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Harriet

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

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Very frustrated that as I only have 'council telly' I can't watch it (but still won't give in to the corporate machine etc. and buy a freeview box)

You're a woman of strong principle, I'm increasingly coming to see, Cathy!

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You probably noticed or heard already, just in case you didn't, the 1995 series is being repeated on BBc4 this Tuesday (13th) at various times throughout the day starting v.early in the morning! And documentaries about the making of etc. Very frustrated that as I only have 'council telly' I can't watch it (but still won't give in to the corporate machine etc. and buy a freeview box)...

 

I saw the BBC 4 P&P Revisited programme on Tuesday night, but only because I was sleeping on my sister's living room floor - I too only have council telly and even though I catch the odd BBC 4 on on other tv's and enjoy them, I'm holding out and not getting a box too, there's enough repeats and adverts on as it is. It was an quite interesting programme, showing old clips of other adaptations and remarking on how they differ and the miriad of ways P&P can be interpreted. It was just nice to see a programme about Jane Austen and her work, how sad am I.

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A few little quiz questions on how well you all know your P&P in honour of the new film out today, which is a rapid romp with an honourary nod to the book. See which ones you know, post your answers, or not, if you like.

questions are from. So you think you know Jane Austen? by John Sutherland and Deirdre Le Faye.

 

Easy.

 

1) Describe with their Autstenish epithet (or characteristic mark) the five Bennet girls, in order of age

 

2) How old is Charlotte Lucas

 

3) How much does Wickham estimate that Pemberley is worth?

 

4) What is Sir William's favourite epithet?

 

Slightly harder

 

5) What card-game do Jane and Bingley find they prefer?

 

6) Who is said to have 'tolerable' teeth, and by whom?

 

7) What is Mr Bennet's response, on learning of Wickham's elopement with his daughter?

 

8) What is Mr Collins's favourite recreation

 

Even harder and occasionlly deductive

 

9) What is Mrs Bennet's characteristic indisposition, and what do we deduce from it?

 

10) Why does Lady Catherine disapprove of entails?

 

11) What should we read into the fact that Lydia is both the youngest and the tallest of the Bennet girls

 

12) Why has Mr Bingley, who has been living in London, chosen to take a house in rural Hertfordshire.

 

Interpretive - I give you free rein!

 

13) What can we reconstruct of Mr and Mrs Bennet's 'back story'?

 

14) When Darcy makes his remark of Lizzy at the Meryton ball about being 'tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me...etc' Does he mean to be overheard? Should we perhaps assume the music momentarily stopped? Is he perhaps a little deaf?

 

15) Why, at Pemberley, does Elizabeth confide Lydia's elopement to Darcy?

 

16) Why is the proud, cultivated and snobbish Darcy the 'inseparable' friend of Bingley, a man of limited intelligence and no firmness of mind?

 

points for witty answers!!! Go to it.

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The film skips over quite a lot doesn't it? I was not impressed, but I put the blame on the script rather than the actors. Anyway, Yey, a quiz! OK... my answers to the ones I can guess...

 

1) Describe with their Autstenish epithet (or characteristic mark) the five Bennet girls, in order of age

Jane - not sure of her age! Must be 21-22? And very sweet tempered.

Lizzy - well, she's not yet one-and-twenty!

Mary - very serious...

Kitty - 'follows wherever Lydia leads'

Lydia - 15 and an outrageous flirt!

 

2) How old is Charlotte Lucas

27/28?

 

4) What is Sir William's favourite epithet?

Capital, capital!

 

6) Who is said to have 'tolerable' teeth, and by whom?

Lizzy, by Caroline.

 

8) What is Mr Collins's favourite recreation

Being leery!

 

9) What is Mrs Bennet's characteristic indisposition, and what do we deduce from it?

Her delicate nerves? Perhaps her corset is done up too tight!

 

14) When Darcy makes his remark of Lizzy at the Meryton ball about being 'tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me...etc' Does he mean to be overheard? Should we perhaps assume the music momentarily stopped? Is he perhaps a little deaf?

Perhaps he is so used to people pretending they haven't heard him insulting them because he is so important he has unrealistic ideas of how far sound travels? I'm sure he doesn't mean to be heard...

 

15) Why, at Pemberley, does Elizabeth confide Lydia's elopement to Darcy?

She's in shock! Or maybe because it moves the plot forwards...:D

 

16) Why is the proud, cultivated and snobbish Darcy the 'inseparable' friend of Bingley, a man of limited intelligence and no firmness of mind?

That is a puzzle...my idea is that he wishes he could be more like Bingley, and that Bingley helps him get along at social occasions! But that's a bit of a 'shy' Darcy interpretation.

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The film skips over quite a lot doesn't it? I was not impressed, but I put the blame on the script rather than the actors.

 

 

I agree, I thought it was an entertaining take and none of the actors were bad, except Mr Collins and that was just casting. Why do they persist in making him small.. (poor Tom Hollander, I've sen him in better stuff) Collins is described as a tall man in the book... I suppose its funnier in a way, but then I think tall and thin and ineffectual is just as funny as short. Wouldn't want to be heightist.

It just doesn't work as a two hour film though does it, once its been done so well as a six hour adaptation. The things I did like were the boysterous Meryton public ball, brilliant - I bet it was a bit like that.. a bit of a bun fight. The acting, cinematography and costumes were good it was the script that was the let down. I thought that Keira Knightley did a credible job portraying the funloving, kind and funny aspects of the young lizzy that hadn't been done so much before and bravo to her for not doing a copy of Jennifer Elhe. There we go, never more was the statement at the end of the film truer 'based on a novel by Jane Austen'. Still, I've spent two hours in a worse way.

 

Answers to the quiz in a few days.. glad someone answered though Cathy. Ta!

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I found Darcy in the book so good! And this when I hadn't seen the BBC adaptation, and you can imagine him much better. TV ruins imagination, look at LOTR. I can't believe they're making a new P&P. It can never EVER out do the BBC. I can't imagine another Darcy, even if they are gorgeous they will never come close to Colin.

 

Have just been to see the film. Best description I can give is that the Director read the P&P GCSE pass notes but not the actual book itself - some of the right quotes but no idea how they went together to make up the story. Would probably have been an ok film if I hadn't read the book (many times.) Would say more but I can't remember how to use the spoiler.

 

And, David, if you're around....he's not Colin! :D

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I haven't been able to see the film yet, but I really want to. For someone who has, what is Mr Darcy like in it? From the adverts I've seen he looks dreadful compared to Colin Firth, and not at all handsome.

 

I do not find Colin Firth the slightest bit handsome. He is quite ordinary, and I wouldn't notice him if I bumped into him in the supermarket.

 

Now, Mr Darcy is another matter, but he lives within the pages of the book, and in my head.

 

I don't understand why people keep mixing up the two.

 

Colin Firth is NOT Mr Darcy

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Hmm... this is a difficult one as I do like Colin Firth. Even though I watched the BBC adaption before I read the book, the first time I read it, the Mr Darcy in my head still wasn't Colin but someone conjured up from the pages of the book. However, having watched the BBC adaptation many, many times the mental image I had has changed to incorporate Firth-like qualities. As I've already admitted, I am a Colin fan, but I think the real reason behind the change is that the adaptation was, in the main, was done so faithfully. Nothing said on screen jars strongly enough to break the connection with the written word and the two complement each other. I'm sorry if anything I've posted before has made you think I didn't take the book seriously :o - it's one of my favourites, although I've found it hard to get into other books by the same author.

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I do not find Colin Firth the slightest bit handsome. He is quite ordinary, and I wouldn't notice him if I bumped into him in the supermarket.

 

Wa-haay! Go Me-eg, go Me-eg; it's your birthday, it's your birthday!

 

There's hope for womankind yet.

 

Now I wonder if it's possible to fit those whirling sword doobries (a la Boudica) to the wheels of supermarket trolleys...?

;)

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Went to see the film yesterday and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Obviously it is not what you might describe as wholly authentic in terms of following the book and I've already written before about my dislike of inserting modern 'funnies' into classic adaptations. That said, however, one of the things I liked a great deal about this is that it is more authentic in terms of the period. Liberties with style of dress aside, I loved the fact that there was more 'earthiness' about the Bennet household and the creation of the Netherfield Ball was brilliant, with camerawork taking us through the melee of people and children running around. It captured entirely the fact that this was a community gathering with all the chaos that would naturally ensue, having a room for the dancing but then taking us around the other rooms where all the human business unfolded. We tend to look back on periods like this and - rather like the Victorians with medievalism - re-invent it to match our desire for perfect, halcyon days, whereas this rather overlooks the realities of day-to-day life in a society of limited sanitation, etc., as well as the fact that people are the same in any period apart from a veneer of comtemporary codes. That's why I also loved the portrayal of the sisters. A house full of adolescent girls is not going to be refined and mannered at every juncture, so the energetic group of girls here, laughing, giggling, eavesdropping and jostling felt utterly natural to me and a refreshing change from the sanitising impulse.

 

I thought Keira Knightley was superb as Lizzie and was mightily relieved to see she can act after all, though I think all the talk of an Oscar is perhaps a little over-hyped. Matthew McFad grew on me more as the film progressed; I'm not of the right sex to give a fair assessment of how swoonworthy he is, but then, frankly, should he be? Aren't we supposed to find other aspects of him worthy of love, as Lizzie does? The fact that at first I worried because there did not seem to be much chemistry between them, but then ultimately came to see there was actually seems absolutely right for the story.

 

I also liked Donald Sutherland as Mr Bennet, though I know this hasn't been everyone's favourite casting. For me, he captured Mr B's laconic, mischievous wit and laissez-faire attitude superbly, and the scene where he agrees to Lizzie's marriage was extraordinarily touching and revealed the depths behind the man who has had to adopt a certain stance in a house full of women.

 

The portrayal of Collins was excellent in being understated. You simply saw a very boring man from which the comedy naturally grew in an unforced fashion. Lady Catherine was also first rate in Judi Dench's capable hands.

 

Of course, a lot had to go and many won't like it for that, but it has to be remembered that the objectives of a film have to be very different from those of a TV adaptation, which has many hours in which to be utterly faithful. I like very few film versions of classic literature, but the best for me capture the spirit of a book, and I feel this does that well. It is painted on a broader canvas than we are used to with Austen, taking it much more out of the 'drawing room' drama and into sweeping landscapes, but I don't see the harm in that, and let's remember that P & P is perhaps the most mobile of all the novels, taking us to many different places. Perhaps it's no bad thing to reflect that more.

 

Having said all that, I took my mother, who is an obsessive fan of the BBC Firthfest. She didn't like it much at all and wasn't convinced. Ah well. :rolleyes:

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Matthew McFad grew on me more as the film progressed; I'm not of the right sex to give a fair assessment of how swoonworthy he is, but then, frankly, should he be? Aren't we supposed to find other aspects of him worthy of love, as Lizzie does? The fact that at first I worried because there did not seem to be much chemistry between them, but then ultimately came to see there was actually seems absolutely right for the story....

 

I think you summed up how I felt about it pretty well David, wish that I could be so eloquent... I agree with your comments particularly on Darcy and the previous posts. Colin Firth is NOT Mr Darcy. I have to say that although CF does a good job he doesn't make me swoon. Then neither did McFadyen either, it is the qualities that we find out about him, along with Lizzy, that make him attractive not the relative idea of whether he is physically handsome or not. I thought Mcfadyen portrayed the role well, given the brievity of the script for character development, especially the scene with his sister, which is one of the points at which Lizzy starts to revaluate her opinion of him further; seeing him more relaxed and well, human.

It's all enjoyable nonsense... :)

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Hmm. I'm not convinced. But then Sue Birtwhistle, who I think produced the BBC version (hang on a sec, let me check on the video box :o - yes produced) said Austen is like Shakespeare, it can take the constant revisiting because its so good.

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I haven't seen the film adaptation yet, but I've heard they missed out the 'In vain I have struggled speech'. WHAT??!!! That's the BEST bit of the whole story. No 'my feelings will not be repressed'. Just 'I love you most ardently'. And I don't understand how Keira Knightley can play Elizabeth, seeing as Lizzie's supposed to be plain. I think she would have been better off as Jane - but, then I haven't seen the film so am most likely completely wrong here. Except from Mr Darcy's speech, it's criminal that's missed out.

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You know what else they missed out? 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wife'! :eek:And the weddings were missed out altogether...though the version released in the US apparently has a full extra 8 minutes, so maybe they will get to see it.

 

KK works quite well as Lizzie, I actually liked her playing it. She is beautiful, but the girl playing Jane is also very beautiful in a very different, English Rose sort of way, so you can more easily see how she could be considered more beautiful.

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Harriet, Lizzie ISN'T plain. Bingley describes her as very pretty. She is not however the beauty of her family although her father describes her as having some quickness about her that sets her apart from the others.

 

If she was plain then Darcy's comment that she was "tolerable" could be construed as a compliment. In fact it can only become a joke because the opposite is true.

 

The most striking things about lizzie are her intelligence and her beautiful eyes. Jane, her beauty and sweet nature.

 

She is one of the most compelling heroines on the page. I am interested to see KK in the part but I can see that her impishnesss, eyes and rather boyish figure might lend themselves rather well to Lizzie. Now how would you view her as Jo March? Another very interesting character.

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You know what else they missed out? 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wife'! :eek:

I'm not sure that's awfully fair, Cathy. It's a film and those words are part of the narrative. Voiceovers are usually very clunky in films and best left out; I can't see the point of including that line just because it's famous, or, even worse, sticking it in the mouth of a convenient character that never actually said it.

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There was a definite sense of anticipation in the cinema when I saw it, a sort of female hormonal hysteria so much so that I wouldn't have been surprised if people had stood up and cheered and whooped if Darcy had said 'My feeling will not be repressed'! My main issue with this adaptation was the script though, its hard to remember which lines bugged me from one viewing but the general feel was that the script didn't do justice to the original.

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the general feel was that the script didn't do justice to the original.

 

Ah, well, Jane wasn't around to do the scriptwriting, was she, so it was bound to be second best! :rolleyes:

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From the Google cache

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Isn't it often said that a lot of features jump a generation, so maybe Jane and Elizabeth came after their grandparents? I think the main reason they turn out different from the others is that there are so many children in such a short time that Mrs. Bennett does not have enough energy to devote to all of her girls. Lydia seems to be most like Mrs. Bennett and therefore gets most of the attention and encouragement. I have seen this in modern families but I think it was even worse 200 years ago, children were not there to be loved and to be given all the attention of the parents.

Would Darcy have wanted to marry Elizabeth even if Lydia had ended up not marrying Wickham and therefore being a "fallen" woman. Darcy doesn't marry on his level, his family is not pleased at all about his choice, he doesn't care and therefore I think he would have married her anyway.

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#77

4th March 2006, 12:06 PM

 

Cathy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starry

What's wrong with Mr Bennett? Apart from being fairly indolent and embarrasing them at the Netherfield party, he is intelligent, enjoys good and interesting company and is discerning. I think Lizzy in particular takes after her father.

 

I thought that the reason Darcy had tried to convince Lydia to leave Wickham was because he couldn't imagine her being happy with him (and he's right). When she insists I can see him shrugging and thinking on your own head be it

 

 

I used to like Mr Bennett too, but more and more I can see where he goes so wrong (I'm basing this on stuff Elizabeth sees wrong with him too):

1. He talks to and of his wife unrespectfully, even though she has major faults, he shouldn't ridicule her (Elizabeth thinks at some point that she can see how wrong this is and that it is a poor substitute for a good marriage).

2. Not saving money for his children to inherit.

3. Embarrassing Mary at the ball at Netherfield.

4. Not seeing soon enough the dangers of Lydia's behaviour.

5. Being generally inconsiderate e.g. not telling anyone of Mr Collins' arrival till the day itself!

 

I like very much to think Darcy would move mountains to marry Lizzy, and that the important thing isn't what would have happened if he hadn't sorted Lydia out, it is that of course he did because he is Darcy and he can do anything...I do find it slightly sinister though that the alternative given to Lydia (rather than marry Wickham) is to be properly hidden away somewhere - disappereared, pretty much. There wasn't really an alternative at that time so it isn't surprising.

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#78

5th March 2006, 10:06 AM

 

Amanda Grange

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathy

I do find it slightly sinister though that the alternative given to Lydia (rather than marry Wickham) is to be properly hidden away somewhere - disappereared, pretty much. There wasn't really an alternative at that time so it isn't surprising.

 

 

I've never read it like this. When Mrs Gardiner tells Lizzy about Darcy's involvement in Lydia's marriage, she says: "His first object . . . had been to persuade her (Lydia) to quit her present disgraceful situation, and return to her friends as soon as they could be prevailed on to receive her . .. "

 

I've always taken this to mean that he tried to persuade her to return to the Forsters in Brighton, so that she could then go back to Longbourne at the end of her Brighton stay without anyone at home (apart from her family) being any the wiser about her escapade. If the Bennets had said nothing to their neighbours, then this would have worked as a way of saving Lydia's reputation.

 

As to whether Darcy would have married Lizzy anyway, the answer, imo, is yes!

 

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5th March 2006, 02:54 PM

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathy

I used to like Mr Bennett too, but more and more I can see where he goes so wrong (I'm basing this on stuff Elizabeth sees wrong with him too):

1. He talks to and of his wife unrespectfully, even though she has major faults, he shouldn't ridicule her (Elizabeth thinks at some point that she can see how wrong this is and that it is a poor substitute for a good marriage).

2. Not saving money for his children to inherit.

3. Embarrassing Mary at the ball at Netherfield.

4. Not seeing soon enough the dangers of Lydia's behaviour.

5. Being generally inconsiderate e.g. not telling anyone of Mr Collins' arrival till the day itself!

 

 

1) I would defy anyone to live with Mrs Bennett and not tease her Though I agree with Lizzy that it a poor substitute for a good marriage, but as far as I can see he does keep his teasing of her within the family.

2) Ah, but he was to have had a son! Poor Mr Bennett doesn't have the gift of foresight (as proven by his marriage to Mrs Bennett)

3) Definitely a character flaw

4) Another character flaw, covered in my book by his indolence. I think he was really thinking of all the peaceful hours he could have in his library and at the dinner table while Lydia was away.

5) I'm inclined to think that this is more to do with being a man in that century that being generally inconsiderate. He must have confidence in Mrs Bennett's housekeeping skills to spring an extra visitor on her at such short notice

 

Overall I'm inclined to think that Mr Bennett knows how to be well-behaved and well-bred and taught his eldest girls accordingly, but chooses not to at home (and sometimes abroad).

 

#80

6th March 2006, 08:07 PM

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I think from Jane Austen's point of view, Mr Bennett is just too laid back. Disappointed in love - Mrs Bennett bores the pants of him by this stage, not literally of course, but after spending one-and-twenty years inseminating her with daughters, and listening to her mindless if understandable chatter he’s had enough by the time the event in the novel take place- he’s become a cynical but passive observer. He is still a lovable character of course. Following Lizzie and Fitzwilliam's marriage he finds space and good company at Pemberly.

 

Like many literary characters, Mr Bennett is a combination of faults and graces and Lizzie loves him dearly.

 

Kate

 

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6th March 2006, 08:17 PM

 

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Welcome to BGO Kate, it's good to have your input.

 

#82

6th March 2006, 11:24 PM

 

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Quote:

Mr Bennett is just too laid back . . . and listening to her mindless if understandable chatter he’s had enough by the time the event in the novel take place- he’s become a cynical but passive observer.

 

 

One of the things I liked about the new film was that it showed me Mr Bennet in a new light, as a man outnumbered by the six females in his family. I'd never thought about it before, but he had no one to discuss masculine things with, and I'm not surprised he was bored by constant talk of gowns, balls and marriage.

 

#83

9th March 2006, 04:56 PM

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I couldn't bear to watch the new adaptation - I watched a section with the 'You must allow me to tell you' speech from Darcy and the actor was so cold it made me wince with horror. Where was the passion? The fervour? The excitement and disappointment? He may as well have been told that he wasn't getting a cowboy cake for his birthday! Not my idea of Darcy at all.

 

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

I once read that Austen wrote a letter to a friend explaining that Kitty married a tradesman and Mary a clergyman years after Jane and Lizzy got married. Has anybody else heard that or have I gone doolally after too many years re-reading the same book?

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9th March 2006, 05:38 PM

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

So true!

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#84

9th March 2006, 05:38 PM

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

So true!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I once read that Austen wrote a letter to a friend explaining that Kitty married a tradesman and Mary a clergyman years after Jane and Lizzy got married. Has anybody else heard that or have I gone doolally after too many years re-reading the same book?

 

No, you're right. I read that, as well. I don't remember where but will try to find it. I remember that Mary married a lawyer (like her aunt) and Kitty a clergyman. I am sure about Kitty because I was surprised, I would have imagined Mary, as well.

Once I found it, I'll get back to this.

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#85

9th March 2006, 07:46 PM

 

Amanda Grange

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It's in A Memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew.

 

http://labrocca.com/ja/mja-ch10.html

 

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9th March 2006, 09:52 PM

 

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Thanks, Amanda, this one is good but I've seen a larger one that also includes something about Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. Still not found, though.*

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Isn't it often said that a lot of features jump a generation, so maybe Jane and Elizabeth came after their grandparents? I think the main reason they turn out different from the others is that there are so many children in such a short time that Mrs. Bennett does not have enough energy to devote to all of her girls. Lydia seems to be most like Mrs. Bennett and therefore gets most of the attention and encouragement. I have seen this in modern families but I think it was even worse 200 years ago, children were not there to be loved and to be given all the attention of the parents.

Would Darcy have wanted to marry Elizabeth even if Lydia had ended up not marrying Wickham and therefore being a "fallen" woman. Darcy doesn't marry on his level, his family is not pleased at all about his choice, he doesn't care and therefore I think he would have married her anyway.

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* #77 *

4th March 2006, 12:06 PM

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starry

What's wrong with Mr Bennett? Apart from being fairly indolent and embarrasing them at the Netherfield party, he is intelligent, enjoys good and interesting company and is discerning. I think Lizzy in particular takes after her father.

 

I thought that the reason Darcy had tried to convince Lydia to leave Wickham was because he couldn't imagine her being happy with him (and he's right). When she insists I can see him shrugging and thinking on your own head be it

 

 

I used to like Mr Bennett too, but more and more I can see where he goes so wrong (I'm basing this on stuff Elizabeth sees wrong with him too):

1. He talks to and of his wife unrespectfully, even though she has major faults, he shouldn't ridicule her (Elizabeth thinks at some point that she can see how wrong this is and that it is a poor substitute for a good marriage).

2. Not saving money for his children to inherit.

3. Embarrassing Mary at the ball at Netherfield.

4. Not seeing soon enough the dangers of Lydia's behaviour.

5. Being generally inconsiderate e.g. not telling anyone of Mr Collins' arrival till the day itself!

 

I like very much to think Darcy would move mountains to marry Lizzy, and that the important thing isn't what would have happened if he hadn't sorted Lydia out, it is that of course he did because he is Darcy and he can do anything...I do find it slightly sinister though that the alternative given to Lydia (rather than marry Wickham) is to be properly hidden away somewhere - disappereared, pretty much. There wasn't really an alternative at that time so it isn't surprising.

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* #78 *

5th March 2006, 10:06 AM

 

Amanda Grange

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathy

I do find it slightly sinister though that the alternative given to Lydia (rather than marry Wickham) is to be properly hidden away somewhere - disappereared, pretty much. There wasn't really an alternative at that time so it isn't surprising.

 

 

I've never read it like this. When Mrs Gardiner tells Lizzy about Darcy's involvement in Lydia's marriage, she says: "His first object . . . had been to persuade her (Lydia) to quit her present disgraceful situation, and return to her friends as soon as they could be prevailed on to receive her . .. "

 

I've always taken this to mean that he tried to persuade her to return to the Forsters in Brighton, so that she could then go back to Longbourne at the end of her Brighton stay without anyone at home (apart from her family) being any the wiser about her escapade. If the Bennets had said nothing to their neighbours, then this would have worked as a way of saving Lydia's reputation.

 

As to whether Darcy would have married Lizzy anyway, the answer, imo, is yes!

 

* #79 *

5th March 2006, 02:54 PM

 

Starry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathy

I used to like Mr Bennett too, but more and more I can see where he goes so wrong (I'm basing this on stuff Elizabeth sees wrong with him too):

1. He talks to and of his wife unrespectfully, even though she has major faults, he shouldn't ridicule her (Elizabeth thinks at some point that she can see how wrong this is and that it is a poor substitute for a good marriage).

2. Not saving money for his children to inherit.

3. Embarrassing Mary at the ball at Netherfield.

4. Not seeing soon enough the dangers of Lydia's behaviour.

5. Being generally inconsiderate e.g. not telling anyone of Mr Collins' arrival till the day itself!

 

 

1) I would defy anyone to live with Mrs Bennett and not tease her Though I agree with Lizzy that it a poor substitute for a good marriage, but as far as I can see he does keep his teasing of her within the family.

2) Ah, but he was to have had a son! Poor Mr Bennett doesn't have the gift of foresight (as proven by his marriage to Mrs Bennett)

3) Definitely a character flaw

4) Another character flaw, covered in my book by his indolence. I think he was really thinking of all the peaceful hours he could have in his library and at the dinner table while Lydia was away.

5) I'm inclined to think that this is more to do with being a man in that century that being generally inconsiderate. He must have confidence in Mrs Bennett's housekeeping skills to spring an extra visitor on her at such short notice

 

Overall I'm inclined to think that Mr Bennett knows how to be well-behaved and well-bred and taught his eldest girls accordingly, but chooses not to at home (and sometimes abroad).

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* #80 *

6th March 2006, 08:07 PM

Kate Redux

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I think from Jane Austen's point of view, Mr Bennett is just too laid back. Disappointed in love - Mrs Bennett bores the pants of him by this stage, not literally of course, but after spending one-and-twenty years inseminating her with daughters, and listening to her mindless if understandable chatter he’s had enough by the time the event in the novel take place- he’s become a cynical but passive observer. He is still a lovable character of course. Following Lizzie and Fitzwilliam's marriage he finds space and good company at Pemberly.

 

Like many literary characters, Mr Bennett is a combination of faults and graces and Lizzie loves him dearly.

 

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* #81 *

6th March 2006, 08:17 PM

 

megustaleer

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Welcome to BGO Kate, it's good to have your input.

 

* #82 *

6th March 2006, 11:24 PM

 

Amanda Grange

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Quote:

Mr Bennett is just too laid back . . . and listening to her mindless if understandable chatter he’s had enough by the time the event in the novel take place- he’s become a cynical but passive observer.

 

 

One of the things I liked about the new film was that it showed me Mr Bennet in a new light, as a man outnumbered by the six females in his family. I'd never thought about it before, but he had no one to discuss masculine things with, and I'm not surprised he was bored by constant talk of gowns, balls and marriage.

 

* #83 *

9th March 2006, 04:56 PM

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I couldn't bear to watch the new adaptation - I watched a section with the 'You must allow me to tell you' speech from Darcy and the actor was so cold it made me wince with horror. Where was the passion? The fervour? The excitement and disappointment? He may as well have been told that he wasn't getting a cowboy cake for his birthday! Not my idea of Darcy at all.

 

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

I once read that Austen wrote a letter to a friend explaining that Kitty married a tradesman and Mary a clergyman years after Jane and Lizzy got married. Has anybody else heard that or have I gone doolally after too many years re-reading the same book?

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* #84 *

9th March 2006, 05:38 PM

 

Momo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

So true!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I once read that Austen wrote a letter to a friend explaining that Kitty married a tradesman and Mary a clergyman years after Jane and Lizzy got married. Has anybody else heard that or have I gone doolally after too many years re-reading the same book?

 

No, you're right. I read that, as well. I don't remember where but will try to find it. I remember that Mary married a lawyer (like her aunt) and Kitty a clergyman. I am sure about Kitty because I was surprised, I would have imagined Mary, as well.

Once I found it, I'll get back to this.

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* #85 *

9th March 2006, 07:46 PM

 

Amanda Grange

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It's in A Memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew.

 

http://labrocca.com/ja/mja-ch10.html

 

* #86 *

9th March 2006, 09:52 PM

 

Momo

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Thanks, Amanda, this one is good but I've seen a larger one that also includes something about Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. Still not found, though.

 

* #87 *

10th March 2006, 12:41 PM

 

Cathy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyBennet

I couldn't bear to watch the new adaptation - I watched a section with the 'You must allow me to tell you' speech from Darcy and the actor was so cold it made me wince with horror. Where was the passion? The fervour? The excitement and disappointment? He may as well have been told that he wasn't getting a cowboy cake for his birthday! Not my idea of Darcy at all.

 

I feel really sorry for Mr Bennet all the way through the book though - he's a bad father in lots of ways (insulting them all the time being my personal favourite) but he really does try to do his best in other ways. He gives respect to the women in his family who have earned it (Lizzy and Jane) but teases the others to alleviate his own frustration at living with a pack of twittering idiots. I think lots of fathers would be just as scathing if they had to live with Lydia, Kitty and Mary!

 

I once read that Austen wrote a letter to a friend explaining that Kitty married a tradesman and Mary a clergyman years after Jane and Lizzy got married. Has anybody else heard that or have I gone doolally after too many years re-reading the same book?

 

 

I'm so glad I've found a fan who agrees with me - it was dreadful!!!!

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* #88 *

10th March 2006, 12:52 PM

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Re: latest film version,

I have to disagree, I thought there was a lot of energy in this production and the screen writer did a great job condensing the novel. I did, however, have the misfortune to see the alternative American ending on the UK DVD...pass the sick bag.

 

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* #89 *

10th March 2006, 01:30 PM

LizzyBennet

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They REWROTE the ending?! Surely that's heresy and is punishable with a swift kick up the bum? I think my slightly coloured view of the new adaptation was based on the fact that I thought right from the start that the main parts were miscast and therefore didn't/couldn't/wouldn't give it a chance. I'm still in love with the Darcy in my head from the novel (with clear elements of Colin Firth). And the Darcy in the novel (for me) wasn't the one in the new adaptation. Mind you, I think a lot of the Hollywood versions have been average or appalling. The one I really like (despite its major changes to the novel) is Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson. That really worked for me (if you overlook the age of Em as Elinor).

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* #90 *

12th March 2006, 12:00 PM

 

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The American ending showed Darcy and Lizzy in a state of deshabille in front of Pemberley - this was what I really objected to, as it looked like bluescreen to me, though I can't be sure, but something about the size of them in the foreground and the size of Pemberley in the background didn't look right - and I wasn't keen on Darcy's shirt, as it looked like muslin and too much like a nightgown, but anyway, the scene has the two of them kneeling on a rug outside at night.

 

Darcy asks what he's to call her, and she says something like wonderful pearl, and he says, how about Mrs Darcy, and she says, you can only use that on occasions when you're deliriously happy, so he says Mrs Darcy and kisses her, then Mrs Darcy and kisses her again . . . then says Mrs Darcy and kisses her again . . .

 

. . . which either makes people go Aaaa, or, as Kate says, Pass the sick bag.

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