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Posts Tagged ‘austen’

Actually, 19th century men and women weren’t so different from contemporary men and women at all! Just as there were brooding but sexy bad boys, there were girls who couldn’t help falling for them. Who, even though they knew the dangers, sought out bad boys just because they were so interesting. Here’s a bit from Jane Eyre, all quotes from Blanche Ingram:

“It is my opinion, the fiddler David must have been an insipid sort of a fellow; I like black Bothwell better: to my mind a man is nothing without a spice of the devil in him; and history may say what it will of James Hepburn, but I have a notion he was just the sort of wild, fierce, bandit hero whom I could have consented to gift with my hand.” [...]

“Oh, I am so sick of the young men of the present day!”exclaimed she, rattling away at [the piano]. “Poor, puny things, not fit to stir a step beyond papa’s park gates, nor to go even so far without mamma’s permission and guardianship!” [...]

“Here then is a Corsair-song. Know that I dote on Corsairs, and for that reason, sing it con spirito”

The footnote accompanying this says that the fashionable taste for Corsairs, Italian bandits, highwaymen, and Levantine pirates lasted a long time. Already in 1818 Jane Austen described the attraction of the bad boy Captain Benwick, and in 1867 Trollope still wrote about girls complaining of their boring and tame lovers in The Last Chronicles. (And I think you can even see it now, for example in the brilliant TV series Lost in Austen, where Mr. Darcy charms a modern-day girl.)

Highwaymen especially held a certain charm, as this rather breathtaking and romantic poem about highwaymen shows: The Highwayman (1913) by Alfred Noyes. If you prefer that sung you can find it here or have it recited to you by a nervous redhead you can click here. I think that proves that highwaymen, Corsairs, pirates and bandits have held a certain charm to people ever since Byron put his poems down to paper.

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By accident I caught the second episode of BBC’s recent adaption of Jane Austen’s Emma this weekend. It’s beautiful! I didn’t catch the story at all but sat for an hour, fascinated by the beautiful costumes, settings, and filming.



Apparently, almost all clothes were recycled from other movies and tv shows! You can read the list here.

I got so excited, I wanted to read the novel as well, which you can find here: Project Gutenberg

And if you like screenshots and icons, or you missed the first two episodes and would like to see them on your computer, go here: Livejournal’s BBC Costume Drama community.

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To give you information about Jane Austen in general would be, I guess, a little superfluous. Instead, I’ll link you to my favourite Austen blog, my favourite Austen book, a Jane Austen action figure (!), and the beautiful portrait that was in the news a lot recently.

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Why do heroines die in classic fiction? BBC had doctors analyse the death of Sense and Sensibility’s Marianne, Wuthering Heights’s Catherine, and Bleak House’s Lady Dedlock. Fun!

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7060533.stm

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