New Austen-related film releases in Netherlands


Our Dutch correspondent Aad has sent a comprehensive e-mail with the latest releases of Austen-related films for Janeites in the Netherlands (and we know they are legion!).

DutchFilmWorks (DFW) has released a collection of films only previously available in a set as single titles. ‘Klassieke Boekverfilmingen’ includes Jane Austen’s Emma [1996] , Northanger Abbey [2007] & Mansfield Park [2007]. They are only available at Blokker.

DFW also has released Lost in Austen.

Sense and Sensibility 2008Just Entertainment has released a series of titles from their catalogue presented in uniform box design as ‘BBC Classics,’ including “Sense and Sensibility” [2008]. Aad writes, “I can’t find any information of this serie BBC Classics on the web, not even on the website of Just Entertainment. I’ve seen the series (about 12 titles) only at the stores of Freerecordshop and Van Leest.” (click on thumbnail for larger photo)

Aad also sent some photos of a window display at ABC American Book Centre in Amsterdam celebrating the release of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Aad writes, “I give them a B+ for effort.” We have to agree. (Click on the photos for larger versions.)

Sea Monsters display in Amsterdam bookshop window Closeup of Sea Monsters display in Amsterdam bookshop window

Dorothy: send a footman to Bedlam to make sure they have our reservation


The Australian Jane Austen Season continues this week with Northanger Abbey 07. And look! It’s lush with straining bosoms!

Eighteenth-century Bath reveals itself to be a city of simmering depravity and barely concealed lust in this rollicking adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1798 novel. Young men in taut breeches smirk and stare suggestively at the story’s innocent heroine, Catherine Morland, as she and her coquettish new friend, Isabella Thorpe, walk the streets and attend lively balls.

The spork is calling us, Gentle Readers.

The Jane Austen Season Arrives Down Under on June 1


Alert Janeite Lucy has been watching the television listings for us, and she’s spotted some upcoming titles on ABC1 in Australia: Emma (Kate Beckinsale) on June 1 and Persuasion (2007) on June 8, both at 8:30 p.m. Though the TV Guide won’t let us search any further Sundays yet, this article about Sally Hawkins says that NA will air on June 15 and MP on June 22. Will you get more than that in Oz? It remains to be seen.

Speaking of the article about Sally Hawkins:

Hawkins had just re-read Northanger Abbey, the closest thing in Austen’s repertoire to a brooding Bronte novel,

WHAT? *falls over laughing*

Don’t worry, it gets better. We mean that. No snark.

… (she) started to re-read the more conventionally romantic Persuasion with mixed feelings. Unexpectedly, she was drawn into it and embarked on a journey through Austen’s entire library, including letters and other surviving fragments of her life.

“I completely reformed my view of her,” Hawkins says. “I had been slightly dismissive and the fact that I was dismissive is shameful to me now. It’s like being dismissive of Dickens or Beckett. Her work had never really come into my world before and I’m so glad it has.”


It is particularly poignant, she adds, when you realise Austen wrote the novel as she was dying. “That made it all the more remarkable,” Hawkins says. “I think she’s phenomenal.”

We agree. 🙂 And Sanditon even more so.

Granada's NA and Emma films to be available as iTunes downloads


Granada will make ITV programmes available via iTunes download, including NA07 and Emma96 (Kate Beckinsale version). Granada owns MP07, too, so it’s quite possible that might show up as well.

As part of a deal which sees more than 260 hours of ITV shows uploaded to the downloaded site, fans will have the change to pay £1.89 per episode before downloading popular programmes such as Captain Scarlet, Cold Feet, Lewis and Jane Austen adaptations Northanger Abbey and Emma to their Mac, PC, video iPod, iPhone or widescreen TV fitted with Apple TV.

£1.89 per episode? That’s pretty much the only advantage we’ve ever noticed about making those films so bally short.

ETA: This site says the films will be available “later in the year.”

Jane Austen adaptations on Hallmark Channel Latin America


Alert Janeite Cinthia let us know that three Jane Austen adaptations (Kate Beckinsale Emma, NA07, and MP07) will be shown on Tuesday nights this month on the Hallmark Channel Latin America with Spanish subtitles for most of the countries and Portuguese subtitles for Brazil. Emma will be shown on March 4 at 22.00 with two repeats, Wednesday at 10.00 and Thursday at 23.00. MP07 will be shown on March 11 at 22.00 with repeats on Wednesday at 10.00 and Thursday at 23.00 and NA07 will be shown on March 18 at 22.00 with repeats on Wednesday at 10.00 and Friday at 00.00.

So far, only Emma is on their website: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Complete Jane Austen News and Stuff Roundup: Firthmania Edition


Colin sez: Oh yeah. You want me. The last part of P&P95 aired tonight on Masterpiece Whateveritisthisweek, and we have to admit that even your tar-hearted Tilney-lovin’ Editrix’s toes curled a bit at “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.” And then we’ve been bombarded by overstimulated Alert Janeites letting us know that there’s a very special treat available for auction at eBay for Firthaholics–a Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Edition DVD set signed by His Darcyness himself, AND a personal note from Mr. F. (tee-hee) to the winning bidder! There also are some other auctions featuring Colin’s other work, so do a search and see what’s out there. It all benefits Oxfam, so open your wallets and bid. You know you want him. 😉 Thanks to Alert Janeites Karen, Lisa, and another who sent a message through eBay and didn’t leave his or her name.

In other P&P news, the 15,000 members of Australian bookseller Dymocks’ booklover program have chosen Pride and Prejudice as their favorite novel. Several Jane Austen novels ended up in the Top 100: Persuasion at No. 57, Emma at No. 69, and Sense and Sensibility at No. 72. Thanks to Alert Janeites Lisa, Maria, and Lucy for the info!

In other news related to the Complete Jane Austen, Alert Janeite Liz let us know that the Behind the Scenes show from ITV, featuring the making of MP07, NA07, and P07, are available at YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Liz said, “Some questions are answered but don’t expect to find any explanation about Billie Piper’s hair.” Darn!

And lastly, Alert Janeite Marybeth wrote to tell us something interesting about P07:

It seems the PBS broadcast includes two very small scenes – totaling 20 seconds -that did not air on ITV and is not on the Region 1 DVD.

In the American broadcast, during the scenes at Lyme, after Anne and Captain Harville’s conversation about Captain Benwick’s ability to get over his recent loss, the sequence introducing us to Mr Elliot for the first time is edited out and instead the scene switches to a shot of crashing waves and then a shot of Anne standing on the Cobb looking out at the sea and then into the camera. (Neither of those shots were a part of the original British broadcast.) The PBS version then picks up with the British version showing Anne in front of the mirror at the inn.

Like I said, the whole thing takes about 20 seconds and replaces a sequence that lasts for 1 minute and 20 seconds. My guess is it was done to help match up the musical cues. But still, I just find it rather ironic that after all the scenes that were taken out, they decided to add something in for us.

The same thing happened with the second Hornblower series–the American cut was different from the British cut, and then the DVDs had less stuff than was shown on the television broadcast, and other stuff that wasn’t shown on the television broadcast. It was very weird.

Marybeth also sent a link to Ask Andrew Davies a question via PBS. Hope he has a bouncer handy.

The Very Secret Diary of Henry Tilney, Part the Third


Part the First, Part the Second

Tilney, Frederick TilneyDay 13: Miss M. came to dinner. The governor drunk as usual, nearly gave away the game with his comments on the “elasticity” of her walk. Eleanor and I on tenterhooks waiting for him to reveal too much to Miss M. Afraid was not the wittiest.

Day 14: Frederick came to Rooms with us tonight. Pulled me out of set to ask if I knew that my girlfriend’s brother was engaged to a succubus. Said he would “take care of it.” Typical Freddy, swanning off with the pretty succubus with that “Tilney…Frederick Tilney” His-Majesty’s-Secret-Service rubbish while the rest of us are actually battling the demon hordes. Must admit it always works, but bloody annoying.

Day 15: Met with Sir W— E—. Had to wait while he fixed his hair in at least three looking-glasses before he dismissed the servant and could get down to business. Trifle weary of his act. Percy Blakeney left his card, wants his schtick back, blah de blah. Sir W— troubled to hear about werewolf and succubus, suggested take Miss M. into country, said N. Abbey perfect place for training ground. Does he think I’m going to marry her or something?

Day 16: Freddy came back from Pump Room, said Miss M. was arguing with succubus for switching her attention from Mr. M. to Freddy. Full of himself now. Wager he just wants to get into the succubus’ petticoats. Literally. Eleanor has invited Miss M. to N. Abbey next week. Must prepare training regimen. Horseback riding, toss apples at her to sharpen reflexes, the usual. Curious that we have apples on trees in April. Must have something to do with Abbey being Hellmouth. We do get rather mild winters.

Day 17: Danced with Miss M. at Rooms tonight. She is still concerned about Freddy and succubus. Think I smoothed things over. Freddy better come up to scratch before succubus consumes Miss M.’s brother, or I’ll… I’ll what? Really, it’s not like I’m going to marry Miss M. or anything. Really.

Day 18: Drove to N. Abbey. The governor put Miss M. in curricle with me. Eleanor had to fight off demons that had hidden in chaise at Petty France. Fortunately Freddy left her some of his special “toys.” Gave opportunity to break news to Miss M. about vampyres at Abbey. Afraid she thought it a joke. Still the wittiest, but sometimes backfires.

DVD releases of new Austen adaptations in Netherlands and Australia


Alert Janeite Aad, who keeps us up to date on Dutch DVD releases, let us know that House of Knowledge has released a 3-DVD set called “Klassieke Boekverfilmingen,” which includes MP07, NA07, and E96 (Beckinsale). (The cover shows a photoshop of Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, and John Thorpe. We’d like to be a fly on the wall at THAT tea party.) Aad commented,

Personally I find this release a bit of a letdown, several productions cramped together in a hideous ‘faux’ classic book-design box. Uncertain about the possible release of decent ‘single’ dvd’s, this could be the only way Dutch fans could get these Austen adaptations, so I would recommend getting the original English dvd’s.

Aad also let us know that on April 11, Just Entertainment will release a 6-disc set, collecting their previous releases of Northanger Abbey 1986, Persuasion 2007, Pride and Prejudice 1980, and S&S71, and Becoming Jane will be released by A-Film on May 8.

Also, Alert Janeite Lucy discovered that a three-DVD set including E96, NA07, and MP07 will be released in Australia (Region 4) on March 3. Lucy suspects that means NA and MP at least will be shown on Sunday, March 2, as they usually release DVDs immediately after television broadcasts, but the ABC television guide does not at present go past March 1. So keep your fingers crossed down under–you might be seeing these soon in some form or other.

The Very Secret Diary of Henry Tilney, Part the Second


So then I staked itBy request, and because it amuses us much more than it should. Part the First may be found here.

Day 7: Went to Cotillion Ball, danced with Miss M. The troglodyte tried to talk to her. Upon closer inspection, appears to be a werewolf. Definitely need to keep poor girl away from that one. Fortunately she appears to have understood the muslin bit. Still the wittiest.*

Day 8: Realized today that Miss M.’s particular friend is a succubus. Exposed upthrust bosom is dead giveaway. Remember tried to teach warning signs to Bertram at Oxford, but he would have none of it. Wanker.

Day 9: Received note from Sir W— E— in Camden-place. Typical story, hides true identity behind facade of upper-class idiot, blah de blah de blah. Thinks Miss M. may be The One. Lovely girl, but hardly demon warrior–though she DID go out driving with werewolf rather than take country walk with us; and perhaps has chosen succubus as particular friend in order to study method of defeating her. Hmm.

Day 10: Eleanor practicing with nunchuks in sitting-room. V. annoying when she shows off fancy ninja training, also frightens the servants. A good sturdy stake is all I’ve ever needed. Maybe a bottle of holy water as backup.

Day 11: Sir W.E. wants me to train Miss M. Beechen Cliff excellent spot. Saw Miss M. at theatre. Pretended to be annoyed with her for skipping walk–worked like a charm, she tumbled Mrs. Allen’s gown while assuring me that she has no regard for werewolf. Definitely understood the muslin bit.

Day 12: Walked at Beechen Cliff with Miss M. and Eleanor. Miss M. likes horrid novels. An excellent beginning.

*Full attribution to Sophie; too brilliant to not use.

The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: Are We Outraged Yet? Edition


As we mentioned previously, the news flow around The Complete Jane Austen is slowing down some, but has not completely stopped. We found a common theme among some of the latest items: either they express outrage at the latest crop of adaptations, or spark outrage in the reader.

Alert Janeite Surreyhill sent us a review of Mansfield Park from the Flick Filosopher, who apparently took Agent Scully’s ridiculous introduction of MP07 a little too much to heart.

There’s a term for characters like Fanny Price: Mary Sue. And it’s not a particularly nice term. Mary Sues are stand-ins for the author, the author idealized, as Fanny surely must be for Jane Austen in Mansfield Park. Fanny is beautiful, kind, faultless yet modest, noble of heart and spirit but of humble origins that prevent her from being spoiled. She is, in a word, perfect. Fanny may have pleased Austen herself, but she makes for less than compelling drama for the rest of us, at least in the new adaptation of the novel that just aired on Masterpiece Theater, and lands on DVD today.


And misses the whole bloody point of the book. Thanks for playing, enjoy your lovely parting gift. (And we’ve thought of another Fact About Fanny Price: Fanny Price knows you don’t like her, and knows it doesn’t matter.)

Alert Janeite Lisa sent us an interview with Virginia Newmyer, who was to lecture on Jane Austen films at the Corcoran, and expresses her opinions very, um, decidedly.

» EXPRESS: Do you think that, overall, the film adaptations have done a good job at capturing Austen’s novels?
» NEWMYER: I can’t say that, because they started adapting “Pride and Prejudice” [practically] in silent films. They’re not all good. I’ve seen most of this stuff and I know the books quite well. I mean, Andrew Davies did the miniseries adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” — that was absolutely wonderful — but he’s done some of these things that are on television this January that are not worthy of him or of Jane Austen.

I don’t insist on faithful adaptations. One of the best adaptations is Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of “Mansfield Park” and she turns it into a modern look at Jane Austen. “Mansfield Park” is the most problematic of Jane Austen’s books — of the good ones — and Rozema removed all the problems.

*head explodes*

There’s more. Keep reading. We shall retire to Bedlam.

Theresa Hogue expresses genteel outrage with the films so far in the Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette Times. We enjoyed it up until…

Of the three so far that have aired in the series, I can safely say that “Northanger Abbey,” was not only faithful to the text,

Not really. How much more “delightful” would Henry Tilney have been if he had been allowed the witty and intelligent dialogue that Jane Austen gave him, instead of a watered-down rewrite?

Many Gentle Readers are no doubt rolling their eyes at the Editrix once again beating that particular dead horse, but this shows why it’s important.

Northanger Abbey, another Masterpiece Theatre piece, was the first of Austen’s novels to be published.


From a modest family, Catherine’s interactions with the group, coupled with her increasing jump into a fantasy land, make it an interesting concept but a flawed story.

As we were saying…

It shows all the hallmark of a writer struggling to find her voice, and the film reflects it.

Uh, no. The narrator in Northanger Abbey is confident and knows exactly what she is doing. Don’t blame Jane Austen for bad rewrites of her work.

Despite all evidence, we’re still looking forward to Miss Austen Regrets this weekend, not having heard any real evil of it (and the producers having presumably learnt from the experience of Becoming Jane to not attempt to dress up a Made Up Story in truth’s clothing and shine on the Janeites with it)…though the reviews are not exactly promising.

Laurel Ann Nattress has written a review for PBS’ Remotely Connected blog:

I admire how the story succeeds in interweaving moments that parallel scenes or lines from Jane Austen’s novels, or is it scenes or lines from her life that make it into her novels? Art imitating life and it is believable. We see Jane represented honestly and with integrity as a strong woman who made a decision to write instead of marrying without love. Her choices would be against the norms of society, disappointing her family and adding pressure and financial stress in her life. How could anyone not regret the outcome of such adversity?

Ms. Place doesn’t hate it, but is dissatisfied.

I won’t review the entire film for you. Just suffice it to say that if I had been the director of this tale, I would have emphasized that single women do find fulfillment in pursuing their talents, in nurturing family relationships, and in being true to their vision. I wish the plot had dwelled more on the creative, talented side of Jane, instead of her constant worry for money.

And Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune thinks it’s a mess.

Far from shedding light on what made Austen a peerless examiner of the human condition, “Miss Austen Regrets” is an irritating, poorly paced misfire.

Ouch! But this part made us happy:

scenes of Jane ruthlessly, even cruelly, satirizing well-meaning clerics and clerks behind their backs.

HA HA! Can’t wait! What was that about Miss Jane Austen would find sarcasm the lowest form of wit again? 😛