Pride and PrejudiceElizabeth Bennet (mother obsessed with marrying daughters off, father amusing but not very helpful) dislikes Mr Darcy because he is too proud. She becomes prejudiced against him and even likes one man (Wickham) because he speaks ill of Darcy. Her life is occupied with sisters Jane, who is calm and loves Bingham, and Lydia, who loves soldiers (Wickham) and who brings family into disrepute (Wickham). Elizabeth inadvertently discovers that Darcy is unbelievably rich. They marry immediately. Mother knew best.
PersuasionFeaturing Anne Elliot (plain, educated, sensitive, wise, family down on luck). Father and spoilt sister go to Bath for society, Anne to another sister (selfish, stupid, married to cheerful farmer). Children get sick, Anne tower of strength. Visited by Captain Wentworth. (Naval man at time of Trafalgar = national hero.) Wentworth and Anne have met before, have loved, and Anne has rejected Wentworth's proposal of marriage but heart not still. Farmer's sister falls off seawall and Wentworth realises he's an idiot about Anne. Hooray!
EmmaBeautiful daughter of silly old fool has nothing better to do than manipulate and matchmake in snobbish rural society. Behaves very stupidly and messes up life of Harriet Smith, a harmless woman who should obviously marry local farmer. Eventually marries best friend Mr Knightley, the resonance of whose name she had previously failed to notice. (See Clueless.) They're obviously not a substitute for reading the novels themselves, but they're a bit of fun, and perhaps a good way to remind yourself of the books you've read. ("I'm sure I've read it...I just can't remember what it was all about...") A few more examples of John Clarke's work, including 1984 and Moby Dick, can be found here.
Having become resigned to spinsterhood, Mary is surprised to find herself swooning at Arthur de Bourgh, a kindred spirit (and newly invented character) who’s inherited the estate of the novel’s late and largely un-mourned Lady Catherine. Anne, the daughter of Lady Catherine, has other ideas about how Arthur might be most suitably matched.At the Jane Austen News we're just sad that there isn't a production playing in the UK!
The U.S. Vintage Classics Collection
The UK Vintage Classics Collection
The Penguin English Library Collection
The Penguin Clothbound Classics Collection
The Penguin Original Classics Collection
The Juniper Books Collection
The Heirloom Box Set Collection
The Everyman's Library Hardcover CollectionKate's original article can be found here.
Until the first world war, novelists from Austen to Trollope to Forster could describe specific sums of money belonging to their characters because from 1814 to 1914 there was very slow inflation. For a century, Mr Darcy’s £10,000 a year was intelligible to readers, as was the average income of £30 a year. These were stable reference points that everybody could understand as marks of status or the lack of it. Only after 1918, when major European governments left the gold standard, did inflation gallop away. One consequence was that specific amounts of money virtually disappeared from literatureAn interesting thought. Certainly one we'll be noticing more in the books we read now! The full article on writers' reluctance to write about monetary amounts can be read here.
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