'I love Austen week' tag

As it's Valentine's on Tuesday, Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy is running an 'I love Jane Austen' week, and I thought I'd join in, since the tag looked fun. Here're my answers to her questions... (note: I had to change all the 'favorite's to the English spelling, because it was killing me.)


1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
My first Jane Austen 'experience' was the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. I must have been quite young, because I can't remember a time when I hadn't seen it. I waited a while to read the books though, and I started with Northanger Abbey - which I read when I was maybe fourteen/fifteen?

 2.  What is your favourite Austen book?
Pride and Prejudice. Which is a boring answer, but true. It's the funniest, lots of dialogue - and I found it easiest to read because I already knew the story and the characters so well.

 3.  Favourite heroine?  Why do you like her best?
Ooh, this is hard. I love them all (apart from Marianne, who I can't stand.)  Probably Elizabeth Bennet, because she can laugh at herself. And I love her relationship with Jane, the way she understands her so well and is empathetic even though they're very different. (Unlike in the Marianne/Elinor relationship.)

 4.  Favourite hero?  Why do you like him best?
For years it was Henry Tilney (he'd definitely make you laugh the most) but now I think I'd say Edward Ferrars. (Edward and Elinor are my favourite couple, too.) He's kind and shy and decent, and there's no self-importance about him. I reckon I'd feel most relaxed around Edward.

 5.  Do you have a favourite film adaptation of Austen's work?
The 1995 Pride and Prejudice. Obvious, again. I also love the Felicity Jones/J.J Field  Northanger Abbey - Andrew Davies is unbeatable (except when it comes to Sense and Sensibility. I preferred Emma Thompson's.)

 6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)
No big changes of heart, but I see little things in the stories differently. I've got less patience with Mr. Bingley nowadays (he doesn't treat Jane very well if you ask me) and I'm more sympathetic to Mrs. Bennet (honestly, someone has to think about the '5 unmarried daughters' problem and her husband's hardly useful) and less sympathetic to Mr. Bennet (yes, he's hilarious, but dads shouldn't have favourites.)

 7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
I've got a cute mug from The Literary Gift Company with all the characters on. Got my eye on the quotes mug too...

 8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?
Ah, probably what happened to Kitty and Mary. Did either of them ever marry? And (although I'd probably not be brave enough to ask) what happened during that period when her sister burnt her letters? There must have been a mystery man, musn't there?

 9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

Well they've never made a decent Mansfield Park so it'd have to be that. I find it very difficult to like Edmund, but I think Shaun Evans (Endeavour) would do a lot to make him attractive. Then maybe Aneurin Barnard, (Cilla, The White Queen, War and Peace) - who I love  - as Henry Crawford and Jodie Comer (Lady Chatterley's Lover, Thirteen, My Mad Fat Diary) as Fanny. She's a great actress, she's done a bit of period drama and I think she could play the slightly judgemental, jealous and pining-after-her-cousin sides of Fanny while also keeping her sympathetic. Because she is sympathetic, in the book. And maybe Jenna Coleman (or Tuppence Middleton?) as Mary?

Above: Mansfield Park casting ideas, Fanny, Edmund, Henry, Mary?

 10.  Share up to five favourite Jane Austen quotations!

"Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?"
- Lady Catherine, Pride and Prejudice
“It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”
- Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
"My Dear Lizzy,
"I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham, you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich, and when you have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. Any place would do, of about three or four hundred a year; but however, do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it, if you had rather not.
"Yours, etc."
- Lydia's letter, Pride and  Prejudice
"Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you."
- Captain Wentworth's Letter, Persuasion
"I will not say that your Mulberry trees are dead; but I am afraid they're not alive."
Jane Austen (from her letters)


  1. I'm rereading Pride & Prejudice at the moment and I'd forgotten how funny it is. So good!
    I like your casting choices for Mansfield Park. They definitely do need to make a new one :)
    Oh and I changed all the "favorites" in my tag answers too! glad it's not just me :)

    1. haha, yeah I just felt I was spelling it wrong! And I love how funny Pride and Prejudice is, I re-read it recently too, it always surprises me :D Thanks :)

  2. OH Jenna Coleman would be perfect!

    1. thanks, I think she'd be great! Although they usually cast Mary Crawford quite well anyway I think - Hayley Atwell was really good in the last one :)

  3. Oh, loved your answers, Catherine! And I am with you on the making of a new Mansfield Park...that is precisely what I wrote before reading your post! {{smiles}}
    Lovely to stop by!

  4. I love the understatement of Jane's last quote!

  5. That's such a great point about the difference in the way that Jane and Lizzy treat each other, versus Elinor and Marianne. I've always felt like Austen was trying to explore the opposite sides of the lively-sister-and-quiet-sister dynamic with those stories, but I'd never noticed before how much kinder Lizzy and Jane are to each other than Elinor and Marianne. Great observation! Thanks for sharing it.

    And thanks for joining the party!

    1. Thanks! I think that's why Sense and Sensibility was never one of my favourites, I just wish Marianne was a better support to Elinor. Thanks for hosting!

  6. I am belatedly discovering Jane Austen this year having seen some of the films, but never read any of the original novels. I've challenged myself to read all six during 2017 and started with Persuasion which I enjoyed. It was much funnier than I had expected!

    1. Aw, I hope you keep enjoying them! Persuasion's one of my favourites, I always think of it as one as the more serious ones, but they are all funnier than you'd think :)

  7. Yes, we need a new Mansfield Park! Through the book, Fanny shows a lot more life in her than most people realize - I think the focus is usually on her quiet demeanor, but more focus should be put on her kindness, struggles, and her own passions.
    And a good actor for Edmund would do a lot for me, I think. I want to like him...but by the time we get close to the end of the book I am almost rooting for Henry, and then he makes me quite dislike him again, but I still don't /love/ Edmund.

    1. Yeah, she's not a pushover, she always stands up for herself when it's important! And people have a problem with her being a bit judgemental, but a lot of that (with Mary Crawford anyway) is tied up with her feelings for Edmund. I want to like Edmund too - they just need to get someone who has loads of chemistry with Fanny, otherwise I just think they should stick to being like brother and sister, haha.


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