The following is a clip-heavy post courtesy author Karen Cox, so make sure you click through to watch all of the S&S goodies!
Some time around 1996, I found Jane Austen for the last time.
I had tried to read Sense and Sensibility before, but had set it aside. I was a young mother, with no time to sit and parse the 18th century prose. I was working on my dissertation. I was trying to build a career. So I gave up on Austen, at least temporarily. I put her away for another time when life wasn’t so busy. I would return once my days settled down.
Well, my life never did settle down, but Jane came storming back into it when I happened upon Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility”—you know, the one with the amazing Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant.
I don’t think I saw it at the movie theater, so I must have seen it on video (we called them VHS tapes back then.)
Movie adaptations of books are tricky things, but the beauty of this one—the slow, almost leisurely pace of it, and the bittersweet tang of romantic angst, ran through my veins like a drug. Add in the maddening manipulation of Lucy Steele, the hilarity of Mrs. Jennings, the avarice of Fanny Dashwood, and I was hooked. I had to read Sense and Sensibility. I made myself finish it. It took me two tries because I was so unused to reading classic literature. It’s still one of my least favorites of Austen’s published works. But finish it I did, and then I decided to tackle the best known of her books, Pride and Prejudice. I then discovered P&P 95, and Colin Firth, and that sealed my fate. I went on to read Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and last year, I finally completed the Austen hat trick by devouring Northanger Abbey for the first time.
The Sense and Sensibility movie was the beginning for me. So for Austen in August’s Sense and Sensibility celebration, I decided my contribution should be called:
5 Best Reasons Why Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility Was My Gateway Austen Drug:
(and here we go)
Alan Rickman: He managed to make a 30+year-old man in love with a moody teenager who reminded him of his dead first love not at all creepy. I mean that sincerely—he charmed my socks off with gems like this scene:
Emma Thompson: In addition to writing the screenplay, she carried that movie with elegance and class, in scenes like these:
Where is Your Heart
Edward visits Elinor
I’m extremely glad that karma smiled on Emma during S&S: She met her husband Greg Wise while filming that movie—just after Kenneth Brannagh was foolish enough to let her go.
Fanny Dashwood and her deliciously evil self:
Does anyone else have an interesting path to Austen?
(Movie clips are on YouTube, and are the property of Columbia Pictures and Mirage Enterprise)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a slightly nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before moving to her family’s home state of Kentucky when she was almost twelve. She lives in a small, quiet Kentucky town with her husband and children, and works as a pediatric speech pathologist. She spends her off hours reading, writing, and being a wife and mom—and spoiling her new granddaughter.
Connect with Karen:
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/karenmcox
Meryton Press blog: www.karenmcox.merytonpress.com
And on several of the usual social media haunts such as Facebook, (karenmcox1932), Twitter (@karenmcox1932), Pinterest (karenmc1932), Instagram (karenmcox1932), and Tumblr (karenmcox).
|Return to the Austen in August Main Page by clicking here for more Janeite goodies!|