Austen that is. Books, movie adaptations of books, continuing stories, brilliant quotes from a woman who did what so many of us strive to do and did it brilliantly. She wrote. Some might say she did what so many teachers advocate. She wrote what she knew.
She wrote of gentlemen–country gentlemen with large and small incomes. She wrote of family and of ladies who were called such by society and those who were ladies by means of the manner in which they expressed themselves and in how they behaved. In the words of Marianne Dashwood, a young woman so very different from her sister in every respect, “No. I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours.”
She knew the right thing to do and did not do it. (James 4:17) She allowed her feelings to dictate her actions and as a result, she was injured emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. She had the same upbringing–lived in the same situation of life. Miss Austen was a master of showing that situation does not, in and of itself, create character.
In Emma Woodhouse, the same kind of pride that blinded Darcy to his own arrogance and ill manners blinded her to her own prejudice. It seems a recurring theme in Austen’s books– perhaps because then, as it is now, pride and prejudice both are recurring themes in life.
I remember the first time I saw the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. Every bit of it seemed so very familiar. I pulled out the book and was astonished at how closely so many of the scenes were recreated in regards to dialogue. It makes me wonder if Miss Austen was a pioneer in more than as a female novelist in a predominantly male world of authors. No, she wasn’t THE pioneer, but along with a few others, she seemed to reach the kind of popularity essential for appealing to a broad range of people. Her witty dialogue and engaging characters seem to reach beyond Regency England. How many times have you met someone and thought, “Oh, she is such a Mary Musgrove” or “I wonder if anyone has ever told her that she is so like Fanny Price.”
Who is your favorite Austen character? Which is your favorite book? Do you have a favorite movie adaptation or a favorite book continuation/adaptation? Oh, and if you don’t… I recommend considering Mr. Knightley, Pride and Prejudice, either adaptation of Persuasion, and any book by Barbara Cornthwaite or Laura Hile.
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