Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mr. Collins to the Rescue!

by Anna Campbell


It's my first review with the Dishies! Hiya Gannon, PJ, Buffie and Andrea! Not to mention my Bandita pal Trish Milburn. I'm stoked to be working with you! This site is going to become a phenomenon. You mark my words.

Long live the Romance Dish! Long may its deliciousness pervade my world!

Right, having got that off my chest, I'd better introduce myself.

I'm going to be a regular here reviewing romance classics and books I like, probably, although not necessarily, older books that you might have missed. Kind of what I used to do once a month at RNTV. Occasionally I might throw in something about a research book - I've noticed people find research books pretty interesting!

So please swing by on the 24th of each month for my Second Helping!

I thought I'd start my reviewing career on the Romance Dish at the top. Yep, I'm tackling the book that's often called the most perfect novel in the English language, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen.

Do I feel presumptuous? Yup! Is it going to stop me? Nup! Am I going to leap on this as an opportunity for some serious eye candy? Is the Pope a Catholic? Do bears sh...

What's that?

Oh, right. Reviewing the glorious and very fastidious Jane, I should remember my manners. I beg your pardon, gentle readers. There will be no further references to bears and their digestive processes in the verdant wildness of the adjacent woodland.

I first read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when I was about twelve. I remember loving it although it wasn't much like the movie - my mother had a huge crush on Laurence Olivier so I can't tell you how many times I'd watched the Greer Garson/L.O. version with her. I've read the book numerous times since although not for about fifteen years or so now.

And in that 15 years, of course, the world has gone completely Jane Austen mad!

Movies, TV series, sequels, zombies! A poor Jane-o-phile had no idea where to look! Well, I kinda looked at Matthew Macfadyen but that's purely personal taste.

Coming back to reading the book last week, I realized that I was seeing the story through the filter of all the celluloid adaptations. One of the things I immediately noticed is that Jane's humor can be waspish and misanthropic - I'd remembered gently ironic but, no, a lot of this was firmly on the b*tchy side. The adaptations really soften Jane's judgments on her characters, even the awful ones! This time around, my first impression was that Lizzie was self-satisfied and too clever for her own good and Darcy was a humorless stick!

So is this going to be a bad review? How incredibly brave!!!!

Of course, it isn't going to be a bad review! Although I must admit the first chapters were a bit of a struggle - perhaps because I'd expected to dive in and adore the story as I had every other time I'd read it.

Do you know who saved the book for me? That most unlikely of heroes MR. COLLINS! He's such a marvelously written comic character - the scene where he proposes to Lizzie is an absolute corker and he brightens every page he ventures upon. I don't want to marry Darcy. I'm clearly nowhere near good enough for him. I want to marry Mr. Collins and live across the road from Lady Catherine de Bourgh!

Of course, Mr. Collins enters the story about the same point where I think Miss Austen's fondness for her characters starts peeping through and some warmth builds in the story. Lizzie is less all-knowing (she's going through the Wickham debacle at that stage which is definitely a lapse in judgment) and Darcy is starting to show a few cracks in his shell of invulnerable perfection. And the book just gets better and better as it charts their difficult courtship. Actually JA does a top job of proposals - Darcy's rejected proposal is another corker of a scene. And by the time Lizzie catches up with Darcy at Pemberley, I was devouring the book like I devoured the latest Liz Carlyle.

And of course, we get the lovely sigh-worthy ending. Although I'm enough of a romance reader to wish that we'd actually heard Darcy's declarations of being 'violently in love' instead of just being told about them. By the end, we know he's a true hero and man of honor, a man willing to sacrifice his dearest wishes (and his well-developed pride) for the sake of the woman he loves. So he might miss the occasional joke - we'll forgive him that after he saves Lizzie and her family from absolute disaster when Lydia elopes with Wickham.

I'm pretty sure academics would take a different view of the book. But hey, I'm a romance reader at heart! The romance is the bit that works for me the best. And while some people mightn't admit it, I suspect the romance is one of the chief reasons it's stayed in people's hearts so long. There's definitely elements of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast operating here so PRIDE AND PREJUDICE fits into my definition of classic fairytale romance!

So have you read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE? How do you feel the book stacks up against the adaptations? And (this is always a favorite question!) do you have a favorite adaptation? I've included illustrations to inspire the discussion!


  1. I just looooved your review Anna !!
    Pride and Prejudice has been one of my favorite romance for years (yes romance, because like you it is the part that really worked for me). I've seen different adaptations and though I enjoyed them all, the BBC mini series with my beloved Colin Firth is my favorite. 4 hours really wasn't too much. (the Keira Kneightley one felt rushed in comparison).

  2. What a great blog, Anna! I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice. Lizzie, Mr. Darcy, Jane, Mr. Bingsley, the Bennett family . . . there's just so much to love, even the rakish Wickham.

    And I'm with Emmanuelle, the BBC mini versions with Colin Firth is my fave. Colin Firth is the definitive Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle the definitive Lizzie Bennett. And well, when Mr. Darcy comes out of that pond, in that wet, practically see-through shirt . . . oh my. I think I wore out my DVD player in just rewatching that scene alone. ;)

  3. And that should be Mr. Bingley in the above post. These stupid typos. Grrr.

  4. Delicious blog, m'dear.

    I loved Mr. Collins from the 2005 movie. The best scene for me is the night he first comes to dinner. "What delicious potatoes."

    I found I disliked all the Wickhams and liked all the Georgianas and Janes. KK is my fave Lizzie, Ehle's too sweet, whereas the character needs a good dose of tartness.

    And any time Chatsworth's on view, whatever I'm watching is worth my time.

  5. Good morning! Its 3 am here, no I shouldn't be up, but I'm still preparing my house for Thanksgiving. Its not like I'm having a huge gathering, only my parents are showing up, but my mom starts chemo on the 30th and can't get sick between now and then or after the chemo starts for that matter, so I'm going over my house again and again deep cleaning EVERYTHING, just incase it has a germ that might get her sick. Kinda hard to do on a working ranch by the way, especially in Wyoming cuz the wind doesn't stop blowing and every time we open the door dust decides it wants to make my house its permeant residence...I'm rambling aren't I? Sorry, its lack of sleep I tell ya. I'm sorry, I shall now cease and desist on the rambling...now, any minute now.

    I have actually never read Pride and Prejudice. I tried once, but only got about a page an a half into it. Sad I know. I hope to one day actually be able to sit down and read through the whole thing.

    My favorite adaption of Pride and Prejudice is the one with Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. I LOVE that movie! I actually watched it 5 times in a row one day. Drove my hubby batty. LOL But I just couldn't get enough of it, especially their dance scene.

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  7. I love the Colin Firth version the best so far. I love his Lizzie too.
    When I first read Pride and Predjudice I had difficulty getting started but once I got into it I was held hostage until I finished.
    Un fortunately for the classics their authors didn't have the benefits of the net advising them on hooks and grab lines but they made it anyway so all is good.

  8. Oh Pride and Prejudice, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I wrote my senior thesis on P&P and even after disecting it on a "literary" level it never got old for me. It was the first book I fell in love with. I still have warm feeling for the 1980 BBC version with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. No one has played Darcy with a "stick up his *&%$" quite as well IMO.

    With all due respect to Sir Laurence (he was wonderful in Rebecca) I am not a fan of his version. Garson was way too old and hoop skirts, aargh.

    I love the 1995 version with the exception of Elizabeth's mother. She was played like a shrew and I thought that was way off base. She was a silly and shallow woman, but never mean spirited and certainly not a shrew. Brenda Blethyn's version was much better.

    I would love to mix and match performances and actors with all the different versions. Each one brings something a bit different and a really hope they keep making them.

  9. Great review, Anna!

    I adore Pride and Prejudice. It's one of my favorite books ever.

    I don't think I ever saw the BBC mini series with Colin Firth (gasp!). I did like the version with Keira Knightly. So I guess I'll have to find the BBC version on DVD and rent it.

  10. Anna, dear, fantastic review! I adore Pride and Prejudice--yes, it is a romance!

    I've seen all of the adaptations, and Colin Firth will always be THE Mr. Darcy for me. I remember watching the entire BBC version at one sitting. What can I say? I'm greedy!

    But I have to say I love the movie version when Matthew, as Mr. Darcy, says to KK, "You have bewitched me body and soul." *SIGH*

  11. Christie, you've never seen the BBC version! *gasp* *thud* Color me shocked! You MUST rent it and view it ASAP!!

  12. Cool review, Anna. I love your hutzpa to go out and review Jane, and actually be honest about what you like and don't! So you've inspired my confession.

    I don't really love P&P.

    I know, I know. I even wrote a couple of Regencies and so it isn't that I don't have a fondness for the period or the manners or whatever. Here's my problem: too many words.

    I'm a skim reader at heart, and a girl who likes her writing snappy and without a lot of flourish. Keep the story moving and tell it in as few words as possible. I am much more impressed by a description of a sunset (or a drawing room) that conveys the same information in 10 words than in 40.

    So that's my confession. Jane uses a whole lot of words and I must confess, I'm not quite patient enough to read them all. I have read it, and I do love the ending and the characters and the FEELING of the conflict and the story.

    But all those words...aaah!

  13. Hi, Anna (Deb waving madly)! Great blog.
    I've read P and P and liked it. But, even though I am a regency romance reader, I'm not much of a Jane Austen fan. I know, everyone is gasping in disbelief. However, I absolutely LOVE the BBC movie version with Colin Firth as Darcy. I don't know her name, but the woman who plays Lizzie does a superb job. I've recorded it and watch it every so often. I don't like the Keira Knightly version.

  14. Great blog, Anna! People get quite emotional about the Darcy question. LOL! I agree with Gannon and Ely that Colin Firth is the definitive Darcy, although I liked watching Matthew Macfadyen too.

    I read Pride and Prejudice the first time the summer I turned ten. I loved it then, and even after decades of rereading it and even teaching it more times than I can count, I still love it. (It's not my favorite Austen though. Persuasion holds that spot.)

    I am not a fan of the Austen industry that has sprung up in recent years. But I have enjoyed the Carrie Bebris books, and I thought Jon Spence's Becoming Jane Austen and Syrie James's The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen were wonderful. I also adore Beth Patillo's Jane Austen Ruined My Life.

  15. YAY, Anna's in da house!!! I am so happy you are doing this with us Anna :0

    You know, I have to say that while I have watched the movie a couple of times I have never read the book. I know!!!

  16. My own love of the romance genre began at the age of twelve when I discovered Georgette Heyer. It wasn't until some years later that I read Pride and Prejudice, but by then I was hooked, and so I loved the book. Have loved it and the movies ever since and make a point of revisiting them at least once a year. There's a scene in the BBC version where Colin Firth looks at Jennifer Ehle like he could eat her with a spoon. Sigh . . .

    As for that darling and delicious Matthew Macfadyen, "I love . . . I love . . . I love you, and wish never to be parted from you again." Heavens, has there ever been anything more wonderful on celluloid? I watch that scene over and over again. We call it Living in Darcyville in my house, and the kids just shake there heads and say, "Mom's at it again, Dad. For God's sake, don't come between her and Matthew."

    I find the Mrs. Bennett in the newer version much less annoying than the Mrs. Bennett in the BBC miniseries, although the actress in the BBC version has a grand time creating a truly memorable character. And Mr. Collins is a stone hoot.

  17. Hey Anna! Actually, you brought me here to TRD (believe me, you did; you're one of my favourite people anyway because you're even later - timezone-ly speaking - than I am so you only comment to the most ungodly times, too) since I've read about it on your site. And man, am I thankful for that!

    I haven't read Pride or Prejudice. *ducking my head to thrown books*
    I think that has got something to do with my being German and thus my occupation with German classic novels, not English ones. Of course that isn't an excuse and I could've read it anyway, but I always forget to buy it and because of that extensive talk about the book and the movies, I always feel like I've read it before.

    Maybe I'll be a good girl in the future and actually read it...

  18. I may lose my romance card with this admission, but I have yet to read a Jane Austen book. But I do love the movies, the most recent P&P being my favorite. Matthew is my favorite Darcy. *ducks Firth fans*

    Now that you say Jane is more snarky than the movies let on, I'm moving the books up my list of priorities. (Great first review. I think you're going places, young lady. *g*)

  19. What a great review, Anna!! Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite movie. I prefer the version with Keira Knightley.

  20. Good morning, Anna and everyone! We are thrilled to have you join us at The Romance Dish, Anna! I look forward to your upcoming Second Helpings.

    I love this review! I knew it would be a great idea when you mentioned it to me a few weeks ago. ;-) I've never read the book (though, I have tried), but I love the movies. Especially the 2005 version with Keira and Matthew as I'm not a huge Colin Firth fan (so sue me-lol). All the charcters in the newer version appeal to me more, though I hear the BBC version is closer to the book.

    Thanks so much, Anna! I'm now off to watch P&P!

  21. I've never actually been able to make it through the book...I will one day though if its the last thing I do.

    My favorite version is the Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfayden verison...love it!

  22. Great review Anna

    I am going to put my hand up and say I have never read Pride and Prejudice although I have seen the movie I do have that on DVD and loved it.
    One day I am going to sit down and read this book

    Have Fun

  23. Emmanuelle, thanks for swinging by. I agree it was nice to have the longer space to tell the story in the series but I must say I thought MM was gorgeous in the movie and I loved the way that, given the limited time, they really concentrated on the love story. There's too much Lydia in the BBC one for my taste! ;-) Which doesn't mean it's not great - and I've got to say my hero Mr. Collins is just brilliant in that!

  24. Snort, the wet shirt scene worked for you, did it, Ely? Wonder why!!!! Actually that was a really great episode - I loved him being all bamboozled by seeing Lizzie. And reading the book, that's what the scene's like there too. He asks after her parents a couple of times and doesn't listen to the answers, he's so rattled, poor darling.

  25. For some reason, Mr. Bingsley brought Golum to mind. Oh, my preshissssssss Mr. Bingssssssssley! Yeah, I know, I'm clearly in a silly mood! Mind you, you could call Pride and Prejudice the Fellowship of the (Wedding) Ring, couldn't you? ;-)

  26. Keira, Chatsworth is gorgeous, isn't it? I visited for the first time during my last trip to the UK in 2007. They've actually included the sculpture of MM in the sculpture gallery which is pretty cool! We had an absolutely foul day the day we were there, though, so I didn't get the chance to explore the gardens. Elizabeth is always rattling on about the woods at Pemberley ;-)

    Actually all jokes aside, I think Mr. Collins is absolutely brilliantly written. He's like a failsafe character. As you say, it's easy to get some of the others wrong. I thought the Mrs. Bennet in the BBC adaptation belonged in a Dickens remake not an Austen show and I didn't like how both the BBC and the movie ones let the father get off pretty scot free. Austen's actually pretty harsh on him, with good reason. He actually COULD have made a difference to his family's behavior and he just couldn't be bothered. I loved the Jane from the movie, less keen on the BBC one although I think she was OK. Actually I liked both Bingleys too. Hmm, it's such a rich story with so many wonderful characters, you can contrast and compare for ages. Actually something I loved was Judi Dench as Lady Catherine! She was fabulous!

  27. Dorthy, another fan of the movie (most people seem to prefer the BBC adaptation but I think the movie's SOOOO romantic!). Oh, the dance scene - and that lovely scene where his hand tingles after he hands her into the coach. Sigh. Actually speaking of great proposal scenes, I love the way they opened up that scene in the movie to the folly in the rain at Rosings. Gorgeous! And you think he might kiss her and he doesn't. Actually my main argument with the film is they don't kiss at the end. Come on, even in the Regency, he would have smacked one on her lips then and there in the dawn!

    Sorry to hear your mum's not well. Good luck with your cleaning. I grew up on a farm and it was almost impossible to keep the dirt out there too. We had deep red soil so if we had any white cats, they were actually pink! Always made me laugh!

    Seriously, give the book a go. Honestly, if you stick with it, it repays the effort in spades.

  28. Dianna, how interesting you had a similar experience to me with taking a little while for the story to grab you. It wasn't the case in my earlier readings but I suspect I'm not quite the same person I was twenty years ago! Seriously once the romance really kicked in, I was hooked till the end. And my heart just sank when Lydia ran off and Lizzie thinks all is lost with Darcy. What a great black moment - and Jane Austen didn't even know what a black moment was! ;-)

  29. Anna, nothing like starting at the top, is there? Loved the review. You know it's been about 6-7 years since I've read P&P I must go back and reread. As you say, it's hard to remember the original since the adaptations. Like so many others my fave of those is the BBC version. There was time there to explore some of what was happenind! Laughing though as I saw one of my best friends last night. She and my teen son spent a while complaining about Jane Austen and how 'nothing happens' in her work. I suppose you either get it or you don't.

  30. Oh, Beth, you're right. I'd forgotten that version. He was a WONDERFUL Darcy and he's the one who looks most like I imagined Darcy from the book. Real romance cover good looks and as you say a stick up his butt! The other lovely thing about that one is it's from the days when they did a book like P&P in 13 50 minute episodes. You really got the richness of the story in that. The other thing I don't like about the BBC version is that the last episode is really rushed (yeah, I know, shoot me, BBC fans!). All that build up of Lizzie and Darcy and then they're together in the blink of an eye. I wanted to wallow a little.

    Beth, I so agree with you about Mrs. Bennet in the BBC one. She just didn't work for me - seemed to come from a different story all together. I liked the softness Brenda Blethyn brought to it although re-reading the book, I think it was a little TOO kind to the older Bennets. But I definitely think that portrayal worked in with the whole structure of the movie. As you say, it's fun to mix and match, isn't it?

    The old movie is fun - I love the archery scene which isn't in the book but it's great to watch. As you say, the costumes are just terrible. I read somewhere that they'd just made Jezebel so they recycled the costumes without considering the correct period style at all!

  31. Hey, Christie, my Bandita Buddy, great to see you! Another P&P fan! The BBC series was hugely popular here and it seems to be on constant rotation on one or other of the cable channels even now. Wet shirts certainly helped! As Beth said, it's really interesting to compare and contrast the different series. There's bits in each of them that strike me as just right and bits that make me prefer other versions.

  32. Oh, Gannon, the bewitched line? Sigh, sigh, sigh! That was gorgeous. And the meeting in the dawn is just lovely. I think the movie was in many ways much more romantic than the BBC adaptation. The BBC thing seemed mainly interested in the comedy of manners aspect of the story. I think MM has a beautiful deep voice! Love a man with a great voice!

  33. Christie, I know I've said a few negative things about the BBC adaptation but really, it's kind of like a few cracks in the Mona Lisa. It's definitely worth checking out! Gannon's so right - but then of course, Miss Gannon's always right ;-)

  34. Gosh, we have a controversial comment! Kirsten doesn't like P&P!!!! I don't feel nearly so Grinch-like criticising the BBC one now! Kirsten, actually I know what you mean, although having said that, she's considerably less wordy than some of the Victorian novelists who came after her. I think you need to let yourself settle into a book like P&P. I wondered reading it this time with the experience of all the writing I've done in the last 15 years and how books take you in unexpected directions, that she set out to write a comedy of manners and then fell in love with the characters as they fell in love with each other. It definitely does get more heartfelt as it proceeds. Those first few chapters where she's basically being mean about everyone are a bit hard to take. I applaud your chutzpah, my birthday girl friend!

  35. Hey, Deb, waving madly back. By the way, that photo in your avatar always makes me smile! Not a Jane Austen fan? Wow! Actually I LOVE P&P and Persuasion (should re-read it just to make sure I STILL do) but I can't stand Emma or Sense and Sensibility and Northanger is fun but light. I wonder if she hadn't written P&P how famous she'd be today, though.

  36. Hi Janga! Actually if a book can survive being taught, I think it means it's a great book. I used to subtitle TV shows and movies for the Deaf for a living and I always thought if I still loved a movie after subtitling it, it was a GREAT movie. Not everything made the cut but Last of the Mohicans and Braveheart survived the dwelling on every moment and fixing up people's spelling and punctuation mistakes test with flying colors. A BBC fan? I've got a teacher friend who loves P&P in spite of teaching it most years and she's a fan of that version too. She doesn't like the movie much. I'm a romance writer - I like the movie a lot! ;-)

  37. Oh, Janga, wanted to say I haven't read any of the sequels. But I've watched the growth of the Austen industry with astonishment over recent years. I'm waiting for Jane Austen's Underpants to come out!

  38. Buffie, Buffie, Buffie! I think I need to visit you with a bag of classics and a big wooden spoon and stand there while you read them all ;-) Seriously, you'll have a better time than you think you will. Well, perhaps not if I get enthusiastic with the wooden spoon! I think one of the really interesting things about reading P&P as a romance writer is that Jane Austen was actually working without a model and yet a lot of the classic elements of a romance novel are there instinctively. The sparky meeting. The big conflict. A few Big Mizes that get sorted out in the progress of the book. A black moment. Even the fairytale elements that come into most romances I read.

    Hey, thanks for inviting me to be part of the Dishies! I'm as pleased as punch to be here!

  39. Jeanie, Mr. Collins is ALWAYS a great character! I love the BBC one too - I think they captured his fussy punctiliousness perfectly. And also that false humility that's really self-satisfaction. I laughed at you living in Darcyville. Can I move in?

    It's funny you mention Georgette Heyer. I'm currently re-reading Devil's Cub for next month's RD review. And I'm adoring every single, solitary word. No trouble getting into it, no slowness because it's an older book. I'm madly in love with Vidal and I want to be Mary when I grow up. I read the GHs when I was a teenager. She's pretty ubiqitous here - or at least she was back then. I then re-read them as a lump when a friend of mine had collected them all and lent them to me. That would have to be about 20 years ago. I'd forgotten quite how she sparkles - I've laughed out loud at this a few times. Will have to pull out some of the old Heyers once I've finished DC!

  40. Hi Lisa! Hey, how cool I managed to coax you over here. This is such a happening place and seriously, there's nobody nicer than PJ and Buffie and Andrea and Gannon. I think the fact that they (and I like to include myself in this too) were all friends before they set up the blog really establishes a warm, welcoming feel. Hope you'll be a regular visitor now! Time zones all get a bit mind-boggling, don't they? And hey, don't apologize for not having read the book. I can't say I've read a lot of classic German novels either. Although I did German in high school and my teacher was a poetry nut. I'm always grateful she was because she introduced me to a whole stack of writers I'd never have known about otherwise. English speakers tend to stick so much to English language books!

  41. Hey, Terri, thanks so much for swinging by. I'm so glad you enjoyed the review - I'm always worried that I spend so much time talking about my feelings about a particular book that I never get to the ACTUAL review. I realized after I posted this one that I did nothing to talk about the plot or even the characters much - but then I figured most people know the story by now! Oh, lovely another gorgeous MM fan. I think he's just lovely and I love the implication that shyness is at least as much to blame for Darcy's behavior as arrogance.

    Jane is considerably snarkier than any film version I've ever seen. Nobody escapes!

  42. Caught sight of Colin Firth on FB and had to trot right over. I can talk P & P all night.

    I also read the book young and got into big trouble with my English teacher who was a *little* too fond of the Olivier movie. I embarrassed her by pointing out in class that Jane Austen didn't write the archer scene. (Never do that to a teacher - they don't like it). Loved the Firth version, hated the KK. Ok, it was a decent movie but sucked as an adaptation. In the DVD the director has an interview in which he goes on about how much Mr. and Mrs. Bennett loved each other. ???? I don't think he read the book.
    I loved your take, Anna. Mr. Collins is a fabulous character, as is Lady C. JA always had a very sharp eye.

    BTW I believe the divine Jane did a plot cop out when she had Lydia elope with Wickham - I don't think he would ever have done it. She needed it to make Darcy look good. Same thing with Henry Crawford and Maria in Mansfield Park. Honestly, I think we are held to higher standards re. plots these days.

  43. Hey, Trisha, how cool you're another movie fan! Most people I know seem to prefer the BBC version but it's the movie that really makes me sigh with delight!

  44. *sigh* I just finished watching P&P. While cleaning up the house and making the snacks for T-day.
    What a wonderful movie.
    I got the the Muddy Buddies (chex cereal covered in chocolate and powdered sugar) done, and some of the regular party chex mix done.
    Now I have to get the pumpkin cookies done, and then tomorrow I'll start the deviled eggs and the ham rolls. All things that can easily be done while watching P&P!

    Anna~ I didn't think about the scene where he hands her up into the carriage. I LOVE that scene too.
    I always thought that things would have been settled earlier if he would have just kissed her when he proposed at Rosings. They were both practically begging for it, and then NOTHING! I threw (ands still some times throw) my hands up in disgust at that.

    Pink cats? My daughter would love for us to have a pink cat. LOL of course she'd love for us to have a cat, but hubby is illergic so the only cats we have are outside cats that went to the field to hunt for the summer, and haven't returned yet. Not the friendly barn cats that they used to have around here, but basically feral cats that sometimes come close to the house.
    I will give the book a try again. I will probably have to go buy it, last time I had it around I'd borrowed it from the library. But if I buy it then there won't be a time limit on how long I can have it, and maybe I can finish it.


    I'm going to have to look up these other versions of Pride and Prejudice so I can compare them all....maybe have a Pride and Prejudice marathon!

  45. Andrea, I have to say when I started this book and it was so cold and judgmental, I probably wouldn't have persisted if (a) I didn't know it picked up and (b) I had to for the review! Definitely worth persisting with. And the transformation of Mr. Darcy from stick to hero really is worth seeing! Hey, thanks for inviting me to part of the Dishes. I love it here! I'm hoping I can be a bit more of a regular commenter once I've come to the end of the blog tour to end all blog tours! I'm with you on preferring MM to CF!

  46. Calila, that version is just so romantic, isn't it? And I think the Jane in that is absolutely exquisite. You definitely pick up the passion in the movie. Hey, girls, believe me, hang in there through the start - once Mr. Collins turns up you're on an upward swing!

  47. Helen, as you're probably gathering from the comments, it's a little bit slow to get into but honestly, well worth reading. And it's been the model for so many books since - and a lot of books that are your faves - I think you'd find it interesting from that point of view. Thanks so much for swinging by!

  48. Annie, it's interesting, isn't it? I think there was criticism even at the time about her small canvas and that's when she made the famous comment about her subject being ten families in a country village or something and how that offered her the whole range of human nature. Sir Walter Scott's long and event-packed historicals were in style when she published so perhaps they were contrasting Jane to him. I love the fact that everything is on the domestic level - really works for me. Thanks so much for swinging by. I'd love to know if you thought the beginning was a bit tough too.

  49. Snort, Miranda! You have revealed my evil plan to the world. I thought the photo of handsome Mr. Firth might get me a few extra takers!

    Having said that about the movie, don't you think the archery scene is pretty good? I agree that they're too old and the costumes are 'orrible but they did do it all with real style!

    I think the movie softened a lot of those hard edges (that are REALLY hard in the book - it's pretty clear Mr. Bennet has nothing but contempt for his wife). Darcy wasn't proud and arrogant, he was just shy, for example. But it's definitely nice to watch!

    Actually I really dislike Mansfield Park! I remember struggling through it when I lived in England. An Aussie friend had come over to stay when I was dogsitting for some friends and she had picked it up to read and then the dog ate it (seriously - it's like the dog ate my homework). Yay, I thought, I don't have to finish that AWFUL book. Of course, Amanda turned around and bought me another copy. Groan. And the dog was constipated for a week ;-) I actually think Fanny should have ended up with Henry. Edmund was a stick too!

  50. Hey, Dorthy, what a cool way for you to have spent the day. Now I'm keen to go and watch it again (my drool watching in recent years has been North and South - now that really IS worth watching!). Oh, that bit where they nearly kiss in the rain and they're both at the end of their tethers and he knows he's ruined his chance at happiness and she knows she's said more than than she should and the enormity of it is just striking her, oh, man, what a great scene. Great sexual tension when they don't kiss!

    A P&P marathon? What fun! I'll bring the chips!

    Actually the pink cats were kinda cool (it was just the red dirt that wouldn't come out of anything - I didn't own anything white until I started uni many miles away!). It was a beautiful sunset kinda orangey pink. Very stylish!

  51. Yeah! Big Henry Crawford crush here - the original bad boy. That's what I mean about the elopement. She had to make him irredeemable. Edmund was a drip. Fanny, oddly enough, wasn't. She was a doormat because that was what her situation in life demanded, but she always sticks up for her principles.

  52. Miranda, I think Fanny and Henry would have had that same dynamic that Darcy and Lizzie have. You know, a fault in one is remedied by a quality in the other. Honestly, I bet Fanny and Edmund's kids grew up to kick over the traces big time after living with such self-satisfied prigs for parents.

  53. Buffie, Buffie, Buffie! I think I need to visit you with a bag of classics and a big wooden spoon and stand there while you read them all

    Anna, you don't know how thrilled I would be if you showed up on my front porch with a stack of books and your luggage!!!!!!!! :-)

  54. Buffie, but what about the SPOON????!!! Snort!

  55. Hi Anna! (waving)

    We're so thrilled to have you with us for your debut "Second Helpings" blog. If this is how you start things off I can't wait to see what you'll have for us in the coming months! :)

  56. Hey, PJ, aren't you lovely? And thank you so much for inviting me to be part of the Romance Dish. You girls have certainly started with a splash, haven't you? I'm really looking forward to talking about Georgette Heyer next month! I'm loving Devil's Cub!

  57. Hey, guys and Dishies, thank you so much for having a great chat about P&P and various versions today. I really had a great time. See you next month on the 24th - which is actually Christmas Eve. Can you believe the year has gone this fast?

  58. Anna, I LOVE Devil's Cub! Right up there with These Old Shades, Cotillion, Lady of Quality, The Masqueraders . . . Stop me! The duel scene in the inn is one of the most romantic things I've ever read, as is the bit at the end when he tracks her down and tells her he loves her. Gosh, that woman could write! And, of course, I love Leonie and Rupert. Can't wait to read your review of it.

  59. Jeanie, I read the shooting scene last night and stayed up far too late reading to find out what happened next. It's so long since I read this book, it's like picking up something new. Man, it's SOOOOO good. Vidal is the perfect rake! I'm having such fun with this - I really need to read more Georgette Heyer. I'm surprised how much of this one I've forgotten which means I've forgotten heaps of the others too.

  60. Hi, Anna! Sorry to join you so (fashionably?) late. My great project of the moment is rereading P&P. Shamefully, I skim-read it when I was younger. Like you, I found it difficult to get into but I'm pressing on!

    ~ Vanessa

  61. Vanessa, bells will ring when Mr. Collins enters the story and you'll know you're in for a treat from there on in ;-) Thanks for swinging by. Always love to see you!