, Mr. Denny, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Bingley, and of course Mr. Darcy.
As in the original game the first thing you do is choose your character, and each one has a special ability. I went with Caroline Bingley as she has such a great advantage, every time you pull a card, Caroline gets to draw two and discard one immediately. It’s really hard to beat her, unless you fail the rolling for a Proposal stage.
When you set up the cards you include the Undead events in the regular stack. Each person gets three character cards to start with (plus their instrument of the living) and you play the game. For each turn you pull out an event card, some affect only you-while others all the players. The event cards will allow you to “play” a character card-which you place in front of you face up. The face up cards are the only ones that count for points at the end, allow you to be proposed to, etc. Its important to have them, but just because they are played they are not safe. They can be stolen.
Some event cards change the course of the game: Mr. Bingley goes to London (if you don’t get the card that brings him back he can’t be anyone’s suitor), Darcy’s surprise proposal (you get this you are instantly proposed to and don’t have to do the end roll to see who you get), you are cursed as one of the undead, you have an undead suitor, an Elopement with Mr. Wickham (you can only get rid of the elopement if you get enough reputation cards), etc.
Just because you get enough of the character traits to get your dream man, that doesn’t mean you will get him. At the end you each have to roll the dice to see if he proposes, you toll too low-you become an old maid. But even the old maid has multiple options too, and you can still have a shot at winning as an old maid if you roll high enough or have a lot of character cards played. Your life as an old maid ranges from lonely bitter life, a companion to a cranky widow, governess to a wealthy family, your resentful uncle takes you in, or your kind and wealthy family takes you in and you become a celebrated author.
With the inclusion of the undead cards they are similar situations to the other event cards but with having to fight the undead mob. All the Instruments of the Living are fantastic advantages, even better if you are able to get score multiple ones (except you can only use one weapon at a a time).
Unlike my previous review, I didn’t try every character as the Undead cards don’t change the game that much. I was fortunate to get both the chemist tools which helped give me an advantage in rolling and I was able to heal my mom when she was cursed by the “affliction”.
I also was able to get the cricket bat and an extra ax (which I declined remember you can only use one) as my weapons. The cricket bat helped a lot as it also gave me an extra boost to my rolls against the undead.
The card I started out with was leather boots which was also extremely helpful as it let me escape any zombie attacks, so if I didn’t feel confident in a roll I could skip the zombie card. I used this in the beginning until I acquired the cricket bat.
At one point of the game Mr. Collins was bitten and I could have cured him with one of my chemist flasks, but as he wasn’t someone I wanted to roll for (not enough points) I didn’t bother.
I ended up choking on the proposal stage and messed up my roll for Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy. Instead I ended up an old maid, only 6 points and surviving on a cousin’s generosity.
However, even though I didn’t get my man I did win the game with 25 combined points from my character traits. After all the times I’ve played I learned it is far better to have more points played on the table than anything else.
Would I recommend it? I did enjoy playing with the extra cards although I wish there was more. I think the game would have been more fun if they had added more event cards and items.
So would I recommend it? I did think it was a fun addition to the game, however I would wait for a really good deal in order to get your money’s worth.
I looked at reviews and other info on it, and of course as it usually goes, when you search up one thing you end up receiving all kinds of ads promoting that thing, in my case the Bridgerton Experience. For once I was really happy to see the ads as I discovered they would be holding more balls and that they had expanded it to San Francisco.
San Francisco is much closer to me than LA and after some more investigating I found that they gave you a great rate for groups of 6 and more. Now that I was armed with dates, times, and prices; it just came down to finding people to join me.
First things first I posted on my Facebook page to try and get as many friends notified (and possibly willing to join); along with reaching out to friends I knew who would want to go (or be willing to do me the favor of attending). I checked back in a week and had no takers from Facebook, and could only get three friends interested, as the others felt it wasn’t right for them as they had no clue what Bridgerton was about.
A group of four is better than one, and after looking at all the prices and times we settled on Sunday August 14th at 2:30. 2:30 was cheaper than the evening and we all felt the price was the most fitting for what we would be getting in the “experience”. (Although by the way, I just checked the calendar and prices for the 5:30 are now cheaper than 2:30. I’m not sure why it changed as before they were the same price as the 2:30 show). You have the option to purchase VIP tickets, but from the reviews VIP only seemed to get a place to sit, a free glass of champagne, and to go into the experience a few minutes before the rest of the crowd. As you weren’t really getting that much of an advantage over the regular priced guests, we all felt that it wasn’t worth the higher cost of the ticket, (unless we had been able to get that great group rate). Instead we all bought the regular tickets.
According to the research I did the ball included: multiple photo areas, a” paint your portrait” photo area, merchandise available for purchase, costumes from the show being on display, a scavenger hunt, guests being presented to the Queen, a ballet performance with aerials, being taught to dance, and a ball. Plus one lucky person will be chosen as the “diamond” (that is the Belle of the season). I was so excited and hoped that it would be me!
After tickets were purchased the next thing we was needed to figure out of course was what to wear? Luckily I had that all taken care of. As you might recall, last year I held a Jane Austen birthday party and MadsenCreations designed and made my regency gown. The gown is blue and was inspired by the one Daphne wears in Bridgerton and the dress Lydia wears in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Since this was a ball and men would be present, (unlike my party) I needed gloves! I tried to find some opera full length gloves as I wanted them to go all the way up to my bicep, but I was unable to find any online that would arrive in time (and of course the Halloween store in my town was opening the day of the ball). I ended up wearing elbow length gloves, which turned out to not be the best idea. As I wanted to take a lot of pictures and my phone is a touch screen, I had to keep taking one of my gloves on and off. MadsenCreations wore small gloves which was a much better idea.
After that the only thing left to plan was my hair. Which you all know can be the most difficult.
I cut my hair in May so I was unable to do the hairstyle I did last year for my party. I wanted to try and do the look Jennifer Ehle has in Pride and Prejudice (1995) but it didn’t come out right. Instead I did a very high bun on the back of my head vis-a-vie Miss Jane Erstwhile in Austenland, but only had a couple tendrils down on the sides of my face, copying the look of Miss Kate Sharma on the book cover of The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2).
Everything was falling into place. We drove down the night before and stayed with my Tia, spending all Sunday getting ready! As we didn’t want to have to worry about finding parking we hired a lovely carriage to bring us to the ball, a Honda Accord.
The confirmation email told you to arrive 30 minutes before the event and we arrived a few minutes after 2. We were able to take our “yours truly” photo right away (no line) and see all the dresses in the waiting area. My friend and her roommate joined us a little later and we took another pic in the “Yours Truly” area. They also had gloves, tiaras, jewelry, and more available for purchase. My friend forgot her gloves and was able to purchase them at the little shop.
After that we waited around a bit looking at everyone’s outfits before they allowed us in. I noticed two things right away; 1) there were no single men, each guy was with a girl or group of girls. And 2) no man that I could see was dressed in a Regency costume. This was a complete bummer as I really, really wanted to get a pic with a Regency man. All I could do was hope I would be able to snag an actor or perhaps someone would come late?
When the experience begins you have the choice to shop, walk around, order drinks, and take photos. They have a wisteria arch, “paint your portrait”, the queen’s throne, and lots of other decorated areas. It was absolutely beautiful in there.
Xandraleigh had warned me to wait on the wisteria walkway as it gets incredibly crowded with people. Instead we went right to the portrait line as there was hardly anybody there. The portrait was fun and the picture came out well, although I do wish we had been given more instructions as we weren’t quite sure what exactly to do at first, but eventually figured it out.
After taking our portraits we were at a loss of what to do next. We didn’t want to take a picture on the Queen’s chair as the line was super long and instead walked around a bit looking at the Bridgerton shop and trying to see what else the experience had to offer.
There wasn’t much else but photo areas and a few more clothes from the show. I liked looking at the costumes, but there weren’t as many costumes as I thought there would be.
While we were taking photos we heard an announcement and quickly ran back to the Queen’s chair area to see what was happening. The Queen had arrived, and we tried to see her although it was really hard with all the people. She sat at her throne and Lady Whistledown, became our narrator for the events. She told us that we were to be presented to the queen and to try our best to impress her so that we will be in the running for the “diamond”. We were also told that as Whistledown couldn’t be there herself she sent another in her place, and challenged us to try and discover which of the guests she was. This woman, who’s name I forget, gave commentary on every curtesy, being quite sassy. I was excited for this, but the directions weren’t quite clear. They told everyone to move to the front by the Queen but I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to line up, go to the right or left, etc. We all kind of moved in a group together like a giant herd of cattle and the actors picked people to be presented.
I had five people in front of me and then all of a sudden they were saying I was next in line and urging me forward. When I stepped up the Queen wasn’t paying attention but talking to an attendant. I wasn’t sure what to do and stopped there, like a deer in headlights, and then curtseyed. Suffice to say, my curtesy did not get rave reviews and I did not impress the Queen.
The rest of my party did very well and one of us was even given a note saying that they had impressed the Queen and were in the running to be the “diamond”.
After that we decided to try to take a picture in the archway as we didn’t have anything else to do and weren’t sure how long the presenting would take. Here is where I wish had a program to guide us, or had opened up the ballroom so we could dance while waiting for the next “performance”.
As I said we headed to the archway as the line had gone down, although it still took a while for us to get our photo, even though we were only behind three couples. The problem was everyone wanted to take a ton of photos and videos. I’m all for people doing their thing but I do wish they would be a little more considerate of the time and others. There is only 90 minutes and a lot of people in line; you don’t need to take 5 photos together, 5 individual shots (each), and 5 videos.
When it was finally our turn, we heard another announcement, quickly snapped a couple group shots, and went hurrying back to see that they had opened the ballroom.
Here is where you need to be assertive and try to get as close to the floor as possible as they choose guests to open up the dance floor and dance with the actors. I was too nice and unable to get up there, so I was not chosen.
But seriously, it was still fun to watch. I do wish they had a bigger ballroom or less people as it was a little hard to see everything. I was in the back on a little stage area, so I was able to kind of look over people. But as I’m short It was hard at times to get a good look into everything. They then began the first part of the ballet that I thought told the story of Daphne and Simon, but others have said they think it is supposed to represent Kate and Anthony. Either way it was beautiful.
After the first dance, they brought out a woman dressed in burlesque type outfit and she was really out of place. She taught us a pseudo-regency dance and it was fun; although hard to follow along as you couldn’t hear what she was saying and there were a lot of people crowded around the dance floor. She does a lot of hand movements and when doing it with all the people attempting to follow, you might hit someone or have someone hit you.
Then our dancers returned and performed beautifully! I loved the dancing with the silks. My favorite part was when they danced with the chandelier. It was so stunning and worth it.
After the second dance the two split to either side of the room and taught us a regency-esque dance. This was a lot of fun and as I came to this ball to dance I was not going fo let an opportunity slip through my fingers. I’m not ashamed fo say I pushed my way forward so that I could be in the dance, I was going after my dream! I was hoping for my own Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey moment, however, as mentioned before there were no men who came alone so I ended up dancing with a very nice woman who was an excellent dancer.
After we were taught the dance and danced away a bit, they moved us off the dance floor and the dancers finished their performance with the violinist even getting into it. It was fantastic! The violinist was amazing!
Afterwards, the Queen came out and the two characters were married. The stand in for Lady Whistledown was also revealed (in a modern dress, I never would have guessed that was her) and they chose the “diamond”. In everything I’d seen online the diamond always had a stunning Regnecy outfit. This woman they picked wore a black Victorian dress which, not to be rude, made me think of a widow (as women in that time period only wore all black if they were a widow.) I hadn’t seen her before but she must have impressed the queen to be picked. I would have liked to see her curtesy and learn a few tips.
The queen then left and they played 2010s party music and allowed you to dance the last 15 minutes of the program. We enjoyed it, but were all a little disappointed that there wasn’t more dancing.
As we were exiting the ballroom I did manage to find one man (not an actor) dressed in Regency clothes and convinced him to take a picture with me! Since I didn’t ask his permission to post the photo and he’s not wearing a mask, I won’t share it here, but I am very grateful that he decided to dress up.
The only thing that was promised that I didn’t see was the scavenger hunt. I saw on multiple reviews that they had clues you were to solve to get to the next one, but I couldn’t find any clues or information on it.
Afterwards, we decided to get food as we all had forgotten to eat when we were all getting ready for the ball. We also needed time to share and discuss the ball. We tried to find a resturant nearby, but a lot were closed on Sunday. We eventually settled on Chez Maman(Hayes Valley) on 401 Gough St. We walked down there as trying to find a parking spot in San Francisco is near impossible. As we were walking people commented on our outfits and complimented us.
Chez Maman was packed but they were able to sit us outside and even though things took some time, understandable as almost every table was full, it was the best service I have had even pre-Covid and everything was absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend stopping there after the ball.
So was it worth it? Well this was what I was hoping to get out of the experience:
Have fun with my friends
Dance with a handsome stranger
Get my picture taken with a man dressed in Regency clothes
Dance at the ball
See the lovely clothes from the show
Take a nice picture
Enjoy the ballet!
So would I recommend this experience? I definitely would. We had a lot of fun and everything was absolutely beautiful.
If you do attend my advice is:
To be aware of time (you only have 90 minutes).
Group photos are definitely the way to go if you want to be able to do everything.
Don’t be afraid to assert yourself in order to be a part of the action. If you want the best experience, you are going to need to be front and center.
If you are planning on taking lots of photos wear short gloves or no gloves at all
Don’t wear anything too long as with all the people you will get stepped on.
Don’t wear too many layers. The ballroom gets packed and there is no air conditioning going, so it gets hot in there.
But this time I was ready. I put an order in early with Madsen Creations and was determined to have my Regency gown for my birthday party.
Now I don’t know about you all but I’m one of those people who I need to see something on me and struggle at looking at fabric and seeing the end result. Oftentimes I don’t know what I want and kind of hem and haw about it all. This time I had seen lots of Regency gowns in different films and had a better idea of what I really wanted. Of course I really wanted a coat like Catherine:
But that is too, too hot for CA spring.
Instead I really wanted a blue gown, as blue always looks good on me, and after searching through many gowns the biggest influence was the cut of Lydia’s gown in Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and the style of Daphne’s gown in Bridgerton.
I haven’t actually seen this show, but I loved the pearls on the dress.
After the gown was selected we went on a trip to the fabric store. Originally we were going to find a lace to add on top of the gown, but there was no fabric that I really liked and time was limited. Instead we purchased blue linen, blue thread, pearl buttons-and swapped out the plans for an overlay for an applique (being inspired by Emma (2020).
I also needed a new fan, as my pride and joy is a red fan from Spain that my brother and sister-in-law gave me, and would clash with this gown. I needed a few supplies from the dollar tree and found a blue fan that matched the fabric for $1.
From there my work was done and MadsenCreations took over. She made this dress in a week, yes one week! Isn’t that amazing?
She ended up using a lace overlay with pearl buttons she had leftover from a previous costume she made. She also said that if it wasn’t for the trickiness of the pearls in the overlay, the dress would have been completed in two days.
My dress was absolutely beautiful, a perfect dream and I looked great in it.
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.
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.
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.
They are followed out of the place by two men-creepy, but Isabella seems in to it. Weird.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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….
Catherine sees Isabella dancing and then later Isabella explains it away, hmm… She gushes about him, but reassures Catherine, she loves James.
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!
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****.
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.
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.
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.
A laundry list.
Maybe, maybe its is code? Could be! Probably not.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Day 26) Z is for Zombie: Choose a Zombie Retelling of a Classic Novel
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
When I saw what Z stood for I knew that this was going to be the book I was going to review for it. First of all I have read very little Zombie themed books as that is just not really what I am in to. And secondly, pass up a chance to talk about Jane Austen?
So I remember when this book was first released. It was right as the teen book world was moving out of wizards (Harry Potter) and Vampires (Twlight, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc.), and was searching for a new thing to fill this niche. They settled on Zombies.
But not just Zombies. They decided to take it one step further and pair it with Jane Austen.
And not just her. After this book, almost every classic was getting some kind of overhaul. We had Little Vampire Women,Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Jane Eyre: Vampire Slayers, etc.
It was a pretty bad time.
Anyways, back to this book. So when it first came out it was a big hit. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone was reading it. The library was backlogged in holds.
I wasn’t really interested until my friend Elise recommended it to me. She really liked it and told me she would let me borrow her book. I was a bit wary as I didn’t understand why Austen needed any “makeover” or “spin” as her books were amazing the way they are. But I’m a sucker for a free book and borrowed it.
I should have remembered:
So I read it. And how did I feel afterwards?
I HATED this book. I thought it was badly done and the parts inserted by Seth Grahame-Smith were horribly written. And a lot of it made no sense.
But that was seven years ago. Could I still feel the same way?
IT IS HORRIBLE! JUST HORRIBLE? HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE IT? THEY RUIN AUSTEN. Grahame-Smith IS HORRIBLE! EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT….I could go on for hours.
But you don’t want to hear that over and over, instead let’s dissect everything I hated about this book.
A) So Seth Grahame-Smith takes Jane Austen’s work and doesn’t really write a new story but just swaps out pieces for zombies.
B) Mr. Bennet’s Motivation
So the first biggest problem is Mr. Bennet not wanting his daughters married but “engaged in the deadly arts”. But that doesn’t change that the house and money all revert to their cousin because the estate is entailed.
So if these girls don’t get married how will they live?
C) Mr. Bennet Hates His Children
And the way Mr. Bennet hates his daughters? He didn’t hate them in the original book. He thought they were silly and not worth his time, but he didn’t have an outright hatred for them like in here.
That’s not how it was in the book!
D) The “Warrior” Code
In this world “the warrior code demanded she avenge her honor” for the insult that Darcy gave her when he said she wasn’t handsome enough for her. If they can kill for that why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham?
I mean it makes no sense. Yeah, he doesn’t want what happened to his sister to taint her or make her an outcast in society, but in this world you can kill someone for an insult. Why didn’t he just kill Wickham and make up that he said an insult. The rules of this world just don’t work.
E) Elizabeth is a Jerk
Lizzie is so freakin’ cruel. She is incredibly mean to her sisters and everyone around her. Just downright cruel.
F) More “Rules” of Society That Don’t Make Sense
It is “unladylike” to bring more serious weapons than daggers and knives to a ball, but is okay for them to kill, flip around, kicking and showing off their lady parts (no underwear like us), etc. Wow Grahame-Smith you aren’t confusing at all.
G) No Knowledge of Martial Arts
Does Grahame-Smith know anything about martial arts? He has Elizabeth get into a crane position to attack the zombies, but then does a chop on the thigh. That makes no sense at all. Crane positions are for kicking, kicking! Why would you get ready like that and then chop on the leg? It is completely weird and wasteful of energy.
H) None of the Characters Have a Heart
Mrs Bennet says all Charlotte Lucas deserves is a “crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.” You see? Grahame-Smith is so cruel. None of these people were that mean. They all had faults but they wren’t downright heartless. How does removing the heart and soul of the characters make them better? Huh, Grahame-Smith? How. Well I’ll tell you, it doesn’t. It makes it horrible.
Or an author
I) Mr. Bennet is Abusive
Seriously, the way Mr. Bennet talks to his wife is downright abusive. Thanks Grahame-Smith for ruining a fantastic book.
J) You Need to Reevaluate Your Career Choices
All the girls say that they could make great lives as assassins, bodyguards, or mercenaries. Really? Really? You think with all those in the military eventually coming out of the service that won’t be a problem? And how many people need a bodyguard or assassin? And if they are rich enough to hire assassins, bodyguards or mercenaries, why wouldn’t they just get ninjas from Japan or something? And to top it all off you are really only trained to kill zombies, not people. Slow moving, barely threatening zombies. Not the same thing at all. You don’t have the same training for the others.
K) You Can Pretty Much Kill Anyone for Anything
Mary almost kills Mr. Collins when he insinuates that one of them did the cooking. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a serious insult. He implies that they are so poor they have to take on the role of a servant putting them on the same level of a domestic. But hey, if that is open for murder why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham? I mean seriously, I just keep circling back to that.
L) People Do Not Understand the Levels of Class
I hate how everyone praises that Mr. Bennet says the girls aren’t trained in the kitchen but are trained as warriors. Only one problem, they were never trained for the kitchen. They were too wealthy for that. I blame the Pride & Prejudice (2005), in which they are made to look really dirty, muddy, with animals running all over the place. They made them look really poor, but the Bennet family wasn’t. They were well-off; the only problem was the estate was entailed and the wealth they had wasn’t theirs to keep, like in Sense & Sensibility. And the reason there is an issue with marrying Mr. Darcy is that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is in line for the throne. I mean a lot of people would have to die, but still hypothetically she could become the next queen of England. That means it would eventually come down to him, so who he marries is a big deal.
Get it right!!!!!
M) Why Wasn’t There a Duel?
So we have Wickham’s big pack of lies about Darcy and how he dishonored himself and Wickham by not giving him the legacy that was originally promised. One issue with that, if in this world you can kill someone for insults why didn’t Wickham do a duel with Darcy or kill him? Why doesn’t Elizabeth think of that?
N) All the Innuendo
The sexual innuendo. Come on Grahame-Smith, is sex all you think about. I feel like the girls in Grease 2, refocus your mind.
And that’s what makes Austen so great. She didn’t need cheap paltry things. She created a fantastic novel full of great wit and amazing work. Every sentience piece of art, delightful storytelling, Grahame-Smith not so much.
O) Front Lines? You Mean No Lines
Elizabeth writes to her aunt that she is on the front lines of battle and prefers it to marriage, love, and family. Only one issue she’s on the front lines of nothing. She’s just hanging out in the country. Front lines would be the battlefield with the soldiers, but Elizabeth isn’t a soldier! She talks as if hired by crown but why isn’t she paid? And she’s only battling the village zombies she’s not even out there fighting where the hordes are coming from. Get off your high horse.
P) Why/Where Did the Zombies Come From?
And that’s another thing that bothers me. Why did this happen? How? Why don;t they ever explain?
Q) Grahame-Smith is a Child
Grahame-Smith is a ten-year old boy. I mean think about it. His obsession with body fluids (poop, pee, vomit, farts, etc.) and likes saying balls as much as he can. It’s the only explanation.
R) Charlotte a Zombie?
I hated how they turned Charlotte into a zombie. I thought that was a dumb decision. How can no one notice but Elizabeth? Really?!
S) Fifty-Five? Schfifty-Five
Fifty-Five years of zombie attacks? How are there that many zombies in existence to keep living? Why did zombies even start? Explain!!!!
T) The Battle Scenes are the Worse
Let’s talk about my least favorite part-when Elizabeth fights the ninjas. First the way that Lady Catherine talks about being taught by Ninjas. False, ninjutsu wasn’t something you were taught, but passed through families as they were assassins.
Second Elizabeth fights at least three of them according to the illustration, but when she takes the time to strangle one with its own intestine why didn’t the other ninjas kill her?
The second ninja she blocks the throwing stars, and then grabs the last one midair and throws it back unharmed. You grab something moving that fast that sharp, no way. She would have cut her hand. And hands bleed like crazy.
The third ninja she just throws her katana and kills him. That easy?! Really Catherine with all her money and fame, that’s the best she could hire.
Oh, and I forgot. Elizabeth did that all blindfolded. Hmm, maybe she was hit by the same radioactive stuff that Daredevil was hit with because I don’t think she could have done that.
U) Elizabeth is a Cannibal?
She rips the heart out of the ninja and starts eating it. First that is serious zombie signs right there, I would have killed her. And second, eating human parts, i.e. a cannibal, makes you go crazy and get extremely sick. She should be totally insane right now.
V) Grahame-Smith’s Mind
Ball joke after ball joke and now fingering? Austen is rolling over in her grave. If she became a zombie and hunted Grahame-Smith down, I wouldn’t mind at all.
W) Why Won’t They Explain About the Zombies?
They travel to the Orient multiple times? Is the zombie plague just in Europe? Western Europe? In America as well? It would be nice if Grahame-Smith gave a moment to EXPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On pg. 169 Jane and Elizabeth punish Catherine? Catherine who? Do they mean Kitty? Why call her Catherine suddenly? Strange.
Y) Grahame-Smith Does Not Understand Women or Sisters
Elizabeth dreams of cutting off Lydia’s head? Really? Grahame-Smith doesn’t really know how to write female characters or sisters. First he has Elizabeth being mean to Jane, then Mary, and then Lydia. So completely cruel. And that is one of my biggest problems with this book. I hate Elizabeth! She is mean, cruel, harsh, rude, judgmental, and just downright nasty. I dislike her and don’t want to read more about her as I just can’t stand her. Yes Grahame-Smith, you actually took a character I lived and made me hate her. Good job.
Z) Not Hatred, Circumstances
In this book Grahame-Smith makes Mr. Bennet hate Mrs. Bennet as he finds her stupid and dumb. That’s not how it was in the real book. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet and didn’t realize that they werent well suited until much later on. They lived well together, spending all the money as no need to save, they will have sons. When no sons came each went to the opposite extreme. Mrs. Bennet became so worried and crazed over her “failure” that she threw all her efforts into trying to catch husbands. That’s why she puts the girls “out” all at once, she wants them settled as soon as possible or they will be worse off then the Dashwood sisters. Mr. Bennet took the failure of no male heir and money a different way, he isolated himself in his library and books, trying to escape reality. They didn’t hate each other, they just didn’t really suit each other, drawing farther and farther apart.
AA) Elizabeth is a Freak
Elizabeth enjoys listening to the screams of burning zombies. What a sadist and creep.
BB) Return of the Bad Fight Scenes
The fight between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth is horrible as well. Leaping all over the place like they are taking part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or something, The way Lady Catherine attacks, Elizabeth should be dead. Elizabeth stabs Lady Catherine in the stomach but Lady Catherine survives? What, that isn’t even possible. She’s dead, end of story.
CC) Ew, Yuck, and Gross
Words some Catherine’s lips “After I behead her, ninjas you can do what you want with the body”, Grahame-Smith has some serious issues.
So yeah I hated it.
Grahame-Smith just plagiarized someone else’s work changing a few words here and there and making it horrible. Grahame-Smith offends me to my very core. Destroying talented writing with his scribbles.
This is what I would like to do to him
Grahame-Smith doesn’t even know how to write. His characters are unlikeable, story underdeveloped, and just all around bad, bad, bad. Only one thing left to do: