In honor of Jane Austen’s birthday last week, someone at a blog I read had a few questions she wanted people to answer. I’m a little late, but I still wanted to answer them. : )
1 – What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
Wow… let me think. I believe it was Love and Friendship. I know that’s not one of her most popular novels, but it’s really funny and when Arwen suggested I read it (and read me little bits), I just couldn’t say no! Jane Austen wrote it when she was about twelve, so it’s written in the way people talked back then but with a 12-year-old’s point of view. (Meaning, the main character and her husband get married literally ten minutes after they meet each other! Too funny…)
2 – Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why? (Everybody posts about their favorites… I want to know what’s at the bottom of your list!)
Hum… I don’t know! I haven’t really read any of her books (shocking, I know!), so I can’t exactly say which is my least favorite. I’ll go with movies. I think Northanger Abbey was my least favorite movie. (Just too many parts we couldn’t watch.)
3 – Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
Mary Bennet. She makes me laugh every single time we watch the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. “Misfortunes, we are told, are sent to test our fortitude.” Thanks a lot, Mary.
4 – Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?
Ooh… Do I have to say villainess? How about villain? I think Willoughby from the 2008 Sense and Sensibility is my favorite villain. He’s so creepy, and the way he ignores Marianne at the ball is so awful!
5 – What’s your favorite JA quote?
Oh, deary me! I can’t pinpoint any one favorite, so a few top ones will have to do.
– “To be fond of dancing [is] a certain step towards falling in love.” (Goodness gracious – I’m DOOMED!)
– “My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.”
– “I will not say that your mulberry trees are dead; but I am afraid they’re not alive.” (Jane Austen’s Letters)
– “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more!” (Mr. Knightly from Emma)
6 – If you were to “start” someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Pride and Prejudice because it’s a Jane Austen classic! If you don’t like it, you might not like any of her other books.
7 – What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?
Hands down, the 2010 Emma! I love that movie! Every single thing about it is just great – the acting, the costumes, the characters, the plot development, everything! Ramola Garai (Barbara Spooner from Amazing Grace) does an amazing job as Emma Woodhouse, and Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly is now probably my favorite JA movie guy character. *sighs* I need to watch that again. (Ahh, yes, and I could listen to the music for hours!!!)
8 – If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA’s novels, which would it be and why?
Northanger Abbey. It’s Arwen’s favorite book and I couldn’t see why when we watched the movie because I just couldn’t get into it. (But if I had money, I personally wouldn’t be authorizing a Jane Austen book – I’d be making someone make Eight Cousins a movie!)
9 – Which JA character do you most identify with?
Marianne Dashwood. She’s second oldest and has a romantic outlook on life, just like me, which often gets her in trouble. She plays piano – like me – and has an older and a younger sister – like me. (I just hope I skip the whole Willoughby thing!)
10 – If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
“Why didn’t you finish Sanditon?!”
11 – Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA’s books? What is it and why?
I would have liked to see Margaret Dashwood’s character fleshed out a little more. I mean, after her sisters go off and get married, what happens to her? Yes, at the time of Sense and Sensibility, she is a little young to get married, but I want to know what her story is.
12 – If you could have lunch with one of JA’s characters today, who would it be and why?
Emma Woodhouse so I could ask her which of the movies she thinks did the best job with her. : )