Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I love Jane Austen

There are things that I like. There are things that I love. Then there are things that I love so much, and know so well, that they are part of me. It's like the difference between being obsessed with a band, having their posters on your wall etc., and being in love with a real life person. There's no need for posters to prove your dedication. They are too much a part of you for you to need to talk about it all the time. This is how I feel about Jane Austen. I don't feel the need to go on about it all the time (haha unless you know me in real life) because it doesn't need to be said. 

I was six in 1995 when a world shattering event happened: Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle was on tv. I was completely obsessed. I still remember the exact days it was on – Sunday nights and then repeated on Wednesdays – and my dad recorded it off the telly for me. For years I had that same home-recorded tape and I would devote whole Saturdays to watching it while wearing the most regency clothing I had, an old peach-coloured nightie.

After that I watched every costume drama I could get my hands on. Luckily, my Austen awakening coincided with the Austen fever that started as soon as Colin Firth jumped into that pond. A film of Sense and Sensibility was made along with two versions of Emma and I got all the old BBC adaptations from the library on video. These films and tv adaptations are so familiar to me now that I feel like they belong to me. When they show clips of P&P on tv I feel oddly violated, like someone is showing old home movies of me.

Jane Austen’s words and stories were the background to my childhood. Because of her I am a hopeless romantic, can’t bear people who care too much about money, don’t find it creepy when cousins marry, and really couldn’t marry someone who didn’t “glow” at me*.

I finally read Pride & Prejudice when I was about 12. I started it with a little trepidation, worried that I would find it hard to understand or that the adaption I loved so much was all wrong. Of course I loved it and found it easy to read and wonderful.

Since then I have read all of the main books, visited houses Jane Austen lived in, watched more adaptations and studied Austen at university. I love her.

“The person, be they gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in an Austen novel, must be intolerably stupid”

This is glowing I melt when I see that look on his face... *sigh*

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