Monday, March 30, 2009

Dear Jane

I've been reading the book "Dear Jane Austen" which has modern day letters to me and I respond in my Regency way. I'm not really sure I like the idea of me being a Dear Abby type character. It's not that I don't want to help my readers, it's just that I don't really have all the experience that I need to really help with today's problems. The first letter is of a woman who wants to get married and feels like she's getting too old. Here's the thing: in my time being a spinster was looked down upon and it also occurred earlier. You were a spinster if you weren't married at 24. Now it's different. Plus I was a spinster and I didn't do so bad. I think it's not good to let women think they have to get married. I know we'd all like to find someone special and have that great Lizzy/Darcy love story, but is that all we as women can really hope for? Isn't there more to life? Yes we should all get the chance to live with our Darcy, but that could happen when we're 24 or when we're 42. There isn't as much of a stigma on being single now as there used to be. I'd love to help with my reader's problems, but the truth is we are no longer in Regency England. Times have changed and we must as well.


I just saw the Greer Garson Lawrence Olivier version of P & P. The costumes are Victorian and Lady Catherine de Bourgh is nice! I'd love to know why the 1930s and 1940s decided to niceify their characters. I love the movie Rebecca and the movie is different from the book. The studio felt that Lawrence Olivier couldn't be a murderer so they changed the book. In this version of P & P Lady Catherine acts mean to see if Lizzy really likes Darcy. Then she goes out into the carriage and laughs with Darcy and says she hopes to visit Lizzy and Darcy at Pemberley soon. Where is the great scene where Lady Catherine cries "Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?!" I love Olivier and so I will watch the movie again, but I cannot feel that it is the best P & P movie out there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Famous First Lines

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. I was born. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

The first two are Dickens, but the last is mine. I recently came across is in an article about natural gas in Pennsylvania. I thought it strange that my work had worked its way into natural science. In fact I recently made a friendship through this line in a very unexpected area.

So I'd like to hear from you. Tell me how you've seen this famous line used! Post your comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elizabeth and Darcy Sing? Totally Love It!

Several years ago the director of Bend It Like Beckham came out with an Indian musical version of Pride & Prejudice. I LOVE it. The characters still maintain their identities and the store is transported to beautiful India. Plus there's singing and dancing. More than anything this movie made me wish I had a cultural tradition like India does. I know Great Britain (and now the US since that's where I'm residing) has a culture, but Great Britain can be...well a little stuffy and the US has so many cultures in one area sometimes US culture gets lost. This movie makes me want to go to India. Although with the release of Slumdog Millionaire it would seem that not all of India is quite as fun as the movie makes it out to be. Maybe that's what I love about it. It's like my novels. I never really brought up the poverty or problems of the time. It was just about the lives and loves of insignificant people...well insignificant to some, but I would like to think that some of my characters have lived on and had some significance to people. They must, otherwise I wouldn't be so popular.

Mr. Kholi, or Mr. Collins, is perfect. Especially when Elizabeth and her sisters sing a song about how "There's no life without wife". Truly funny stuff. The one thing that bothers me is why does Elizabeth's family fly from India to Los Angeles via London? That seems like going east to go west. Of course Bingley is in London and we need the story to move on, but it just didn't make sense to me.

I highly recommend this movie. I know some people think it's sacrilegious to make P & P a musical, but trust me it's amazing. It almost makes me want to write a Regency English musical of Pride & Prejudice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time Traveling Jane Austen

A few years ago I came across a book called "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen". I thought "hmmm.....I don't remember that." So I picked it up. It's a great story. There's a little of my life and little of Pride & Prejudice mixed in. Normally I don't like it when Regency novels have time travel or modern novels have people travel back to Regency times. I realize part of time travel is not knowing your surroundings and making faux pas, but I just don't like it. I haven't really read a good one. If you know of a good Regency Time Travel novel, let me know. This does not mean I'm against all time travel. I happen to love Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog. I also enjoyed I Went to Vassar for This? The Man Who Loved Jane Austen is about a woman who finds my desk at an antique store. She buys it not knowing it's mine and then finds a letter addressed to me and one addressed to Fitzwilliam Darcy. She starts to search to see if there really was a Darcy and receives a reply from Fitzwilliam Darcy that the letter is for him. How can Darcy still be alive today? Surely this is a joke. The story goes to Virginia and a Regency themed ball and a little bit of time travel. This is a really good book. The story is sweet and if you're will to suspend reality for a few hours I think you will really like it.