Well, that didn’t take very long! Shooting has already begun on Whit Stillman’s Love and Friendship, and the paparazzi have obliged with photos from the set. We are perfectly delighted with the ladies’ hats shown in this article. We are also charmed by Ms. Beckinsale toting about a hot water bottle as shown at left–must be chilly in Dublin! Her outfit looks quite proper for Lady Susan Vernon, who has only been four months a widow and is still in mourning–though she appears to be wearing gray, or half-mourning, underneath. There are lots more photos in this article, including photos of Chloe Sevigny as Mrs. Johnson, Stephen Fry as Mr. Johnson, and Xavier Samuel as Reginald DeCourcy (and the sort-of hero has an article of his own as well). We know there is always a great deal of interest in the hero, so we’ve included a photo in this post as well.
As a general FYI, the article states the film is set in the 1790s. According to notes in the Oxford Illustrated edition of the Minor Works, R.W. Chapman thought Lady Susan was written around 1795 and Brian Southam thought it more properly belonged to 1793-1794.
There has been some confusion expressed over the title of this movie, and whether Austen’s hilarious juvenile story Love and Freindship (and for those who don’t know, that’s not a typo) will be part of the film, in some sort of mashup. We stress that we have no way of knowing for sure, but we’re happy to speculate. We doubt that Austen’s L&F is included in this production in any way. It is a completely different feel from Lady Susan–it’s very broad in its humor, and is a parody of the novels of sentiment of the time. Lady Susan is not at all a parody. From what we’ve seen, the casting of this movie has only included characters from Lady Susan, so it’s safe to assume that the only story will be Lady Susan. (Unless Stillman borrows from Patricia Rozema and has Frederica Vernon writing silly juvenile stories such as L&F? We hope not.) So why the change of title? Because when you think about it, the phrase “Love and Friendship” related to Lady Susan is kind of brilliant. There is so much manipulation and deception in LS masquerading as–love and friendship.
Also, Lady Susan is not well-known to the non-Janeite general public. A character called “Lady Susan,” to the Muggles, denotes a proper, upright woman of fine character–in other words, not Susan Vernon. Love and Friendship, as a title, will be easier to market–even more so as it will inevitably be Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship. That should bring ‘em in in droves!
We have some more thoughts about Lady Susan that we will be posting later this week.
A reading of Doubt & Deliberation, a new play by Lynn Marie Macy, will have a reading in New York City on Monday, February 23. The reading was rescheduled from an earlier date due to weather. Unfortunately the Editrix will not be able to attend, but she hopes other Janeites get a chance to check it out.
Based on a true story, Doubt & Deliberation is a theatrical examination of the magical intersection of art with real life. Anna dreams of becoming a writer like her celebrated Aunt while her cousin Fanny scrutinizes the qualities of her multiple suitors. Both young women look to Jane Austen for advice and lessons in literature, life and love.
Ms. Macy is the playwright of Northanger Abbey: A Romantic Gothic Comedy, which we have seen and been delighted by in two different productions. She also directed the splendid video of Henry Tilney doing a parody of the Old Spice ads.
So we think this reading is well worth checking out!
We are delighted to pass on the news that Whit Stillman’s film Love and Friendship (which seems to actually be an adaptation of Lady Susan–yes, we know, but Whit Stillman) will begin filming this month in Ireland, according to Variety. Kate Beckinsale will take the role of Lady Susan Vernon (replacing Sienna Miller, who was attached to the role last year when this film was first discussed) and Chloe Sevigny will still be playing “her friend and confidante,” we suppose meaning Mrs. Johnson. The two actors co-starred in Stillman’s film The Last Days of Disco, and of course Janeites know Kate Beckinsale as Emma Woodhouse in the 1997 A&E/BBC television adaptation of Emma.
In the film set in the 1790s, Beckinsale will portray the widow Lady Susan Vernon, who has come to the estate of her in-laws to wait out the rumors about her dalliances that are circulating through polite society. She decides to secure a husband for herself and her rather reluctant debutante daughter.
The cast includes Xavier Samuel as the object of Lady Susan’s affections, and Stephen Fry, who’ll play the long-suffering husband to Lady Susan’s friend and confidante portrayed by Sevigny.
STEPHEN FRY! WHIT STILLMAN! We shall run distracted!
The Playlist has yet more cast members:
The cast also includes Xavier Samuel (“Adore,” “Fury,” “The Twilight Saga”) as the object of Lady Susan’s affections, Stephen Fry as Mr. Johnson, the long-suffering husband to Lady Susan’s friend and confidante Alicia (Sevigny), as well as Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Tom Bennett and Justin Edwards.
Mrs. Johnson’s first name is Alicia, so that confirms Chloe Sevigny’s role.
We have high hopes for this production. If you haven’t seen Mr. Stillman’s delightful Metropolitan, which is not an adaptation of Mansfield Park precisely but certainly has echoes of it, try to track down the DVD. It’s unfortunately no longer available on Netflix streaming, but the DVD can be rented, and it’s available as a digital rental (and very inexpensive purchase) from Amazon in the U.S. If anyone can produce an Austen adaptation that doesn’t insult our intelligence, it is Whit Stillman. Fingers crossed!
Thanks to Alert Janeite Cinthia for sending us the good news!
Ask me how I know!
How do you know, Mags?
Here’s how. When I was putting together the movie tie-in section for Jane Austen Cover to Cover, I really really really wanted to include a movie tie-in edition for my very favorite Jane Austen adaptation, the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. I had managed to find editions for pretty much every major adaptation of Jane Austen novels, but I could not locate any tie-in edition for P95, or even some kind of visual proof that such an edition existed but could not be purchased or borrowed. I asked around among some of my Janeite friends, but no one owned or knew of such an edition.
If it were any other adaptation, I would have let it go at that, and not mentioned it at all. However, it had become clear that the movie tie-in editions would be a big piece of the book, and the lack of a P95 tie-in made me sad. That is my favorite adaptation, and I really wanted to include it. And I had a book with a cover from the film–the published script of the film. It’s a lovely image of a candlelit Amanda Root as Anne Elliot. I decided to include that cover in place of an actual novel that I could not find, and I not only stupidly assumed that no movie tie-in edition existed, I actually wrote that in the book. What could possibly go wrong? Read more…
“By-the-bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many douceurs in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the sofa near the fire, and can drink as much wine as I like.” – Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra, November 6, 1813
Dearest Jane, may you be enjoying a warm fire, good wine, and the collective love of your readers worldwide on this day.
There’s lots of cool stuff going on all over the Internets today to celebrate Herself’s birthday. We’ve been retweeting like crazy!
The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has declared December 16 Jane Austen Day. (Every day around AustenBlog World Headquarters is Jane Austen Day, but it’s nice to make it official.) They are also offering a discount today in the gift shop.
The Jane Austen Society of North America has published the latest edition of Persuasions On-line, as it does every December 16.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mansfield Park, Sarah Emsley has been hosting a year-long series of posts about the novel written by Janeite scholars, authors, bloggers, and fans on her blog, and this week she’s putting up a new post each day.
Austen in Boston has collected Herself’s birthday greetings and fun from around Facebook.
Quirk Books is hosting a big giveaway in honor of Jane Austen’s Day–win a copy Jane Austen Cover to Cover, The Jane Austen Handbook, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters! C’mon, you can’t beat that combination.
There’s still time to get in on the giveaway of two copies of JAC2C on Robin Kall’s site (and check out the podcast interview with the Editrix!)
And we think we overhear Thorin and Jane having a little convo… ;-) Happy Jane Austen Day, Gentle Readers!
It’s probably safe to say that all Janeites have had at least one moment of curiosity about what Jane Austen looked like. We don’t have much to go on–a dashed-off, incomplete, badly faded watercolor by Cassandra Austen is the only authenticated image of Jane Austen’s face, which has both frustrated Austen fans as well as inspiring them to create something better.
Today, the Jane Austen Centre at Bath unveiled a wax figure of Jane Austen, created by sculptor Mark Richards (the BBC has a shorter piece with a video interview of the sculptor), inspired by Melissa Dring’s forensic painting of Austen, done several years ago also for the Jane Austen Centre. The painting has received a mixed reception from Janeites, and we are not terribly fond of it, but we like this wax figure rather better. In fact, we like it quite a bit. Read more…