12 Apr 2014

“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”

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the cast

I’m so old that I can remember when Jane Austen was looked upon as a dusty classic author, whose best-known novel, Pride and Prejudice, was deemed appropriately penitential reading for 12th grade English.

Jane Austen’s virtuous, but critically intelligent young ladies have subsequently proven to represent flattering enough portraits of female-kind to appeal intensely to the modern liberated woman, and Austen’s novels in recent decades made a somewhat startling leap from the worthy-but-neglected category of high brow literature to a comfortable position in popular culture.

The latest incarnation of Pride and Prejudice, amusingly enough, I think, is as a 9-and-a-half hour. on-line, modernized adaptation.

Lizzie Bennet Diaries homepage

Episode 1:

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bob sykes

I should have thought that Austen’s heroines would be anathema to modern “liberated (= brainwashed)” womyn. They are thoroughly middle class, practicing, believing High Church Protestants, heterosexual, domestic, and seeking good marriages. They are more or less content in the society they inhabit.

That they are also critical thinkers, morally grounded, indiosyncratic and extremely interesting and attractive creatures is also true.


I saw this the other day


Senior Student: “Sir, this book seriously sucks.”

Me: “Jane Austen is beloved around the world and her novels are considered classics. Just give it a chance.”

Him: “If I was interested in a bunch of boring people who do nothing and gossip all day, I can hang around the cafeteria.”


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