Late Night Scribblings: All About Pride and Prejudice


My Dear Reader,
I've been in such the Jane Austen mood recently, that this afternoon, after waving off cousins who had been visiting for the weekend, I told my mom that I was planning on watching the 1995 Pride and Prejudice after lunch. So we did. Or, rather I did... the rest of the family floated in and out of the room over the course of the five hours and two disc masterpiece that is BBC's adaptation of P&P.  It's been ages since I've devoted myself to that one, and I don't think I've ever done it all in one go, so I think today might be a day for the Annals of Sarah Peden.  (March 23rd 2014. Still no life. Watched Pride and Prejudice for 5 hours straight and didn't feel guilty about it.)
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I've nothing really profound to say after this wonderful afternoon of immersion in Regency Romance, but I had a couple thoughts I wanted to write down... in no particular order.
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Comparing the different adaptations in my head, 1995 (Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle) is still my tippy-top favorite. Because dialog: gahh... straight from the book, straight up Jane Austen, beautiful, witty, genius (seriously genius) ...ok, recovering powers of speech, pardon my sudden but inevitable lapse into Fangirl....
Had I been reading instead of watching a movie, I'd have been underlining all over the place. (The last time I read the actual book was a while ago, and before I gained an affinity for marginalia.) It's not cinematically showy like the 2005 version (Kiera Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen) but it's detailed and book-accurate, and as a lover of the story first and foremost, I will always go with 1995.
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Mary's singing though... I can't help but laugh and sing along, every time.
I always feel so sorry for Mary Bennet... Especially when Mr. Collins comes around. You can see her in the
background trying awkwardly to get noticed by him. They would have been perfect together.

And Kitty, too! The poor misguided girl got the backlash of Lydia's folly, and no hope of a suitor on the horizon.... but here's what I'd like to think happens: After the weddings of Jane and Lizzie, Kitty meets Colonel Fitzwilliam... and its perfect. He's respectable, and a cousin of Darcy's AND in the military. What else could Kitty want?
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Of all the sister relationships in all of Jane Austen's works, I love that of Jane and Lizzie best. (Sorry Jori, Marianne and Elinor are wonderful too, but they don't understand each other as well as Jane and Lizzie do.) I love how they're constantly confiding in each other, (really, the best conversations are had while braiding hair. I know this from experience) and the surreptitious glances across the parlor that just convey so much. 
Perfection. :)
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Jennifer Ehle. Let's just talk about how perfect a Lizzie she is.
That sweet smile... those sparkling eyes (very important, as Mr. Darcy is supposed to be transfixed by them)...
She has a constant decorum in society (unlike the sloppiness of Kiera Knightley's Lizzie), but when outdoors and alone, she runs and skips and plays with the estate dog. Yes. Just, yes.
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1995 might be criticized by some of my sex for not having enough romance, but I'd like to say that it's there. You just have to be aware of it. It may not be romantic in the sense of roaming the heather fields at dawn in nothing but your nightgown where you just happen to meet your true love who is also roaming said fields, upon which meeting he professes his love to you in a half-dying sort of way (sorry Matthew MacFadyen, just stick to being Arthur Clennam, I like you better when you're jolly, not melancholy).
And by the way, such behavior is so. not. Regency. appropriate.
The romance of the 1995 film can be summed up in a couple of words. Not the standard Darcy speech of
"Allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you" because, really, that proposal doesn't count. He hadn't gotten over himself yet, and practically insulted her family while proposing to her. But rather, this moment occurs when, after Lady Catherine DeBurgh has come and gone, Darcy comes to visit with Bingley and they all go for a walk. Lizzie and Darcy start talking (FINALLY), apologizing for their respective behavior towards each other. It comes out that he still loves her, but more so... and she's had a change of heart towards him... and in that moment, he addresses her as "dearest, loveliest Elizabeth" not, Miss Bennet, or Miss Lizzie or any other address but "dearest, loveliest Elizabeth."

And in that moment, I (sitting with knees drawn up to chin in my little blue armchair) clutch my quilt about me even tighter, and emit a little "eep!" of joy at the sheer wonderfulness of those three words that are more romantic than all the pre-dawn trysts in the world.

I can't help it. I've been swooning over this story since I was little, and it only gets better with time. Goodnight, dear reader. I'm off to dream happy dreams of Someday.

your faithful scribbler,
Sarah


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