Why a classic heroine earns my respect
Recently, I’ve rekindled my love of reading again but there’s something about cosying up with nibbles to watch a good screen adaptation isn’t there? There aren’t that many adaptations that get it just right though. Yes, there are lots of fantastic period dramas out there but none top the adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice by Andrew Davis. I mean written by Jane Austen obviously but adapted to the screen by Andrew Davis for the BBC. I reckon I could hold my own in a pub quiz dedicated to this particular adaptation of ‘P&P’. I studied the book at A-level (high school exams for my non-UK readers) and then wrote my uni dissertation on the adaptation. Yes, I studied it for hours on my old VHS video recorder and my VHS video tapes were very well worn by the time I submitted my 10,000 word work.
A labour of love
When I moved house and came across the old videos, the happy memories of the labour of love came flooding back to me. I kept the videos for old time’s sake but when I was supposed to be packing (!), I binge-watched the DVD and it was a whole different world! Watching it on a modern TV like an hdr tv Panasonic took the viewing experience to a whole new level. I wonder what Jane Austen would think?!
I also wonder what Austen would have made of the modern world, with empowered women being encouraged to be themselves?
A mind of her own
There was a book that accompanied the adaptation which told of how important it was to get the casting right and I think they got it pretty spot-on. Jennifer Ehle played Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine who stubbornly refused to wed the fop and dandy Mr Collins. I say refused but really it was only her humorously daft mother, Mrs Bennet who was intent on the match. Her father was right there behind his daughter cheering her on from the sidelines, never doubting that she had a mind of her own.
That’s what I love about how Jane Austen portrays Elizabeth Bennet. In an age where social etiquette was assemblies and chaperones, marriage dowries and taking walks, Elizabeth was willfully opinionated and stubborn in a subtle way that kept her amused at all those assemblies.
I think I would have got on really well with Elizabeth Bennet. Yes, I’d have made a good modern-day Charlotte Lucas (her friend) – just more empowered, more confident of my own mind and not married to Mr Collins!
Have you got a favourite classic (or contemporary) heroine who you respect? I’d love to hear! Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .
*This is a collaborative post