Information overload!

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ITV held a press screening for the three new adaptations in their “Jane Austen Season” and the British press is all over it. Alert Janeites have been frantically sending us links but we’ve found many of them too depressing to think about and have blown off posting them. But today, in the service of you, our Gentle Readers, we girded our loins with cinnamon toast and vanilla rooibos and waded into the fray.

The Manchester Evening News “Life of Wylie” blog has some real information that is not ersatz celebrity gossip, giving us the 5 Ws, if not exactly in the lede, then in the first few sentences, as we were taught when we wrote for our high school newspaper back when Jane Austen adaptations featured dinosaurs. It gave us hope for journalism, although, alas, only temporarily.

THREE major TV dramas, six interviews and some serious swooning.

The Mayfair Hotel in London was the venue yesterday for the launch of ITV1’s new Jane Austen season.

We saw chunks of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion before talking to the stars of each adaptation.

Billie Piper plays Fanny Price in Mansfield Park with Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey.

But I suspect the biggest screen impact may involve the spirited Sally Hawkins and Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones.

As we have suspected all along, the media coverage is leading us to the conclusion that Persuasion07 will be the class act of this latest bunch of adaptations.

That bastion of journalistic integrity, The Sun, has tons of little blurbs about various actors in the films. Billie Piper (Fanny Price in MP07), we are told, worries about wardrobe malfunctions when she wears corsets.

Fanny Price in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park — said: “When you bend over you worry they’ll pop out.”

We hope the accompanying photo is not from MP07. That bodice is so not period.

The former wife of Chris Evans added that she’d really enjoyed co-star’s Blake Ritson and James D’Arcy’s 18th century costumes. She said: “The boys looked so hot!”

Yes. Yes, they do.

clumsy, sweet-natured Fanny

Um? MOVING ON! RIGHT! The Sun also has an article about JJ Feild (Henry Tilney in NA07), who thinks he’s too crude for the Georgians.

“I’d be thrown out of that society in a minute. I’d be kicked out for lewd behaviour before I’d even got to the bar.”

There were bad boys in the 18th century, certainly, but Da Man was not among them. However, one of the reasons we Cultists adore Henry Tilney is that he has mastered the art of being entertaining and even occasionally mildly naughty (for instance, mocking Mrs. Allen) without being bad, like, say, his big brother. Too bad that we can’t say the same for JJ, at least according to The Sun, which is, we admit, hardly a weighty source.

Persuasion07 is not left out of the coverage, with a lovely article (and photo!) of Rupert Penry-Jones (Capt. Wentworth).

SPOOKS’ hunk Rupert Penry-Jones has admitted his on-screen snog with actress Sally Hawkins was one of the hottest smooches he’s had to date.

The dashing actor confessed: “It was the best screen kiss I will ever do. It was great. I enjoyed it far too much.”

Rupert and co-star Sally pucker up in ITV1’s forthcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion – their characters sharing a passionate kiss after years of secretly lusting after one another.

Lusting? Not quite. But close enough for the tabloids, we dare say.

The Metro (Wow! You have The Metro in the UK? Is it free over there, too? Is it as much of a rag as it is over here? You get what you pay for, we suppose) weighs in with a tidbit about MP07.

And luckily for Billie, she is soon to star as Jane Austen’s Fanny Price in an ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park. The character is seen eventually walking up the aisle with her long-term love.

So! We see Fanny’s wedding, do we? Or are they confused with Maria’s, at which Fanny is a bridesmaid? Who knows?

The Independent rehashes the usual Darcy-in-the-pond nonsense while borrowing The Telegraph’s angle from a while back of the films appealing to teenagers. We previously reported some of the quotes from the ITV crew but here’s a new one:

When first unveiling ITV’s plans, Mr Elliott said he had shied away from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and deliberately chosen to feature Austen’s lesser known works including Northanger Abbey and Persuasion – both of which were published after her death.

We’re certain it has nothing to do with the fact that P&P was just done and S&S was in the planning stage at the Beeb (at least we think it was).

Thanks to Alert Janeites Heather L., Lisa, and -@^@-for the links and the flurry of e-mails!