Episode 115: In Search of the Austen Adaptation – Pride and Prejudice
This week on The Literary Life podcast we have a fun episode for you to kick off a fun series of episodes that will come up from time to time, “In Search of the Austen Adaptation.” This week our hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are joined by Atlee Northmore, and together they are debating which film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the best. Atlee shares some of the history of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations that were made for TV and film. Angelina highlights different ideas of what makes a good film adaptation of a book. Cindy brings up the importance of the casting, and Angelina talks about why she still feels like no film has gotten Mr. Darcy right. She also talks about the difficulty of embodying the virtues that Jane Austen gives her characters. Our hosts critique each major movies from over the decades, sharing what they like and dislike about each one.
Click here to download the PDF Atlee created for all the Pride and Prejudice film adaptations.
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If we cannot get the better of life, at any rate, we can be so free as to laugh at it.Desmond MacCarthy
Jane Austen is thus a mistress of much deeper emotion than appears upon the surface. She stimulates us to supply what is not there. What she offers is, apparently a trifle, yet is composed of something that expands in the reader’s mind and endows with the most enduring form of life scenes which are outwardly trivial.Virginia Woolf
The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.G. K. Chesterton
Never judge a book by its movie.Anonymous
False Though She Be
by William Congreve
FALSE though she be to me and love, I'll ne'er pursue revenge; For still the charmer I approve, Though I deplore her change. In hours of bliss we oft have met: They could not always last; And though the present I regret, I'm grateful for the past.
The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf
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As a fellow young person, I suppose that I too am an old fogie. It is horribly frusterating to watch an adaptation of a well-loved book, only to have your expectations dashed to pieces for the sake of current social values or the ideas of current tastes. One of the biggest irritations I find is using a famous author’s name or charater name for something completely made up and sometimes even contrary to the author’s actual work. It feels like being lied to.
As much as I adored the 1995 Mr. Collins, I think the Mr. Collins from the ’80s did a fabulous job. The way be moved, especially because he was so tall, was beautifully awkward and I enjoyed every moment of his performance.
I also nearly squealed with delight when Ms. Stanford mentioned the hair. I also really love learning about historical fashion, so my family hears a lot of hair/costume comments while we’re watching. There is so much potential to assist the storytelling through the costumes, hair, and accessory choices. I think (with a few notable exceptions) the 2020 adaptation of Emma does this very well. I can’t wait for the next installments for both the accuracy to the book and to the bangs!