The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: Our Kingdom for Some Duct Tape Edition


We are a little concerned, as Alert Janeite Cinthia, who alerted us to the broadcast of Persuasion (2007) in Mexico last weekend, noticed that some scenes were cut from the original broadcast on ITV. She did a little investigating, and discovered that all of the films being presented on Masterpiece Theatre will have some scenes cut, though full versions will be available to those who purchase the DVDs. We suppose those of us suckers who donated money to PBS in support of Masterpiece Theatre don’t deserve full versions. We are exceedingly put out. It’s not like they need the time for advertisements, and several of the films are too short as it is. Remember, Masterpiece Theatre Is Made Possible By Viewers Like The Editrix, Who Has The Premium Coffee Cup To Prove It.

Duct Tape Now that we’re good and cranky, it’s time for the Two Minute Andrew Davies Hate. We really don’t hate him, of course, but we probably would be a lot less cranky if he would just shut up. Nothing a little judiciously-applied duct tape couldn’t fix.

This popularity surrounds someone who wrote only six books, following plots that now seem standard.

“All the basic stories are in all kinds of trashy romantic novels,” says Andrew Davies, who adapted four of the six novels for the PBS project. “(A) young girl who has disadvantages (and) things in her way gets a man who’s probably rich, handsome, loving, etc.”

Oh, that Emma Woodhouse, she was so disadvantaged.

Some women played music or sang or read. The key Austen characters — especially Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” — spent much time outdoors.

“She runs everywhere,” Davies says. “She’s got an excess of energy. I think that running everywhere in Jane Austen is a key for being highly sexed, having not enough to do with your body.”

Can somebody please show us all these examples in Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy is running? Not the movie, the book. Please show us. She walks a lot, and when walking to Netherfield to see Jane, she walks at a “quick pace,” but she’s certainly not “running everywhere.”

Matt Roush at TV Guide likes Persuasion well enough.

Strike, schmike. This winter, my favorite TV writer may just be the immortal Miss Austen.

The Capital Times has an article…

They play the piano forte.

They hide their affections for those brooding sorts.

They know their own minds and love to read.

They are the island of common sense in a sea of idiotic relatives and acquaintances.

They speak of “understandings” and “attachments.”

And they’ll be all over PBS this winter and spring.

Just as there’s been no escaping Jane Austen’s heroines in popular culture the past few years, they’ll be coming weekly as PBS’ “Masterpiece Theatre” kicks off “The Complete Jane Austen” on Sunday with a lush production of “Persuasion.”

…as does The Phoenix.

The idea behind most recent Austen adaptations (including the 2005 Pride and Prejudice) seems to be that Jane’s old-fashioned sensibility needs to be updated to suit modern tastes. The irony is that it’s her old-fashioned sensibility that made her popular in the first place.

Not necessarily for everyone. 🙂

The Guardian profiles Olivia Williams, who plays Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets.

She admits the plate-spinning of balancing work and parenting did send her “a little bit crazy” in the summer, when she was working on a forthcoming BBC film called Miss Austen Regrets. In an interview last year, Williams criticised the “lazily colloquial” script. But, as with so much else in her life, the finished film proved to be “different from what I envisaged, which is wonderful. It’s much more intangible than your average biopic, the choice of shots gives it a very European feel. It showed me how much I still have to learn.”

About film, or about media training? 😉

Since the Golden Globes have been, for all intents and purposes, canceled, we would imagine quite a few viewers might turn to PBS. Prepare to be boarded, Janeites!

Thanks to Alert Janeites Anna and Lisa for the links!