Thursday, March 21, 2013

Classics Club: March Meme

The Classics Club March Meme is:

Do you love Jane Austen or want to “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone”? (Phrase borrowed from Mark Twain).
  1. Why? (for either answer)?
  2. Favorite and/or least favorite Austen novel?
I am a thorough Austen enthusiast.  I love her language, her delicate satire, her realistic (but humorous) portrayal of her society, and how she manages to protest against that society while simultaneously poking fun at it and remaining a practically-minded matter-of-fact Georgian---all at the same time.

I suspect that Miss Austen must have been one of the first novelists to have female heroines who were real people with faults and moral failings to overcome.  The predecessors of Emma Woodhouse and Lizzie Bennett were more like Clarissa Harlowe or Evelina Anville: angelically good and beautiful girls whose virtue lay in their passivity.  What a contrast!

I never know which book is my favorite, but Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion are certainly near the top.  I can't really choose though; they are all wonderful.  I even like Mansfield Park pretty well.

My husband disagrees with me, and is definitely in the shin-bone camp with Mark Twain.  He does, however, do a really great impression of Mrs. Bennett from the A&E production of Pride & Prejudice, and he even bought me the mini-series on DVD for my birthday years ago, so he gets a pass from me.  This video is his favorite Austen-themed video clip, from the classic great show Red Dwarf.  You can see the sort of thing he prefers. :)


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