Jane and Her Majesty

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We’ve discussed this a bit on social media, but felt the occasion presented an opportunity for some snark would make a good blog post.

Alexandra Knatchbull, daughter of Lord Brabourne, great-granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, and goddaughter of Diana, Princess of Wales, was married last weekend in what was described as “the society wedding of the year.” The wedding was covered by the press probably mostly because Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the British, Spanish, Greek and Jordanian royal families were guests.* The Prince of Wales gave away the bride as Lord Brabourne, one of the Prince’s best friends, was unable to do so due to illness, or at least that’s the official line.

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None of the press coverage of the wedding seems to have picked up the most important fact for Janeites–that the bride is descended from Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight. Continue reading

An Interview with Whit Stillman

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Love  Friendship Blog Tour graphic banner

This interview is part of the Love & Friendship Janeite Blog Tour celebrating the release of the novelization of the film Love & Friendship, itself an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan. We conducted it in the spirit of the novel (check out the link to Austenprose above for more information about it) and Mr. Stillman was kind enough to play along. 

Sir:

We have read Mr. (or should it be Signor?) Martin-Colonna’s little effort in refuting what he considers libelous untruths about Lady Susan Vernon. Firstly, we feel that we must register a protest in defense of the Divine Goddess whom Mr. Martin-Colonna has been pleased to refer to as the Spinster Authoress, being a member of that race ourself. We Spinster Authoresses must not desert one another; we are an injured body.

Mr. Martin-Colonna being a man, he very possibly does not understand his privilege: Men have had every advantage of women in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. Thus, women have had a disadvantage from the beginning, and we think deserve some protection from such boldly offensive behavior as Mr. Martin-Colonna’s towards Miss Jane Austen.

Also it seems to us that the “Spinster Authoress” upon whom Mr. Martin-Colonna has heaped such scorn would have pointed out that he (that is, Mr. Martin-Colonna), like many men, at least when it comes to Lady Susan, tends to use a different organ for thinking than that which the Creator provided for the purpose. But perhaps we are speaking out of turn.

And now to the questions for Mr. Whit Stillman, whom we presume to be the editor of Mr. Martin-Colonna’s energetic defense of his aunt, Lady Susan.

An Initial Reply:

First, in the way of a preface, I have greatly enjoyed following my interlocutor on twitter and blog. [*blush* –Ed.] Those working on the film found especially helpful the wealth of research and insight on the websites devoted to Jane Austen and to the Georgian and Regency eras. Continue reading

Tuesday Tweets

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An experiment, and perhaps the start of something…

Continue reading

Your Sunday Austen Meditation

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This week’s lesson is from the third volume of Emma, Chapter XIII (49).  Continue reading

Devoney Looser on Feminism in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility film in The Atlantic

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Sense and Sensibility and Jane Austen’s Accidental Feminists

This is a great article and you should read it. We disagree, of course, with the quoted assertion by Louis Menand that Colonel Brandon is dull in the book. Dude: he comes thisclose to running away with his teenaged love; he finds her in a spunging-house, rescues her and her illegitimate daughter, is with her “in her last moments,” and he adopts and raises the daughter; he fights a duel for pete’s sake. How is that dull? Is it the flannel waistcoat? Marianne Dashwood is supposed to be scornful of the flannel waistcoat because she is 17 and silly. What’s your excuse?

Incidentally, we saw the People’s Light stage production of Sense and Sensibility yesterday and enjoyed it very much! If you are in the Philadelphia area, we encourage you to check it out.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/12147299/most-romantic-quotes-film-tv-books.html

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Except Jane Austen didn’t write that line… and honestly, as romantic declarations go, it’s very, er, Edward Ferrarsish.

Also laughing at No. 10. “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Yes, Jane wrote that, but it’s not really that romantic. If it were, Mr. Darcy wouldn’t have had a struggle, or needed to repress his feelings. Just saying. (We much prefer “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.”)

REVIEW: Love & Friendship

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landfposterLove & Friendship*, Whit Stillman’s adaptation of Lady Susan, has had its premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and with the assistance of our friend Miss W., who lives in Utah (residents get early access to tickets), and frequent flyer miles, we were able to see it. We’ve been pretty excited about this movie since we first heard about it a few years ago, because we knew with Stillman at the helm, we were likely to get a film that was literate and funny and in the spirit of the original, and we are pleased to report that’s just what happened. Love & Friendship is a fast, funny film full of sparkling dialogue and sumptuous sets and costumes. It is fully worthy of Jane Austen’s genius, and we enjoyed it tremendously.  Continue reading