(For those without volume numbers, that’s chapter 26 through chapter 33.)
Well, at least she picks her battles: Fanny may not be able to get past the ha-ha or figure out which necklace to wear, but at least she stands her ground through the Henry Crawford proposal debacle—even when everybody around her is TERRIBLE about it. At least she has a fire* (finally) to sit and brood over. If only someone would get the poor girl a drink.
* HOWEVER. Sir Thomas! Fire or no fire, is that any way to speak to a lady? Or, like, a human being? Get it together, man! It’s the nineteenth century!
Various and sundry thoughts:
The necklace situation was goofy—she gave it to you, and it’s fine, and jeez, calm down—but I did love the way Jane captured the moment of ridiculous relief when something stressful is resolved without the expected amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Fanny’s “darn, looks like your chain’s too big for my cross” moment was like that split second where you think you’re about to be sent to the principal’s office, but the hall monitor’s after the kid next to you. That’s it? The chain’s too big? Well, then.
So sorry to hear about “…that independence of spirit, which prevails so much in modern days, even in young women, and which in young women is offensive and disgusting beyond all common offence.” Somehow I don’t think Sir Thomas would be that excited about the ladies of Austenacious. Whoops.
And finally, I’ve been holding this in for entirely too long and I think it’s time I let it all out: I suspect whoever cast Billie Piper in that BBC version may ALSO have never read the novel. I love me some Rose Tyler—like, a lot—but that? Is a horrendous idea. TAKE IT BACK.
How’s the reading going, people? Fourteen chapters and counting! And where the heck is Edmund? Come back, Edmund. Unless you’re just going to be stupid and marry Mary, in which case…go away, Edmund.
So, how can I put this? Let’s see. Okay, so. Sometimes, it seems to me that Austen adaptations are…shall we say, remiss in failing to offer a satisfying ending? Failing to seal the deal, if you know what I mean? Sure, Lizzy and Darcy end up in the Carriage of Loooove at the end of the 1995 adaptation, but what’s with the little peck as they’re driving off (frozen for effect, even—what, BBC, do you think we didn’t see what you did there, you dirty cheaters)? And, really, nothing for Jane and Bingley? They’re going to get a complex, people. Even Emma Thompson’s Elinor promptly explodes with emotion when Edward turns out not to be married—but does she sweep him off his feet and carry him away, complete with soaring music and distracting crane-shot camera work? Spoiler alert: she does not. And oh, sure, maybe it’s not in the book, exactly, but then neither is a thirty-six-year-old Elinor, a Jane Bennet that looks vaguely like a Greek statue, or that awesome cake on a pedestal (with ribbons!) at the end of Sense and Sensibility. I stand by what I say: more kissing, please! Jane won’t mind.
Thankfully, there are some recent Austen adaptations that seek to remedy the situation, and I think this sort of thing requires some, uh, research. Or, more specifically, a poll. Here are seven ending scenes from relatively recent Austen adaptations, all of them containing some sort of kissy-kissy true-love moment. Inquiring minds want to know: Austenacious readers, which is your favorite, and why? If there’s one that isn’t listed here, what is it (and why couldn’t we find it)?
Pride and Prejudice 1995
Mansfield Park 1999
Pride and Prejudice 2005
Northanger Abbey 2007
Mansfield Park 2007