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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Favorite Austen Moments | guest post & giveaway from Laurie Viera Rigler

She's been cracking us up with her answers in this year's Janeite Conversations, and now, Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, has dropped in to share some of her favorite moments from all of Janedom. And hey! She's also giving away her books! =D

Favorite Austen Moments—and a Giveaway
Guest post by Laurie Viera Rigler

One of the things I love about Austen is her scope: within those famous two inches of ivory on which she worked “with so fine a brush,” are drama, comedy, romance, suspense, and an unflinching observation of human nature—the good, the bad, and the embarrassing.

We all have our favorite moments, the ones that keep us coming back to her novels again and again—and to their many reimaginings on film.

Here are some of my favorites. What are yours?

Northanger Abbey, the novel
(which is, by the way, the most underrated of all Austen’s works, and quite unfairly, IMHO):
"I see what you think of me," said he gravely -- "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow."
"My journal!"
"Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."
"Indeed I shall say no such thing."
"Shall I tell you what you ought to say?"
"If you please."
"I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him -- seems a most extraordinary genius -- hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say."
  • Then there is the kind but firm way in which Henry responds to Catherine’s distress at the sight of her brother’s fiancĂ©e flirting with another man. The entire scene is a gem, and this line unforgettable: “No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment."
Northanger Abbey, the movie (Felicity Jones & JJ Feild):
  • Henry tenderly wipes a bit of mud from Catherine’s cheek.

Persuasion, the novel:
  • Captain Wentworth declaring himself in THE LETTER: "..Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.…”
Persuasion, the movie (Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds):
  • The precursor to THE LETTER, which is Anne Elliot talking to Captain Harville about constancy: “I believe you capable of everything great and good. So long as—if I may—so long as the woman you love, lives, and lives for you. All the privilege I claim for my own sex—and it is not a very enviable one, you need not covet it--is that of loving longest when all hope is gone.”

Pride and Prejudice, the novel:
  • When Lizzie confesses to Darcy that she knows he saved Lydia, and he says it was all for her and adds, “"You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever."
Pride and Prejudice, the movie (Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley):
  • This same scene, except in this reimagining Darcy emerges from the mist in a gorgeous long coat and says, “You have bewitched me, body and soul.”
[Watch the scene here]
Pride and Prejudice, the mini (Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle):
  • Darcy trying to fence away his feelings for Lizzie after she rejects him: “I shall conquer this. I shall.” Not in the book, but who cares? (It’s also way sexier than that dripping-wet-from-the-lake scene, IMO.)
gif maker

Emma, the novel:
  • When Emma finally gets a clue. “Emma's eyes were instantly withdrawn; and she sat silently meditating, in a fixed attitude, for a few minutes. A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like hers, once opening to suspicion, made rapid progress. She touched--she admitted--she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet's having some hope of a return?”
Emma, the movie (Gwyneth Paltrow & Jeremy Northam):
  • “Marry me, my darling friend.”

  • “Try not to kill my dogs.”

  • When Emma says it’s okay for her to dance with Mr. Knightley because they are not brother and sister, and he answers, “Indeed we are not.”
Sense and Sensibility, the novel:
  • When Marianne finally gets a clue and says to Elinor: “But you,--you above all, above my mother, had been wronged by me. I, and only I, knew your heart and its sorrows; yet to what did it influence me?--not to any compassion that could benefit you or myself.--Your example was before me; but to what avail?--Was I more considerate of you and your comfort? Did I imitate your forbearance, or lessen your restraints, by taking any part in those offices of general complaisance or particular gratitude which you had hitherto been left to discharge alone?--No;--not less when I knew you to be unhappy, than when I had believed you at ease, did I turn away from every exertion of duty or friendship; scarcely allowing sorrow to exist but with me, regretting only that heart which had deserted and wronged me, and leaving you, for or I professed an unbounded affection, to be miserable for my sake."
Sense and Sensibility, the movie (Emma Thompson screenplay):
  • Marianne standing on the hill overlooking Willoughby’s estate and quoting from Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet:

  • Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer (Emma Thompson admirably took every opportunity imaginable to capture Austen’s humor, even in the midst of a story with as much tragedy as this one)

Mansfield Park, the novel:
Mansfield Park, the movie:
  • Tough choice. The one directed by Patricia Rozema was watchable, but it deviated so far from the character of Fanny Price that it might as well be called Mansfield Park2: Fanny Gets a Personality Transplant. In all fairness, Fanny as a character can be such a challenge that I get why the filmmakers did what they did. Favorite moment in this one? When Fanny finds Tom Bertram’s horrific sketches of slaves from his father’s Antigua plantation, something that was certainly not in the book, though any of Austen’s contemporaries would know that Sir Thomas’s going off to manage his lands in Antigua meant he was a slaveholder. Besides, Austen did mention a famous abolitionist from her time in a letter as follows: "I have fallen in love with the writings of Thomas Clarkson.”

What are your favorite moment(s) from Austen novels and/or movies?

The Giveaway:
Enter your info in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win both CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT and RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT.
There will be one winner:
If you are located in the US, you will receive a signed paperback of each title.
If you are located outside of the US, you will receive both titles in ebook form.
Good luck!

Thanks for hosting me here, Misty, and for putting on this wonderful Austen in August event!
[Misty says, You're welcome; thanks for stopping by!]

Further details:
Ends September 7th, 12a EST. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
Please note: As with all Austen in August giveaways, you must fill out the giveaway registration form here in order to enter. This only has to be done once, and then you are free to enter all giveaways. Invalid entries will be deleted. Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments! Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author and her books:
Laurie Viera Rigler’s novels Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict (both published by Plume in North America and by Bloomsbury in the UK) could have been considered semi-autobiographical had they not involved time travel and body switching. Her short story, Intolerable Stupidity, in which Mr. Darcy brings charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs and retellings, appears in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It (Ballantine). In addition to working on her next three novels, Laurie is the creator of the web series Sex and the Austen Girl, which is inspired by her Austen Addict novels. All 23 episodes can be found on Laurie’s online home, janeaustenaddict.com.

Click the pic to be taken to the Austen in August Main Page!
Thanks to faestock & inadesign for the images used to create this button.


  1. For sure Hugh Lauries's moments make S&S much better :D "I wish it would stop raining. I wish you would stop" :)))

  2. Definitely the Letter!

    And I think I love the entire section of Northanger Abbey where Catherine believes she's a heroine in a Gothic novel.

  3. The kisses in the movies. But what haunts me? The longing in Wentworth's letter to Anne.

  4. My favourite moment in Austen isn't from my favourite book by her. It's one of the most beautiful, perfect excerpts from all romantic fiction in my opinion, Captain Wentworth's letter. I remember, the first time I read it I got to the end, sighed, and then read it again. It is SO beautiful.

    In film I'd pretty much agree with the highlights you've picked with the exception of the ones from Pride and Prejudice. With the 05 one, I don't know why they couldn't be properly dressed, it's the equivalent of going out in pyjamas and I found it distracting! The bewitched, body and soul line is delicious - I don't think Austen ever wrote it but people now seem to think she did. My favourite scene from the 05 is the first proposal; also not like the book but very nice indeed! From the 95 miniseries, I like the bit at Pemberley where Lizzy saves Georgiana by going to turn the pages for her and then she and Darcy just look at each other /sigh!

    The first P&P adaptation I ever saw was the 1940s one. I have a soft spot for it. I like pretty much any of the bits with Mr Collins in, he is wonderfully clueless, and another bit not from the book, the archery scene.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, I prefer the one from about 1996. It has Mark Strong as Knightley and he is exactly how I pictured Knightley when I read it. My favourite bit from this is the same as my favourite part of the book, where he rushes to see Emma once he hears about Churchill's defection and they walk together in the shrubbery

    ' He had ridden home through the rain; and had walked up directly after dinner, to see how this sweetest and best of all creatures, faultless in spite of all her faults, bore the discovery.'

    1. Wall of text again, so sorry!

    2. Haha! I like your walls of text!
      I haven't watched that version of Emma yet, though I can't picture Mark Strong as Knightley... Hmm.
      Have you seen the Romola Garai one? I'd trade out Jonny Lee Miller (whom I'm not a big fan of, though he was good in this) for Jeremy Northam (whom I love), but other than that, loved it.

    3. I couldn't get over Jeremy Northam's mahoosive hat, it was awful!

      I haven't seen the Romola Garai one yet, but I just bought it. I thought JLM was good as Edmund but I can't see him being man enough to manage being Mr Knightley.

      Aside from being a bit on the bald side, Mark Strong is lovely as Knightley, very manly, lots of presence, gorgeous voice etc. I don't know if this link will work: http://tinyurl.com/q8hp3qv but if not, if you google Mark Strong Mr Knightley and then look in images you might be able to envision it better. I had a quick look on youtube but I couldn't find a video of this version that wasn't really long.

    4. I liked JLM so much more as Knightley. I think he's a softer, gentler Knightley, so maybe not "man" enough, but after putting off watching it because of him, I was pleased that he was able to win me over in the end.
      I'm not sure what it is about him that I find so off-putting, but it may well be the fact that he was Edmund... lol

      And I DID google Mark Strong as Knightley after you mentioned it, because I just couldn't picture it. I can see it a little more now, though it still doesn't fit. I need to see him in action, I'll have to finally watch that version. I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix or Hulu here in the States.

    5. I haven't watched 2009 Emma so far because of JLM either, I think he's a great actor though, love him in other stuff.

      Mark Strong is my favourite thing about that version of Emma, but he has such a beautiful voice that I might be being led astray by it. I don't know what you've seen him in but he does quite a bit of voiceover work. It probably helps that it was the first thing I'd ever seen him in, because if I'd seen some of his other stuff first I wouldn't be able to imagine him as Knightley either.

  5. I actually persuaded my college-age son to watch "Pride & Prejudice" with me (the one with Colin Firth). My son kept cracking up at the one-liners issued by Mr. Bennet in coping with his wife and silly daughters. So I love those moments because they remind me of watching the movie with my son.

  6. Elizabeth Bennett reading Darcy's letter from the 1980 miniseries

  7. Thank you all for sharing your favorites! I can definitely relate! Ceri, I also love that turning-the-pages/locking eyes moment in P&P '95. I only left it out because this post was getting too darn long! :))

  8. I love many of the moments mentioned. I'll add that I love the scene in Persuasion just after Louisa Musgrove hits her head on the Cobb and everyone turns to Anne then back at the house where its 'no one is so capable as Anne'. I always felt that was the turning point where Wentworth let go of his anger and finally decided to go after her.

    I love the scene in the Lambton Inn where Darcy wants to comfort Lizzy when she learns of Lydia, but has to restrain himself and then goes off to make all right for her while she jumps to conclusions once again that he probably now wants nothing to do with her.

    The scene in Mansfield Park when Edmund comes to get Fanny from her time in exile with her family to come help with his family after Tom's collapse, Maria's shame, Mary Crawford's attitude opens Edmund's eyes and Julia's elopement bring them all low.

    Yeah, I had better stop there. Austen creates so many 'moment's, doesn't she?

    Thanks for your great post, Laurie and for the giveaway opportunity.

  9. I just finished The Watsons for the first time and LOVE the scene with Emma Watson dancing with a jilted 10 year old at the ball, its so sweet! . . wish Austen had finished that one! I totally agree with most of your picks too, especially Persuasion . . that letter is heart stopping.

  10. I love the first proposal scene in the BBC series of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Could Darcy be more arrogant?

  11. I LOVE the "try not to kill my dogs" line, too! :)

  12. I had absolutely forgotten how stellar Hugh Laurie is in S&S...thanks for the reminder! It's not exactly kosher, but the moment in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries where Lizzie and Darcy kiss for the first time....yeah, that's a favorite. I am re-watching Northanger Abbey tomorrow, and am sure to have a favorite scene once I re-acquaint myself with it.

  13. So many favorites!
    Wentworth's letter makes my heart hurt it's so good. Every time I hear it is soul-fillingly good. Book, movie, mini...whatever. Rupert-Penry Jones can read it to me anytime!!! I may be alone in this, but I also really like how Sally Hawkins looks at the camera in the '07 Persuasion too. For a woman of few words, you can only see Anne's feelings when they're played out on her face in these moments. Otherwise Anne wears a mask of appropriateness and duty. When she first hears what she believes is Wentworth getting engaged to Louisa, Hawkins' tears are simply heart-breaking. Makes me want to give that girl a hug!
    I also love the massive eye make-out Elizabeth and Darcy have in the '95 mini after she saves Georgiana from Wickham chatter while they're playing the piano at Pemberley.

  14. I love different parts. I have favorites for the movies which aren't my favorites from the book. Although I have to say on of my most favorite scenes come from S&S the movie version. Its when Willoughby knows that Maryann is getting married and the way he looks at that moment just was the best. Knowing that he has lost the love of his life because of money.

  15. I like the new 'Pride and Prejudice' and where Matthew MacFayden says to Keira Knightly that she has 'bewitched' him body and soul. So BEAUTIFUL!


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