Monday, February 18, 2013
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice last month, I have been reading Ms. Austen's novels in order of publication. I finished Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and am in the midst of Mansfield Park.
Sense and Sensibility deals with some daring themes: not one, but two, women run away and become pregnant. It's a complicated story but she keeps all the characters and action moving along. I like the way no one is all good or all bad (although Willoughby comes close :) and the frank portrayal of family life: different for each group of people, but universally including chaos and tolerance.
Every time I read Pride and Prejudice my disgust with the father, who originally was one of my favorite characters, grows. For some reason, I was more sympathetic toward the odious Mr. Collins. And, having read PD James' Death at Pemberley, I was more alert to Lizzie's change of heart coinciding with seeing Darcy's magnificent home. I also noticed how much the influence of one person on another -- mostly for good, but sometimes not -- was a theme.
Mansfield Park gets off to a slow start but the father and son have already been shipped off to the Caribbean to investigate "business troubles" and the son has been sent back because those troubles are turning into dangerous slave rebellions. And then there's the drawing room activities....
Please join me in this Jane-a-thon and share your thoughts on her books and movies. You can post your comments here or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And let's play: It's a truth universally acknowledged that....(fill in the blank).