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?
Now that JAC2C is out in the world, two lovely readers have written to inform me, in the gentlest way possible, that I am indeed a blockhead of John Thorpeian proportions, because there are two tie-in editions for that film! The crowd I ran with in my university days had a humorous saying for petty social humiliations, “Boy, is my face red,” and I’m saying that right now.
First, I heard from Cheryl Calwell from Australia, a member of the Jane Austen Society of Melbourne and editor of their newsletter, who sent me a photograph of this Penguin edition, which was published in the UK.
I wrote back to her, “You’ve found the unicorn!” Cheryl graciously gave me permission to include her photos of the book in this blog post.
Well, I laboured under the delusion that it was a unicorn for one day. One day, Gentle Readers! For the very next day I received another lovely email from Jolie Mohn, who sent me a scan of another P95 tie-in edition, this one published by Knopf in the U.S. It is the hardback Everyman Edition with a rebranded dust cover. Julie also gave me permission to post her scan.
Knopf similarly handled tie-in editions for P&P95 and the Kate Beckinsale Emma, and both of those were easily found and included in JAC2C. Perhaps the ease of finding and acquiring those books–and I knew about them before I searched for them, because I had seen them in bookstores back in the 1990s and I knew they existed–lulled me into a sense of false security about that lack of such editions for P95. I couldn’t find them–therefore they didn’t exist! TOTAL BLOCKHEAD MOVE.
Now, it’s one thing if I had simply left out any mention of P95, which of course is what I should have done, but to be shown up as a blockhead by two different readers (and I want to stress that they both wrote really lovely emails and assured me they were otherwise enjoying JAC2C) has not been a pleasant experience. I humbly beg my readers’ pardon, and hope they will recognize that the mistake was born of love, and judge me kindly.