Monday, October 10, 2011

Our 10 Favourite Things about Jane Austen

                                                 (in no particular order)
1. An array of interesting main and secondary characters: no matter how important the character is, they are always interesting and have something to bring to the story.

2. The plotlines, her well structured stories keep us glued to the pages till we reach the end, and find what happens to the characters.

3. The atmosphere really sets the mood for the books and movies. In some, like Northanger Abbey, it is a Gothic atmosphere. In others it is a more light-hearted atmosphere. The scene is always set so that you can feel how the characters are feeling.

4. The settings because, especially now, you want to visit all of them. Austen brings together everything from the houses, towns, villages, etc. to life. She can talk about a room and I want to see that room for myself.

5. Mr Darcy: he is the inspiration for so many heroes in literature, TV or even cinema. Quite the perfect leading man.

6. The marvellous wittiness (a favourite example above)

Conversation during breakfast at Highborn between Mr Bennett and Mr Collins, talking about Lady Catherine and her daughter:

``Her indifferent state of health unhappily prevents her being in town; and by that means, as I told Lady Catherine myself one day, has deprived the British court of its brightest ornament. Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea, and you may imagine that I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies. I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her. -- These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay.''
``You judge very properly,'' said Mr. Bennett, ``and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?''
``They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.''

7. The screen adaptation of her novels are always a pleasure to watch (no matter the number existing already, we are always waiting for more !)

8. Mr Darcy (did we mention him already ?)

9. The way that her stories are such a strong part of popular culture: her novels have been adapted to the cinema and TV, not only as period dramas but contemporary stories. The number of spin-off and mash-up novels tell us how much her world is appreciated.

10. The timeless aspect of her novels : 200 years later, Jane Austen’s stories remain actual.


  1. Even movies with Jane Austen's books in them are entertaining. (Jane Austin Book Club)

  2. I agree with the list, but would have to add Captain Wentworth.

  3. Ah you're right. Leaving Captain Wentworth out was an impardonable oversight...