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Austen on Film > Sanditon at last! (ITV/PBS)

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message 1: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments This just arrived from PBS:

Jane Austen’s Unfinished Final Novel “Sanditon” Comes to MASTERPIECE

ITV, Red Planet Pictures, and MASTERPIECE on PBS are set to bring a lavish new drama to life based on Austen’s final manuscript, developed by Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/...


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments Oh no, really, Andrew Davies? I'm disappointed about that. I was hoping for more of a satirist as the screenwriter. (Doesn't mean I won't tune in and watch avidly, of course...) Thanks for bringing us the news!


message 3: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Mck. (diannemck) Oh thank you so much for the Heads Up!!


message 4: by Tina (new)

Tina (tinacz) | 55 comments Got my "invitation" in today's e-mail. Can't wait!!


message 5: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Abigail wrote: "Oh no, really, Andrew Davies? I'm disappointed about that. I was hoping for more of a satirist as the screenwriter. (Doesn't mean I won't tune in and watch avidly, of course...) Thanks for bringing..."

Don't give up hope-there WAS a big screen adaptation in the works. Being an unfinished novel, there's lots of room for interpretation. Give the seaside setting I'm sure Andrew Davies will throw in a few wet shirt scenes. ITV brought us Downton Abbey, Home Fires, The Durrells in Corfu but also Mr. Selfridge which I did not like. I'm being cautiously optimistic.


message 6: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments Well, the article did mention lots of nude bathing, which does not inspire confidence! Also a trip to the stews of London and an unconventional and headstrong heroine (not my idea of Charlotte Heywood!). So a big humph from me until it proves otherwise. Will hope that the big-screen adaptation does materialize--maybe written by a Whit Stillman or someone better of his ilk.


message 7: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments "develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.”
Modern audience is the key. Think Poldark. Poldark has skinny dipping, shirtless scything and some pretty steamy but still in the dark love scenes. ITV tends to push limits a bit more than the BBC but apparently PBS is OK with that.

Here's a link to news about the original production that was slated to hit theaters
http://www.willowandthatch.com/jane-a...


message 8: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 111 comments I don't quite see the point of making a film.of an unfinished fragment of a novel.


message 9: by victoria_tonks (new)

victoria_tonks | 15 comments Am I the only one excited about the prospect? I know Andrew Davies has his flaws but I happen to love his Austen adaptations (not unreservedly, but still, I cannot live without them). True, skinny dipping + Austen sounds bizarre, but I am going to give the producers the benefit of the doubt anyway. I can't wait for the casting news.


message 10: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments victoria_tonks wrote: "Am I the only one excited about the prospect? I know Andrew Davies has his flaws but I happen to love his Austen adaptations (not unreservedly, but still, I cannot live without them). True, skinny ..."

I am 100% with you. Davies gave us Pride and Prejudice 95 and Northanger Abbey, both of which I could watch over and over again. I'm super excited. Bring it on!! :)


message 11: by Andrea AKA Catsos Person (last edited Nov 05, 2018 04:44PM) (new)

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 169 comments Abigail wrote: "Well, the article did mention lots of nude bathing, which does not inspire confidence! Also a trip to the stews of London and an unconventional and headstrong, heroine (not my idea of Charlotte Heyw..."

I'm a big reader of HR and when I see words above that I "bolded," i run for zee hills!


message 12: by QNPoohBear (last edited Feb 17, 2019 11:34AM) (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments It's official-casting news is here!

Sanditon casting news

I loved Theo James in Downton Abbey, I would have chosen him as the wannabe rake, Sir Edward Denham. Sidney doesn't even really appear in the story at all. He's mentioned at the end of the fragment. I'm not crazy about the idea of the story going to the seedier part of London but the West Indies makes sense. There's a Miss Lambe, an heiress, "half mulatto, chilly and tender" whatever "chilly and tender" means.

I look forward to seeing it but I'm not sure it's going to be what Austen intended.


message 13: by Tina (new)

Tina (tinacz) | 55 comments Received my newsletter shout-out. So looking forward to it!!


message 14: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments "Joyously impulsive, spirited, and unconventional"? Charlotte Heywood is none of those things; she's quiet and observant with a sense of humor. Andrew Davies strikes again.


message 15: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Abigail wrote: ""Joyously impulsive, spirited, and unconventional"? Charlotte Heywood is none of those things; she's quiet and observant with a sense of humor. Andrew Davies strikes again."

I questioned that too. Charlotte is the daughter of a farmer, isn't she? She just goes with the Parkers because she's told to. She does seem to have a sense of humor. It's quiet though. I agree, she's thoughtful and observant and sees the humor in her situation.


message 16: by victoria_tonks (new)

victoria_tonks | 15 comments Hmmm. 'Joyously impulsive' is not what I would use to describe Charlotte either but I am excited anyway. ;)


message 17: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments She’s the daughter of a country gentleman, perhaps the squire of his parish. He has gentility and money but such a numerous family that he can’t afford things like taking his children to London for a Season.


message 18: by Legne (new)

Legne Hardt | 4 comments I am excited to see how they will handle the ending. My favorite version of the ones I have read is the 1975 Houghton Mifflin edition: Sanditon by 'Jane Austen and Another Lady'. She makes a charming addition with some friends of Sidney and Clara's cousin, and uses the very Jane Austen-y trope of the heroine not recognizing a feminine soul-mate right under her nose until it is too late.


message 19: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments I liked Juliette Shapiro's better. I have yet to read Anna Austen Lefroy's version.


message 20: by Legne (new)

Legne Hardt | 4 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "I liked Juliette Shapiro's better. I have yet to read Anna Austen Lefroy's version."
I'll have to check that one out. One difficulty with the Sanditon finishes(on Amazon at least) is that the sample offered, to see if you like it, is, of course, just the original pages by Jane Austen! I'm on a book budget :( so I like to know a bit of what I am getting before I buy.


message 21: by victoria_tonks (new)

victoria_tonks | 15 comments Legne wrote: "I am excited to see how they will handle the ending. My favorite version of the ones I have read is the 1975 Houghton Mifflin edition: Sanditon by 'Jane Austen and Another Lady'. "
I like this version too!


message 23: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
Thanks for the link!


message 24: by Legne (new)

Legne Hardt | 4 comments She looks like a great Charlotte!


message 25: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments The costumes look good. I'm eager to see more pictures. The scenery looks gorgeous anyway, even if the story turns out to be bad.


message 26: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments The trailer is up now. It looks pretty wild and crazy for Jane. I'm not sure I like it.

Coming to ITV UK
https://youtu.be/Ghbi0SXU-FA

and PBS (US) in 2020
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/...


message 27: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments Might be a good series in its own right, though, if we detach ourselves from the idea of its being Austen. And considering the character of Sir Edward Denham, I'm not sure Davies is entirely wrong to sex it up. Sir Edward does aspire to being a seducer.


message 28: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments I'm reserving judgment but I don't think it looks Austen enough and I'm unsure what Andrew Davies is doing with spunky Miss Lambe spouting modern day ideas.


message 29: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
I'm not sure how much I'm going end up liking it, but I'm DEFINITELY going to watch it!


message 30: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Rachel wrote: "I'm not sure how much I'm going end up liking it, but I'm DEFINITELY going to watch it!"

Same here.


message 31: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Interview quotes from Andrew Davies. None of what he says makes me thrilled to watch this.
(view spoiler)


message 32: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 506 comments No kidding! When some early publicity mentioned "the stews of London" I knew we were far from Austenland. I'm trying to detach from thinking of it as JA and simply looking forward to a well-filmed period movie.


message 33: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments I can't believe he ran out of material in the first episode. Jane wrote half the book and set the stage. She failed to introduce Sidney and that's usually where the authors pick it up. Andrew Davies just needs to go and write his own original story.

If you like Austenesque dramas you all might want to check out Belgravia, also being adapted and airing on PBS. It's more Austen than this Sanditon.


message 34: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments Not sure if this is the right place to discuss but... has anybody seen it yet? Any thoughts? The first two episodes are available on ITV Hub. I'm super curious to share opinions/impressions!!


message 35: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Haven't seen it yet. It won't air in the U.S. until next year.


message 36: by Bookworm (new)

Bookworm | 21 comments I've seen the trailer, and am sad at the path they have taken classic's. Also, what is up with the music for the trailer-21st century no less. Disappointed.


message 37: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments I just thought it would make me annoyed, but my Mum is watching so if she gives it a final thumbs up I'll get the DVD or something... having said that she said the first episode was hilarious, but not for the right reasons and the second was better but seemed off/wrong.


message 38: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments Hello, I'm new to this group, so I hope I may join in the discussion.

As expected, mixed thoughts so far, and I think that is going to be the same across all the media reviews and so on. Right from the off, the adaptation (and extension of the plot beyond JA) was always going to be controversial - even without the Andrew Davies' spin!

In a way, I feel AD has finally been allowed to write the JA novel he has always wanted to - he couldn't do it with P&P because, irritatingly for him, JA had already written it! All he could do was 'sex it up' (!) but 'modestly' - about the most he could do was show Darcy in a wet shirt and getting out of his bath, and Wickam and Lydia lolling about in bed.

But with Sanditon he's been 'let loose' and boy does it show!

It's probably best to view Sanditon as an AD novel, not a JA one, and then one can enjoy it for what it is. It has, from watching the first two episodes in the UK, a very 'odd' look and feel to it. All the landscapes are weird (the headlands are about the most normal, and look very Poldarkian!) (probably, yes, because they are the only non-set/CGI shots possible in the 21st century). Even the 'real' interiors (I'm assuming they are real and not studio shots?) have picked really odd country houses - Lady Denham's is seriously weird. So is Mr Parker's house.

There is a high 'sleaze' factor about the whole thing - and some very flaky characters. About the most 'normal' (and likeable) are the heroine and Mrs Parker.

Miss Lamb is also very likeable (and the most sympathetic character so far) but 'normal for the period' she is not!

Or is she? I would be interested to read some accurate historical accounts of just how 'socially acceptable' it was to be 'non-white' in any sense at all, let alone if one were the daughter of a slave and their master. Maybe the characterisation is entirely justified, but in which case the early nineteenth century was actually 'less racist' than even in my own youth!!

So far, I think the star of the show is Lady Denham - the actress Anne Reid makes an excellent stab at her - a mix of infuriating, refreshingly frank, and with the cynicism of old age.

Overall, though, Sanditon leaves a 'bad taste' - it is the opposite of 'feel good' TV alas. Maybe that makes it more historically real, but less enjoyable.


message 39: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments Just a thought, but since we now have a leading black character in the story, and given that the script is very clear about showing the 'seamy side' of life at that time, how on earth are they going to avoid some really, really, horrible racist comments about Miss Lamb? Because the 'low life' characters are certainly unlikely to miss that opportunity alas. It's not going to be pleasant to watch.....


message 40: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 709 comments Thank you Beth for your assessment. It was NOT "OK" to be non-white even if her father was a wealthy planter. It was more common in the West Indies for men to have enslaved women as their mistresses and even black wives but back in England, despite slavery being illegal, being a person of color was not easy or acceptable. Look at Dido Belle Lindsay Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice. The movie is JUST like a Jane Austen novel if a woman of color was the heroine. Real life was less romantic. Even though Belle was the natural niece of the Lord Chief Justice and became invaluable to him, she was still a second class citizens. She was companion to her heiress cousin (white) and stayed away during dinner parties. In London and the cities there were mixed race people but not of the upper classes. However, they didn't seem to have the same black codes we had here in the American South. The system was different.


message 41: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments So many interesting points Beth!!

Beth-In-UK wrote: "It's probably best to view Sanditon as an AD novel, not a JA one, and then one can enjoy it for what it is."

Yes, that is the attitude I had when watching it, and it certainly helps. It helps that I haven't read Sanditon, either, so I went with an entirely open mind, ready to just enjoy a regency romance by the man who brought me so much pleasure with P&P95 and Northanger Abbey.

Beth-In-UK wrote: "All the landscapes are weird (the headlands are about the most normal, and look very Poldarkian!). Even the 'real' interiors have picked really odd country houses - Lady Denham's is seriously weird. So is Mr Parker's house."

You are so right! What about the Denham siblings and that absurd parlour they live in??



I am intrigued about Miss Lamb. Tbh, I'm not that bothered about historical accuracy when it comes to the depiction of race - so many other things aren't accurate, I'd be happy with a well-rounded character who is a POC and who has satisfying plot arcs and is fun to watch. So far, Miss Lamb ticks those boxes, so I'm happy.

What I'm less happy about is Charlotte Heywood/Sidney Parker. At the moment, Sidney is quickly becoming irredeemably obnoxious and I really want to enjoy the romance here.

Am I the only one who thinks that the wet-shirt scene in P&P95 has gone down in the public consciousness for the wrong reasons? Colin Firth's body is not actually on display in that scene, and the shirt isn't even that wet. He's fully clothed, at all events, and the scene is memorable for how funny/romantic/awkward it is, and not for how erotic it is. Similarly, Darcy wasn't ever actually rude to Elizabeth's face. Yet here, in Sanditon 2019, Davies seems to embrace this false memory of P&P, and goes down the road of: it can't be a romantic hero if there isn't a) a pointless scene where he is needlessly horrible to the heroine and they quarrel and b) a pointless scene of gratuitous water-based nudity.


message 42: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments QN PoohBear - thank you for your insight into race in the Austen era. I think what you say rings very true. I just cannot believe that Regency society was 'colour-blind' in any way at all, even for individuals who were 'untainted' (!) by slavery (ie, were not Afro-Caribbean descendants of slaves), however rich they might be. As you say, Dido Belle's social status was very 'delicate' to put it politely - she could mix 'a bit', but how totally pointed that she was not comme il faut for dinner parties! Oh, the horror, my dears, of finding oneself seated next to a black woman!!!!!!!!!

So, yes, I agree that it's best simply to suspend disbelief etc when it comes to this issue in Sanditon, and, indeed, on many other issues as well! Best not to think of this as JA at all!

To my mind, though, whilst I do understand why screenwriters have a vogue these days for 'racing up' historical dramas (if I can use 'racing up' as the face analogy for 'sexing up' (a la wet shirt etc!), partly for the sake of giving non-white actors a chance to be in period dramas, and partly to encourage non-white audiences to watch (see my comment below on Beecham House), it really does start to jar when not a historical period drama goes by these days without the deliberate insertion of non-white characters in roles that are 'unlikely' (??) to be historically accurate.

Poldark has just done this, with the introduction of a black female character, and in a way I feel it was done specifically so our h and H (Ross and Demelza) could demonstrate to us their 'woke' credentials by being about the only people in the story (OK, along with the other 'good guys' eg Dwight and his wife etc) who treated her with any respect and friendliness. A bit of historical fiction virtue signalling methinks!

But although I can see the scriptwriters' reasoning, I'm not sure they are doing the current generation any favours - by putting a 'kinder face' on the cruelty of historic racism, and not showing just how utterly appallingly non-whites were treated, they may - and sorry for the use of the term but I can't think of a more acceptable alternative - be guilty of 'whitewashing' history. If I were a young black woman watching Sanditon now, I would be a mix of angry and horrified to think that the author was trying to persuade me that my historic counterparts would not have been 'shown the door' and insulted and demeaned.

In contrast to say Sanditon and Poldark, the recent historical drama series, Beecham House, was far more 'true to history' (I think!), because it dealt with a specific period in South Asian (Indian subcontinent) history where there truly was noticeably far less overt racism between the European merchants and traders towards the Indian population, to the point where marriages were common and not unaccepted. Also, of course, in BH there are a whole lot of completely independent Indian characters, who have lives and stories of their own, irrespective of the white hero. I'm sure it was still a bit knowingly 'woke', but the underlying historic truth of 'less racist' was underpinning it all the same.

If BH has been aired in India/Pakistan, I wonder how it has been received....ie, by those on the receiving end of European decisions as to how to depict them!

Anyway, back to Sanditon, and I agree, we have to let Miss Lamb simply be as she is portrayed, and see what happens to her! I hope she ends up with a nice husband - or a nice fate at any rate! She deserves to!


message 43: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments Emilia - glad I'm not the only one finding the interiors weird!!!

And as for the Denham siblings, am I being unpleasantly overimaginative in thinking there is some 'unnatural association' between the two of them??? We know he is a sleazeball of the first order, and she is 'nasty and spiteful' etc, but all that hair brushing he's doing on her, etc, is very suspect. Have to say, given the rest of the sleaze factor AD is inserting, incest would not come as a surprise to me, sigh.


message 44: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments SN Poo Bear: You write "However, they didn't seem to have the same black codes we had here in the American South. The system was different. "

I suspect two reasons for that - the first that of course in the American south the ratio of the two populations was far different from that in the UK, where the non-whites were a minute number (freed slaves, emigres, sailors, servants, etc). In no way therefore could they be seen as a 'threat' to prevailing society - no one here had to be scared of a 'slave revolt' etc etc.

Secondly, however, is our old friend, British self-righteous hypocrisy!! By an large we pride ourselves on our virtuous love of liberty and individual freedom and all round decency (!!!!), so we would never 'stoop' to instigating overt racist/segregationist laws. That sort of thing is for foreigners (and ex-colonials!).

BUT, the hypocrisy is that though we don't have such overt laws, of course we have silent but devastatingly effective social custom. Dido might not have suffered overt discrimination legally (other than being female of course!), but there were other highly effective, and in their way just as cruel - possibly crueller - ways to segregate her out of social mixing. There was, and in some ways, sadly, still is, a form of 'silent apartheid' where nothing is said, but discrimination persists and is 'taken for granted' just as it was in historic times. (It was also used, even more subtly and silently, and just as horribly, about those who could 'pass' for 'us', but who weren't - for example, Levantines and Jews.....they just didn't get invited and were always seen as 'different'.... not 'us'.....subtle and nasty.) (With some unpleasant descriptions too - such as calling someone snidely 'a son of Abraham' etc etc.) (Of course, this kind of thing was also applied to those who'd made - shock horror! - their money in, gasp, TRADE!!!!!!)


message 45: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments The Charlotte/Sidney ding-dong is very brutal, I agree. I read in passing somewhere that AD has inserted lots of 'Austen tags' etc, and so I guess the C/S ding-dong is supposed to echo the Lizzie-Darcy sparing. But it's so brutal and cruel that it's very hard to see Sidney as sympathetic in any way.

Maybe it brings home the age disparity between the two of them, with highlighting that at his age Sidney has seen the world and grown up, whereas Charlotte hasn't?

As for the Sidney/Darcy 'tag', AD is definitely going OTT re the swimming scene in PandP which, I agree Emilia, was far less about wet shirts and far more about the first time we see Darcy being human! (I love the bit where he repeats his enquiry about Lizzie's parents, and she almost smiles at that.....lovely!)

I'm not sure where AD is going to go with the C/H relationship. I believe literary critics of Jane Austen point out that Sidney is earmarked to be the hero as although a younger brother he has a financial independence, which would make him marriageable for Charlotte. But right now he's far too harsh to be inflicted on any female at all!

But there is such a 'weirdness' about the whole of Sanditon that no one really seems real, and very few are sympathetic at all.


message 46: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments Beth-In-UK wrote: "To my mind, though, whilst I do understand why screenwriters have a vogue these days for 'racing up' historical dramas, it really does start to jar when not a historical period drama goes by these days without the deliberate insertion of non-white characters in roles that are 'unlikely' (??) to be historically accurate.

Poldark has just done this, with the introduction of a black female character, and in a way I feel it was done specifically so our h and H (Ross and Demelza) could demonstrate to us their 'woke' credentials"


Personally, I like to see more diversity on set of period dramas because in fact it is more accurate. It's just not true that Britain in the past was somehow all white, as historical shows often portray it. So the change that is occurring is for the better both when accuracy is concerned and when the good of society is concerned. That being said, it does create a dilemma for the writer since it's unlikely to be very endearing if your hero or heroine interacts with a POC as they would have likely done in those times, rather than in the way a modern non-racist person would. But there is no reason why POCs can't be included in ways that are both enjoyable to watch and not atrociously inaccurate. As I said before, some inaccuracy is inherent in story-telling. Depending on the genre, you will want to make things appear better or worse, prettier or uglier, cleaner or dirtier than reality and that's fine, to a point.

I am a member of a minority and I can say that for my own part seeing yourself represented in a way that perhaps is fantastical in its optimism but well-executed, is a treat. The other day I saw a person of my group on TV as a very likeable side-character, and even though I know that in reality they would have experienced all sorts of difficulties, I was just happy to see them, happy to hear them make actually funny jokes, happy to seem them represented in so positive a way. I was happy to hear people talk about the show and call the character their "favourite". It made my day. Realistic depictions of "my people" are often so depressing, I avoid them. I don't go to fiction for that sort of thing, I go to cheer myself up. I don't want to speak for other people though, and I do see your point.

Beth-In-UK wrote: And as for the Denham siblings, am I being unpleasantly overimaginative in thinking there is some 'unnatural association' between the two of them??? We know he is a sleazeball of the first order, and she is 'nasty and spiteful' etc, but all that hair brushing he's doing on her, etc, is very suspect. Have to say, given the rest of the sleaze factor AD is inserting, incest would not come as a surprise to me, sigh.

Haha you're absolutely right, there's definitely that vibe there. I think it's implied they're not blood related though? I don't know, it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. I think they might be step-siblings? That didn't bother me as much as the cartoonish villainy they were exemplifying. Also... did you notice that half the time her dress and make up make Miss Denham look like a vamp from the 1930s and not at all like a woman from the Regency?

Beth-In-UK wrote: (I love the bit where he repeats his enquiry about Lizzie's parents, and she almost smiles at that.....lovely!)

YES! It was lovely and it was subtle! Where is all the subtlety?? Although... did you notice the architect? Do you think he might be a love-interest? Because if so, I'm all for it! A man with a job and a skill rather than a smoking, gallavanting, rude lay-about! Yes please!! But perhaps I am being too optimistic. We'll see :)

Beth-In-UK wrote: But there is such a 'weirdness' about the whole of Sanditon that no one really seems real, and very few are sympathetic at all.

You are not wrong there, sadly! So far, I like Mr and Mrs Parker, Charlotte, Miss Lambe and, though she's not a sympathetic character, Lady Denham. She's just oodles of fun to watch. So it's not an entirely forlorn hope. Tonight's the next episode!! I hope it gets better!


message 47: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 111 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "I can't believe he ran out of material in the first episode. Jane wrote half the book and set the stage. She failed to introduce Sidney and that's usually where the authors pick it up. Andrew Davie..."

i don’t know how long the book was going to be, but I’ve always assumed we’ve got maybe a quarter of it rather than half.


message 48: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 111 comments Beth-In-UK wrote: "QN PoohBear - thank you for your insight into race in the Austen era. I think what you say rings very true. I just cannot believe that Regency society was 'colour-blind' in any way at all, even for..."

Jane Austen describes Miss Lambe as ‘half mulatto’ which suggests she was perhaps three quarters white, probably less conspicuous than the lady in the tv version.


message 49: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments Emilia and Louise, I definitely stand corrected! I actually didn't realise that Austen created Miss Lambe (at all!)( I don't know which of the characters in the TV version are actually in the fragment of the novel), let alone that she described her in that way.

Emilia, the whole issue of 'historical race' (if I may call it that?) is difficult, isn't it, because, just as women were 'obscured' from HIS-story, so, perhaps, any non-whites were as well??? I know the Dido Belle portrait is rare, but maybe it's TOO rare??

It's heartening to hear from you that you welcome even 'over-optimistic' fictional/dramatic portrayals - there is a danger, I would fear, of scriptwriters becoming 'patronising', and falling into the 'tokenism' error (I can't remember what the 'test' is for Hollywood and women, something to do with how many of the female characters only talk to each other and not to a man? Something like that???)


message 50: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK | 1192 comments I, too, shall watch tonight's episode with more attention now! :)


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