Austenacious readers, today’s post is not for you. Today’s post is for your loved ones—those wishing/required to give you a gift this holiday season. Specifically, those hoping not to find themselves in a picked-over Walgreens on Christmas Eve (or, you know, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa Eve), weighing the costs and benefits of a pair of LED-lighted Babylon 5 socks. So just hand this on over to them, and you’re welcome.
To the friends and family of the reader at hand, it’s nice to meet you. We’re here to help—we’ve scouted the coolest, funniest, prettiest, and Jane-iest stuff at our beloved Etsy and laid it out here for all your gift-giving needs. We recommend shopping early, as shipping time is of the essence, but we hope you’ll find what you’re looking for and give the Austen fan in your life something a little special to get excited about this season.
Students of modern typography and/or fictional geography, take heart! Brooke and Justin made you a shirt. From Longbourn all the way to Pemberley, this top is stylish and modern, and also offers endless chances to say to yourself, “IN CHEAPSIDE!” (Austenites, you know what I mean. Confused non-Austenites, nothing to see here. Except a really cool shirt that your loved one will wear all the time.)
Are you looking for a way to show your lady friend how much you care? Has it been more than half a decade? Are you handsome, and basically a friendly pirate? This print commemorating the proposal of Captain Frederick Wentworth to his once and future intended, Anne Elliot, should do the trick. Also comes in black on white.
Wrap your favorite Austenite in romantic angst this holiday season. Like, literally. Around the neck. But not like a psychopath! More like a Naval captain who’s been pining for his ex-girlfriend, who has, thankfully, been pining right back. Does that sound good? Then give someone this scarf. Also comes in Darcy’s proposal.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single lady in possession of a sense of adventure (so, not Fanny Price) must be in want of a nine-hundred-year-old anthropomorphic alien to whisk her around time and space in a blue police box and then probably be separated from her in some amazingly poetic and heartbreaking manner. At least, we THINK that’s how the saying goes. Anyway, anybody who loves Elizabeth Bennet AND Doctor Who cannot go wrong with this set of prints commemorating their theoretical meeting.
For all the essentials: pragmatic elder sister, romantic younger sister, handsome tool, guy who regrets promising himself to someone else, older gentleman who doesn’t mind an age difference. Also keys, phone, wallet, lip gloss, mints, emergency earrings, tiny notebook of mostly to-do lists and brunch menus, The New Yorker, half-empty tub of hummus. (Just me, then?) Also comes in Persuasion and, for the heavy packer in your life, Seven Novels.
I gotta tell you guys: I am having a Sense and Sensibility THING.
Do you all do this? A few years ago, I went through a phase where I re-read Pride and Prejudice, watched the Keira Knightley version, watched the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version, re-read Bridget Jones’s Diary, watched THAT movie a hundred million couple of times, sought out Bride and Prejudice…there are just a lot of Pride and Prejudice adaptations out there, and I watched and read a bunch of them, is what I’m saying. (I did not watch the 1980 BBC version, as this was before the days of this site and I didn’t know any better, but I want Mrs. Fitzpatrick to know that I hear her exasperation in my head retroactively.)
That was awhile back. Where this new Sense and Sensibility yen came from, I couldn’t say, but here we are.
Somewhat sacrilegiously, I think, I skipped the actual novel this time; I’ve read it relatively recently, and decided to opt for Netflix and instant gratification instead. And, okay, the pickings for Sense and Sensibility adaptations are slimmer than they are for Pride and Prejudice, but I think what Sense and Sensibility lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality: the modern adaptations of it are both excellent. (The other option here is From Prada to Nada, which I haven’t seen, but which has jumped up the Netflix queue in recent weeks.)
I don’t own a single adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, which now strikes me as completely insane. Why don’t I keep the Emma Thompson version on hand? I love the Emma Thompson version! (Fun fact: I have a clear memory of seeing it in the theater, then promptly and enthusiastically re-creating the entire plot for a friend the next day. This is, of course, why I’m so great at parties.) Being from the mind and the pen of Thompson herself, it understandably does many many things well; despite the 90210-ing of several actors’ ages, she makes it work (mostly). Elinor’s freakout at the end, in particular, never fails to impress.
(Speaking of the aging-up of actors, both modern adaptations cast Colonel Brandon as significantly older than he is in the book—fifty-one for Alan Rickman and forty-four for David Morrissey—which I think makes cultural sense, considering the shift in life expectancies since the good old days. Otherwise, the old dude is, like, Ryan Gosling or something.)
I remember liking the 2008 version very much…and then never tracking it down again. I’m now about halfway through, and enjoying it completely—among other things, it’s from that post-Ruth Wilson Jane Eyre period where the BBC decided to get with the times, visually, and it’s both true to the novel (despite some dialogue modernization magic on Andrew Davies’s part) and modern enough to appeal to a wider audience. I’m particularly loving Janet McTeer as Mrs. Dashwood and the girl who plays Margaret—Lucy Boynton, IMDB tells me, and she is comic gold here—and I have to say that if anybody is going to make a better Edward Ferrars than a young Hugh Grant(!), I think it has to be a young and extremely floppy-haired Dan Stevens, playing to type in the best way possible. (Will Edward and Elinor ever be able to express their sweet selves properly and live happily ever after? Don’t tell me how it ends!) (Poor Marianne. I love her, but I’m such a fan of Elinor that I tend to overlook her a bit. Also, ever since Miss Osborne brought it up, I’ve been a little horrified that she ends up with only a nice, relatively happy marriage to the good Colonel.)
Since I took up this new, uh, interest, I’ve been thinking about what makes Sense and Sensibility such a crowd-pleaser. Why do I recommend it to so many new Austen readers? Why does it lend itself to such good adaptations? But also, why is it similar to Pride and Prejudice but always a little in its shadow? My current theories have to do with the simplicity of the story and the relatively small cast of characters (compared to, say, Pride and Prejudice or Mansfield Park); it’s a pleasant story with something for everybody, regardless of temperament; on the other hand, maybe neither Elinor nor Marianne carries as much sparkle as Elizabeth Bennet. I don’t know. So many thoughts! What do you think, readers?
Welcome, yogis, to Jane-asana, and thank you for taking this time out of your day to do something good for your body and spirit. Today we’ll be focusing on core strength, flexibility, and deep truths about life and love, while finding our inner plucky heroines and searching for love among our intellectual and emotional equals. Any requests today? Handsome scoundrels? Yes—I think we can work that in.
Cow Pose: Kneel on all fours. Inhaling, drop the belly, finding a back bend and allowing your head to rise last. Make mean comments about the countryside and about your crush’s crush’s dirty hem. Find yourself summarily smacked down, to the remorse of absolutely nobody.
Peaceful Warrior (for Colonel Brandon): With one leg bent deeply and the other straight and strong through the knee, windmill your arms up to horizontal for Warrior II pose. With the breath and finding a back bend, drop the back arm down the hamstring and raise the front arm vertically, as if it were a bow. Wear flannel waistcoats, provide for the abandoned illegitimate daughter of another man, and eventually marry a much younger woman, whom you love for her emotional acuity.
Wild Thing Pose: Beginning in Downward Dog, flip your dog by lifting one hand and flipping upside down in the opposite direction, supporting yourself in a back bend with both feet and the remaining hand. Extend the leg on the same side as the supporting hand, and with the non-supporting hand, make a clawing motion. Run off to Scotland with a handsome scoundrel, only to return and brag obliviously to your sisters when he’s been forced to marry you. Hope for the best.
“Captain Wentworth is on a” Boat Pose: Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend one leg and then the other, shifting your weight backwards so that your torso and upper legs form a V and your lower legs are parallel to the ground. Lift one arm and then the other to extend alongside your legs parallel to the ground. Pine. Repeat for seven years, then return to check out the situation with the girl you secretly wanted to marry this whole time.
Corpse Pose (Mrs. Woodhouse-asana/Mr. Dashwood-asana): Settle onto your back with the legs as wide as your mat, allowing the feet to splay sideways. Allow the arms to fall at a forty-five-degree angle to the body, or, if it helps you to connect with your inner Mrs. Woodhouse, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Allow the spine to become long, tucking your chin slightly. Remain here until your daughter marries a nice but vaguely judgmental young man. And, well, beyond.
Why, Colonel Brandon! How nice of you to drop by! And may I say how dashing you look—I’m sure Mrs. Brandon is quite proud! I didn’t know colonels could be promoted to admirals—I thought admirals were navy only? … Oh, really? How kind of Miss Austen!
And this must be Captain Picard, I mean, Wentworth, of course! A natural for the admiralty! Do I think Persuasion is ripe for a slightly more … mature… adaptation? Is it me, or is it getting very warm in here? Miss Osborne? Oh, she’s fainted. Miss Ball, stick a pillow under her head, would you?
Mr. Downey, do you know I don’t know why you have that on at all. Is it Iron Man, or Sherlock Holmes, or just some cosplay? Oh, Mr. Wickham makes admiral, does he? Anything is possible, I guess. And, uh, I think I finally see Lydia’s point. So! Moving on!
Did I just say anything is possible? I take it back. Shatner, stop staring at me like that or I’ll push you into the ha-ha. What? You’re Mary and Henry Crawford’s uncle? The Admiral Crawford who’s steeped in sin and vice? I certainly can believe it! Now I understand their messed up personalities so much better!
SO nice of you to call, gentlemen! Do stop by anytime you’re passing. We love us some gold tassels around here.
Photo credit: I don’t know who to credit for this, but would love to, as it’s awesome! Let us know if you do.
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!
Editor’s Note: I (heart) Star Trek and all of it’s incarnations. (Well, except for Enterprise because it was dumb.) The contents of this conversation by no means represents any mockery of Mr. Light’s scifi choices. Mr. and Mrs. Light took me to my very first Star Trek convention, and for that I will forever be grateful.
Photo Credit: Image borrowed from Read Jane.
Well, it’s happened. The lovely Miss Mason has drawn my attention to a new Jane Austen video game: Matches and Matrimony. In this “visual novel,” Reflexive Arcade’s Russell Carroll does something new—he mashes up three Austen novels with each other. Here is a turn no one had thought of! I don’t have a PC, so I haven’t played, but Emily Short over at Gamasutra gives an in-depth review (also funny for her exhaustive—one hopes—list of Austen fanfic). Apparently you play Elizabeth Bennet, and your goal is to marry Mr. Darcy. Or, if you fail with him, Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth show up in their turns for you to take a shot at.
Does the deep irony of this strike anyone but me? Who wrote this game, Mrs. Bennet?! When was it Lizzie’s goal to marry Mr. Darcy? When was it Marianne’s goal to marry Col. Brandon?? Not even after she did, you could argue! It was not even Anne Elliot’s goal to marry Capt. Wentworth, though she wanted to. Any and all of these ladies would scorn to set their cap at any man, to scheme and plan and work on pleasing him—for that is how you move ahead in the game. Uh, excuse me? This is the behavior of Caroline Bingley, not Elizabeth Bennet. And we know how that match-up turned out!
In this same vein, Jane Austen’s Games is working on a game called Matchmaker. Sigh. At least there you’ll be the mother trying to marry your daughter off, and not the daughter herself.
Do you know, this actually makes me wish for Wii games with heroines in Regency dresses and corsets where if you took a deep breath your avatar would faint, and for Jane Austen first-person shooters in which you lose a life (social) if your petticoat gets dirty.
Seriously, though, assuming such a thing was necessary, how would you envision a Jane Austen video game? I think it’d have to be like The Sims or Second Life. (The aforementioned Miss Mason did build her own Pemberley in The Sims, so she’s been onto this for awhile.) Austen wrote about daily life and realistic encounters with family, friends, and local annoying people. Her heroines moved within strict boundaries, which makes programming their choices simpler, perhaps, but they were searching for happiness. That did mean moving away from home and marrying, but that did not, as Lizzie tells Jane, make marriage a goal to be worked towards. It’s a subtle story, and not one that lends itself to dramatic game-play or special effects. So my game would just be a Regency world where you have to act properly or take the consequences, but in which you’d be as you chose. Finding love and happiness would be, well, exactly like in real life. Without Austen’s voice telling those stories, I don’t know how compelling it would be, but Electronic Arts would probably go for it. There’s already a Sims: Medieval, apparently.
However, even Austen heroines kicking unrealistic butt with major weaponry sounds better than Austen heroines competing on The (Regency) Bachelor.
For the first time in a good long while, we have a Disney fairy tale on our hands—a true “Once Upon a Time,” sugar-coated Grimm’s-ripoff fairy tale—and all the buzz over this Rapunzel business has the generic Prince Charming type on my mind. Surprise! But really: his name is Charming. Blame me if you must.
Jane, of course, isn’t in the business of fairy tales. Happy endings? Yes. True love’s kiss? Usually. But Jane is fundamentally a realist, and in her version of Regency England, sometimes perfectly intelligent and likeable ladies end up with guys like Mr. Collins—who never turns into a prince, no matter how many kisses he gets (to be fair: twice, max).
Oddly enough, with a slight change of scene and a good fairy godmother, many of the heroines of the Austen universe would make pretty good fairy tale princesses, or princesses-to-be—think smart, dreamy, plucky, maybe a bit bossy (ahem, Miss Woodhouse), and generally virtuous even in the case of undeserved poverty. The men, however, definitely tend away from the Prince Charming type—probably, to be honest, because Austen took the time to develop her gentlemen in a way that isn’t on the menu for most Disneyfied princes. They’re handsome, those princes, but let’s say complex emotional arcs aren’t exactly their bag (though 30 Rock tells me that Prince Eric, the gold standard for animated hotness, was based on fictional Jon Hamm‘s high school swim team photo—and I’ll take that fake fact to my grave).
Sorry, Austen gents. We’re taking away your…well, whatever it is you call a prince’s little crown (tiaros?), and here’s why:
Mr. Darcy: Prince on the inside, Beast on the outside. Surely in possession of a trusty steed (for that fifty miles of good road) and a true heart, but a bit on the oversensitive side. Definitely doesn’t hold with fairy godmothers; is probably made extra cranky by extraneous acts of the supernatural.
Mr. Knightley: Definitely the most outwardly princely of the bunch—handsome and well-intentioned, and ripe for occasional high-horse unseating at the hands of his lady love, which of course is always a nice touch. Prone to snootiness and angry speeches—theoretically appropriate for the position, but ultimately unbecoming to a man with the last name Charming (who, remember, may eventually need to get it on with a very recent scullery maid).
Captain Wentworth: He’s a pirate, not a prince. I mean, come on.
Col. Brandon – Too old for the Prince Eric treatment. Also, princes don’t have wards or wear flannel waistcoats. Unlikely to burst into song.
Henry Tilney – Okay, cute and clever. He’s the prince’s bookish little brother—sarcastic, and into a good novel and the price of muslin. Possibly too detail-oriented and not take-charge enough for the average dragon-slaying mission, though excellent for an entertaining retelling later.
Edmund Bertram – A clergyman! And not even a first-rate one! Certainly a good guy, but too much in need of a rich princess to bail him out of his own financial duress.
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
First of all…huh? This woman wants to dance with Obama/Darcy instead of a husband? Is this a War on Husbands? Yeah, man. HUSBANDS SUCK.
Second, what’s with people who use the men of Austen as a shorthand for exotic romantic heroes?
As I see it, there are two options here: either people who do this have not read Jane Austen, or they have read Jane Austen and then had their memories wiped by aliens. Take your pick.
It’s not that the Austen men aren’t romantic; they are. I think we can all (mostly) find common ground in the notion that our heroines’ love interests smolder on at least an occasional, private basis. But Jane is nothing if not consistent: nice guys finish first, and guys with wicked notions of sweeping ladies off their feet finish in disgrace (and, in my imagination, duels). Yes, Darcy scours the countryside in the dark of night, looking for Lydia and Wickham, but he does so because he cares for Lizzy, not because he’s into midnight scavenger hunts—and I wouldn’t call him “dashing” so much as “painfully awkward, yet rich.” Captain Wentworth is a sailor, but he’s been pining for nearly a decade and is ultimately just looking for some monogamy. Both Knightley and Henry Tilney like giving advice to the flighty. Colonel Brandon wears—wait for it—a flannel waistcoat! He’s practically Mr. Rogers! So: romantic, yes, but maybe not quite Romantic in the technical sense.
Furthermore, Jane warns us of the dangers of dashing young men to a degree that borders on silly: in each novel, any man who seems like fun from the get-go, is a hit with the ladies (on purpose), or otherwise seems too good to be true, gets pegged as a scoundrel—by Jane and by the reader, if not by the characters in the novel—at a hundred paces. In Jane’s world, sweeping the ladies off their feet (without a very impressive show of loyalty and/or self-sacrifice, at least) isn’t an indicator of hero status; it’s a giant red flag and a cue to go looking for the faithful guy on the sidelines.
Perhaps this is part of Jane’s point: the difference between romance—true romance—and being swept away by a good horseman with an eye for pretty hat ribbons. It doesn’t lend itself well to use in unthinking literary allusions, but then, Jane probably wouldn’t mind that so much.
So where does this leave us? With a grudging understanding that people don’t understand the difference between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Rhett Butler? With a campaign for public education on the actual, and not assumed, characters in Austen’s novels (please send poster ideas to missb at austenacious dot com)? With a call for a national discussion on the nature of romance? Or maybe just a polite request and a library card. I don’t know.
But if anybody starts equating the President to everybody’s favorite cousin/suitor, I’m writing my representative.
It’s a quiet weekend night at Austenacious HQ (East). Miss Ball sits in silence, embroidering her Mr. Darcy Che Guevara chair seat covers and dreaming of men in top boots with well-stocked trout ponds and a passion for the working man.
F1rthygdness129: I’m so annoyed right now! I’m finally almost finished re-reading Sense & Sensibility, and the ending is ridiculous!
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: How so?
F1rthygdness129: They’re all totally pimping out Marianne to Colonel Brandon!
F1rthygdness129: “They each felt his sorrows and their own obligations, and Marianne, by general consent, was to be the reward of all.” The freakin’ REWARD of all. They all want Marianne to marry Brandon, and he deserves to have the girl he wants; therefore, of course she should marry him. WTF, mate?
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: Yeah, somehow my entire memory of the end stops with Elinor’s freak-out. Is that really how it goes down? Way to mentally fanfic a happier ending for Marianne, self.
F1rthygdness129: And it goes on: “With such a confederacy against her—with a knowledge so intimate of his goodness—with a conviction of his fond attachment to herself, which at last, though long after it was observable to everyone else, burst on her—what could she do?”
F1rthygdness129: WHAT COULD SHE DO? She could make up her own mind and heart and think for herself!
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: Somehow I think that if somebody had said that to Jane herself, there would have been words.
F1rthygdness129: (Totally unrelated, I just took a ginger cake out of the oven, and I’m dying for it to cool down so I can eat some. Mrs. F is going to be lucky if there’s any left for her when she comes over tomorrow night.)
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: This is like the world’s worst diet. “There’s cake…three thousand miles away. If you want it, WALK FOR IT.” Heh.
F1rthygdness129: Eventually, she really does fall in love with him, so it’s not like it’s TOTAL crap. “Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby.” But still…this wasn’t how I remembered the ending.
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: Me, neither, but I…kind of like it? I mean, not the practically arranged marriage part, but the part where she learns the subtleties of love through a slow-burn relationship. Especially if Colonel Brandon doesn’t suddenly take off his unsexy glasses, shake out his hair, and become somebody he clearly isn’t.
F1rthygdness129: Heh. Did you ever watch Smallville? I was all about Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. But mostly I watched because the TWoP reviews were HI-larious! But I digress. At least Austen reminds us that Willoughby is still a big douchebag.
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: …Apparently the great Internet spell-checker in the sky doesn’t think “douchebag” is a word.
F1rthygdness129: When he shows up and talks to Elinor (as Marianne is on her death-flu-bed), Elinor finds herself feeling sorry for Willoughby. And eventually everyone sort of softens toward him. But on the last page of the book, we’re told that Willoughby—despite knowing that he screwed it all up—still finds plenty of enjoyment in his activities, marriage, and life in general. So despite his sort-of redemption, Austen takes him down a peg. Yay for that!
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: And that’s really all we need: to rightfully hate the douchey guy.
F1rthygdness129: That, and cake.
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: And cake.
F1rthygdness129: Speaking of which…
LadyCatherinedeBlerg: …Yeah. Priorities. I’ll see you later.