Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Jane Austen Week Questions- Part 1

Jane Austen Week by Elegance of FashionAs many of you would already know Miss Elizabeth Bennet over at Elegance of Fashion is running Jane Austen Week! How exciting!  
To get everyone involved in this special event Miss Elizabeth has complied a list of questions for us bloggers to answer. Be sure to visit her blog and join in the fun!

Due to the number of questions and the length of my answers I have decided to divide this post into two parts. The second part will be posted later during the week. 


What was your introduction to Jane Austen?

As a child I loved classic literature, I am not entirely sure how I first came to love it as although both my parents were avid readers they enjoyed the more modern titles. Growing up my favourites were Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little Woman followed quickly in the next years by Great Expectations, Jane Eyre and Washington Square. After that I read all the classic literature I could get a hold of, however I always passed over Jane Austen! Although I had heard of Pride & Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility had never seen the films or read the books and I actually didn't have a clue they were written by Jane!


But, one day when I was browsing at the local library, I saw a beautiful little book at the very bottom of the bookshelf. I remember it so clearly-it was sticking a little further out than the rest of the novels in the shelf- as if someone pulled it out to look at it but found it did not interest them and just left it half poking out. I remember feeling sorry for it, so I picked it up and read the title:

“Mansfield Park”
by Jane Austen.
And in two days my world was changed-I had finished my first Austen novel, I had a new favourite author and I had been introduced to a whole new world.


What is your favourite thing about Jane Austen? Why?
Goodness me, this is the hardest question to answer. My favourite thing about Jane Austen... I suppose it is the inspiration she brings. Both the inspirational life that she led and the inspiration I get from her novels.

One of the things that I love most about her novels in particular is how she writes so convincingly about life. The way she portrays everything- I love the language, the dancing and the social etiquette in her books and the how the more I read it the more I wish it was all still like that today.

I also admire Jane for the legacy she has left behind, the fact that many generations have been, and will continue to be impacted by her novels.



What are your top three favourite Jane Austen novels and why?

1. Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey is my favourite book in the whole wide world. If I go on holidays it is the first thing I pack, on my way to an exam it’s the last thing I read, if I’m having a tough day Catherine Morland's world is the first place I escape to. I love that every time I read it- wherever I may be; I am transported to a world a thousand miles away and where some of my best friends exist. But what is even better is that I don’t have to feel stupid for imagining this, because after all it is exactly what the heroine Catherine does.

I also love how Jane has cleverly combined the romance and irony of the story. It is so brilliantly written and the characters are so easy to identify with. And I also must mention that I am absolutely in love with Mr Tilney, which makes the reading of this novel all the more enjoyable.


2. Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is a novel that is so close to my heart. I love it! As I have already mentioned it was the first Austen novel I ever read, so it is very special.
I truly believe that Mansfield is the most beautifully written book that I have ever read, and I love reading it aloud because the language is so beautiful.

I love the characters in this novel- especially Fanny. She is sweet, selfless and so very patient. She is an unsung heroine, who just like in the novel deserves much more attention than she receives. As I read this book I am always struck with how Fanny's pain (and joy) becomes mine too. I love the emotional depth of this novel.


3. Persuasion

I love Persuasion because it gives me hope. Anne is getting older, she is losing the bloom of her youth, and she has perhaps lost the only man she could ever love. The storm clouds are looming ahead and her future seems...somewhat bleak. But in the midst of it all Anne stays firm and determined she does not succumb to the pressure and just give up.  I think it is such a touching and uplifting story with some great lessons which we can learn.

Also Capt. Wentworth’s letter! Seriously, that letter alone is enough reason for this novel to be #3 on my list. It melts my heart and gives me goose-bumps every time I read it.




Jane Austen Sequels...Do you like them or not?
I have never actually read a sequel and I am not sure whether or not I ever will. Generally I try to stick away from book adaptions and sequels because I always feel like I will judge them harshly and get frustrated. But lately I did read a modern adaptation on one of her books (Persuasion) which I did really enjoy.


Do you have a favourite spot to keep all your Jane Austen "stuff"?

Definitely! My entire room is kind of a Jane Austen zone, but I do have a special little corner where my Jane Austen calendar hangs, above my Jane Austen bookshelf. Because I collect the various covers and publishing dates of Austen novels and due to the fact I at present I own 44 copies (and still counting) they must have their own bookshelf. I am very protective of them too! The bookshelf is also very close to my bed so at night I can easily grab one to read! My Jane Austen dvds are also arranged together across the top of the bookshelf.


Much love; as always,

Mel xx

ps. Be sure to check back for part 2 later in the week!

8 comments:

Jemimah C. said...

I enjoyed reading your answers! It's interesting to see how we all came to know Jane Austen and what we think of her books, characters, etc.

Northanger Abbey is now one of my top favorite Austen books! Mr. Tilney is wonderful! And Captain Wentworth's letter is sweet! I can just picture your "Jane Austen room." Your Austen book collection sounds very interesting. That's something I would like to do someday.

Melody said...

It was very fun reading your answers, Missie! :)

I loved reading about your introduction to Jane Austen. That's so neat. ;-)

Oh, and *whispers* I think you meant Fanny is sweet, selfLESS and very patient. ;-)

I agree with you about Wentworth's letter! It's probably the best part of the whole book...tehe...

I have a JA calendar too! :) My friend gave it to me for Christmas. I was so excited.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Great Answers! Can't wait to see the other questions!

OldFashionedCharm said...

I love your story of how you discovered Jane Austen, it's so unique because most of the people I know watched the movies first. It's love that Mansfield Park was the first book you read! NA, MP and Persuasion are my favorites too! I don't really like sequels, I've only read a few because the others just sounded awful or too romanticized!
I felt right at home while reading this post because I agree with so much of what you said!

~Miss Laurie :)

Mel said...

Jemimah:
Thanks! Northanger Abbey is now one of your favourite Austen novels! YAY! and Mr Tilney is just so wonderful isn't he!

Melody:
Thank you so much - I fixed it up, it now says selfless (I can't believe I wrote selfish haha)

Ohh and I love that you're now calling me Missie, I am starting to really like the nickname :)

Miss Elizabeth:
Thanks!

Miss Laurie:
I felt the same way when I read your posts!

rosia_lady said...

beautiful blog...and posts...i love period dramas. Come to my blogs pls...if you want..thanks.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

"Mansfield Park is a novel that is so close to my heart. I love it! As I have already mentioned it was the first Austen novel I ever read, so it is very special.
I truly believe that Mansfield is the most beautifully written book that I have ever read, and I love reading it aloud because the language is so beautiful.

I love the characters in this novel- especially Fanny. She is sweet, selfless and so very patient. She is an unsung heroine, who just like in the novel deserves much more attention than she receives. As I read this book I am always struck with how Fanny's pain (and joy) becomes mine too. I love the emotional depth of this novel."
Would you mind if I quoted this for the conclusion of Jane Austen Week?

Mel said...

Miss Elizabeth:
I would not mind at all! Thanks for asking :)