Do you ever wonder whether or not (if you have children) your children will grow up to be like you at all—in personality and tastes? I’ve always feared I would have a kid who uses bad grammar, hates reading, and loves the Yankees. One can only hope some of the things we love can be passed on and shared. Recently, one of my girlfriends introduced her 11-year-old daughter to Jane Austen. Here’s a compilation of our FB conversations.
Mrs. Light: To counteract Mr. Light’s ST:TNG summer marathon, I started Mags on Jane Austen movies. Mansfield Park was first—loved it…then Sense and Sensibility, then Emma. Now we are 3 episodes into P&P…she’s addicted. Last night it took away the night-before-school-start jitters. All she could say was, “Darcy is a jerk! Can we watch another tomorrow?” She tried to read Sense at the beginning of the summer. I think seeing the movie will ease the language for her.
Miss Osborne: That’s terrific! And yes, Darcy is a total jerk…in the beginning…
Mr. Light: No! THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!!!!!
Miss Osborne: I heard there were 5 lights.
Mrs. Light: Tonight it all changed…@ Pemberley. Episode 4: I could see it in Mag’s face…suddenly Darcy’s lookin’ good…
Miss Osborne: I think you’ll need to also do a viewing of the short movie with Matthew MacFadyen…just to see what her thoughts are on a different version of P&P.
Miss Osborne: And yes, who wouldn’t be impressed with Pemberley? (“Does the young lady know the master?”)
Mrs. Light: I couldn’t accept him…too sad looking and altho greater in stature than Firth, no where near as grand…or SEX-SAAAAAAA!
Miss Osborne: I like MacFadyen from the early years of MI-5, but clearly he’s no match for HisRoyalFirthyGoodness.
Mrs. Light: I think Firthy has a permanent Darcy-shaped corner in an incalculable number of women’s hearts.
Mrs. Light: Add one 11-year-old girl’s.
Miss Osborne: Inquiring minds want to know…what does Mags think of the massive Regency sideburns?
Mrs. Light: After Mansfield (which was the fashion shock), she laughed a bit at Sense and the sideburns. Had to get over Snape being Colonel Brandon—and me swooning over him. By Emma, she was used to the hair—and the weird man pants and the bonnets. If anything she is starting to say which dresses are pretty and which aren’t.
Mrs. Light: I think Firthy has won her heart.
Miss Osborne: I just LOVE it! When she’s old enough, she should see Truly Madly Deeply to see Alan Rickman in a romantic role. (Tho, of course, I love him in Die Hard and that stupid Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, too.)
Mrs. Light: If I were Maid Marion, I would have pillaged the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Miss Osborne: Hahahaha! Dirty.
Mrs. Light: Oh! And she is already dissecting Jane’s plot construction and making predictions based on what she knows of how she writes about society…I may explode with joy!
Mrs. Light: It’s fabulous to hear her say, “Please…one more episode!”
Mrs. Light: We watched the rest of P&P yesterday, picking up back at the inn at Lambton when Darcy brings Georgiana to meet Lizzy. Mags was done—cooked—totally smitten with Mr D. All of the gazing back and forth…I’m so happy that this is her introduction to what “romance” is. (Yeah yeah…I know I won’t being hearing from Gloria Steinem.) Mags was outraged by Lydia running off with Wickham. Brighton must have been the Jersey Shore of it’s day, and Lydia is Snookie. It all unwinds too quickly at the end. We both longed to savor the moments when Lizzy concedes her love for Darcy. The final stroll when she tells him…Mags said, “They didn’t kiss! When are they gonna kiss!?” Then they do, and it’s over, and she said “NOOOOOO! It can’t be over! What happens next? I want to see what else happens to them!” Don’t we all?
And there you have it…one girl’s introduction to the world of Jane Austen!