Sneaking in Some Austen

While this weekend was primarily dedicated to naive wonderment and baby-steps in programming, I found plenty of time to sneak in bursts of Jane Austen.

pride and prejudice

I pushed through my fatigue and read quite a bit more of Pride and Prejudice. Currently, Mr. Collins is in town and has his heart set on Elizabeth but I have not yet gotten to the proposal. I believe I stopped in the midst of Wickham’s well-spun yarn of Darcy’s betrayal and his own admirable forbearance. I owe P.D. James quite the apology for my expression of distaste at the amount of time spent on Darcy’s thoughts in Death Comes to Pemberley. I posited that this was in sharp contrast to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but it is not true! Much more space is dedicated to the inner thoughts of Mr. Darcy as he recognizes and fights his infatuation with Elizabeth Bennet than I had recalled. I have become so accustomed to the BBC miniseries that it holds sway in my mind as to the truth of Pride and Prejudice. While the adaptation is certainly the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel is much more equitable in its dedicated space. This is a delightful discovery and I am supremely enjoying this re-reading. I am so glad I didn’t truly quit!


With a bottle of white wine already chilled, I was quite agreeable to Anna’s suggestion that we watch the Gwyneth Paltrow-led adaptation of Emma on Saturday evening. This is another of my favorite Austen adaptations and though I had not seen it years, it lived up to my nostalgic expectations. Paltrow is a fantastic Emma and the cast is littered with esteemed British actors. I am happy to say I have not yet seen a disappointing Austen adaptation – though I am sure they exist, so I tread into these waters carefully. I also discovered that Anna owns a copy of Clueless, and so…

On Sunday, we had to watch Clueless! It has easily been ten years since I’ve seen this film, but it also lived up to expectations. I was a bit wary as we started it that it would be one of the films you loved in your adolescence but upon later viewing seemed cheesy and dated. It is not the case at all here. First, it is an excellent modernization of Emma – the key plot points are all there, but manipulated just enough to make them plausible for a 1990s teenager. The script is smart: the jokes are clever and stand up to the test of time. The only thing that really dates this film is the fashion and the music, and those are two things we love to look back on with rosy nostalgia.

I am happy to report that Jane Austen made my weekend quite enjoyable. I will surely owe her more gratitude as Pride and Prejudice provides me tiny moments of escape during this busy, busy week.

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