June 18, 2013

The Austen, Bronte, & Dickens Post

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. ~ Charlotte Bronte

Wow, you're thinking. That's a lot of authors to cover in one single post! You're completely right. But if it makes you feel better, I'm only going to talk about one story per author. And only a few thoughts for each one. So on with discussion!

Jane Austen ~ Welcome to Sanditon

Remember back when this show first started and I posted my thoughts on the first episode? Of course you don't. Here's a refresher. Anyway, I've been faithfully watching every week. Also reading stuff written by the creators because the Thursday episode's kept confusing me. I have now figured out that we have only one episode of plot per week (on Monday's) and Thursday's video is devoted to fan service basically. Clara has posted a few recipe video's on Thursday's, but the main storyline happens on Monday's. I've read very mixed reactions to the series so far and to be honest, I've not always been 100% clear on how I felt about it myself. But I'm pretty much behind it now. And that's all due to this cute duo below!

That would be Clara and Ed. I loved Clara immediately upon meeting her. Ed, I wasn't so sure about. But he's grown on me and now this week (as in yesterday), I've decided he's adorably dorky and I'm totally rooting for him! So I'm really, really hoping he stays that way. I want to like him for always! He and Clara have great chemistry and...well........if you read my blog very often, you know already that I'm a sucker for a cute romance. These two have all the makings of that happening. And quickly too! Because it's only a short series and doesn't have many episodes. Who knows what will happen though? Since Austen's original story is unfinished and the writers of the series have really branched off from the book, there's no telling where we'll end up. But I really want Clara and Ed to end up together! Just sayin'. :D  Here's more info if you're interested. And here's the newest episode.

Charlotte Bronte ~ The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

I know I'm not the only one who has felt bereft since The Lizzie Bennet Diaries went off air. :( But I've discovered another video diary along a similar vein. The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is (obviously) based on Jane Eyre. I had better state right up front that I tried reading the book and couldn't finish it. (It just wasn't working for me. Maybe someday I'll try it again, who knows?) So based on that, I was kind of hesitant to start this. But I have seen a couple of adaptations (there are so many to choose from!) and didn't mind them, so I thought why not. It never hurts to try it once! You guys, it really is pretty cute. But vastly different in tone from The LBD just to warn you. (Which it has to be because the books are vastly different themselves.)

That would happen to be the torso's of Jane and Rochester. Why yes, we're only on episode 11 and we've just met Rochester! (Phooey on that 60 episode business. ;) But only his torso, legs, and feet so far, no go on his face. As I said, it's pretty cute. And it's only begun, so if you want to get in on the story from the beginning now's your chance! Since there's only 11 episodes, you should at least try it, right? :D The first episode is here, but beware that there's no people in it. Jane doesn't show up until episode 2.

Charles Dickens ~ Bleak House

So I finally watched this mini-series a few weeks ago! Whoa. Dickens doesn't mess around, does he? I've seen Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, so I kind of knew what to expect of his stories. But still, I don't know how he wrote such intricate details with such a huge array of characters! I'm in amazement at his ability to throw out all these seemingly disconnected characters (there's a large number of them!) and then slowly start weaving them all together. That was certainly something he excelled at! He also never shied away from showing the gritty and dark side to life back then.

I admit it. The one reason I was finally convinced to watch this was because of these two people. Esther Summerson and Dr. Allan Woodcourt were so sweet! Their love story was wonderful. Their characters were wonderful! Especially Esther. I can't imagine watching this and not loving her and wishing only good things would happen to her. She is a remarkable character and absolutely my favorite. I loved watching Dr. Woodcourt watch her. He was so adorably obvious! Sigh. Okay, I'll be quiet now.

Anyway, I did enjoy the series. Very glad I watched it. I started it with a friend on a Sunday afternoon, and had to keep watching way past my bedtime because I had to finish it! I had to know what was going to happen! Mr. Dickens is also really good at the suspense. Or perhaps that's the skill of the screenwriters. Either way, this was an enjoyable series. :)


  1. Curious about Sandition though I suspect first I should watch the rest of LBD. Someday. ;)

    Oh. My. Gosh! I adore Bleak House. I think it's the best of Dickens on DVD. Glad you chose this version also - it's the best.

    Esther is probably one of my favorite Dickens characters. She interesting and always tries to do what is right which makes her ending all the sweeter.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Actually Rissi, the way that Sanditon is going, I really don't think you'd need to watch all of The LBD to understand it. All you really need to know is that Gigi is Darcy's little sister and working for Pemberly Digital. It is its own story. As it's a shorter series, it might be fun to try. You know, if you want. No pressure though! :)

      Esther is so wonderful! You're exactly right. She is so good and so sweet. I was rooting for her all the way through and would have been mightily upset if she didn't get her happy ending. She truly deserved it! Plus she just seemed like someone who'd make a good friend. I really loved her. By far she is my favorite Dickens character, of the few that I've seen anyway. :)

  2. Have you seen any versions of Jane Eyre? It begins horribly slowly, definitely a simmering book, not a pot-boiler. BUT if you make it through all the stuff about her childhood, you get rewarded with Mr. Rochester. Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester the Wonderful. Swoon. And then, after the first breathless readthrough where you simply won't be able to continue breathing if Jane and her Edward aren't united for good and all... you can go back and reread it and appreciate all the fine crafting of Jane's character, blah blah blah ;-)

    1. Hamlette, I have seen a couple versions. The one with Ciaran Hinds (might have spelled that wrong, too lazy to look it up). Also saw the one with William Hurt several years ago. I have not seen the most recent movie, but I'd like to someday. Oh! I've seen the 2006 mini series too! At least most of it.

      I don't know. Maybe it is that horrible slow beginning that got me. I just couldn't seem to enjoy myself and so I stopped reading. I've heard so many rave over it and it is a classic, so.....

  3. There that story pops up again--LBD...I should see more of them...they seem like they would be fun...now I see here Jane Eyre is a new one...now that sounds interesting to me...I LOVE this story and the 2006 miniseries with Toby Stephens is ALL time fav version...and one of my fav classic period dramas EVER. If you get me going I'll gush all over this post about that haha...I just loved those two particular leads and their chemistry and the nuances of Rochester's character and personality that Toby was able to convey compared to other version... Will have to watch one of the new fan based vid's on it though...thanks for sharing!

    I also adore Bleak House...Esther and Dr. Woodcourt...*sighhhh* I totally am with you, he was adorable and I just loved so much the part where he meets her again after being apart so long and how she is so afraid to show her scarred face and he was just so lovely to her in that scene :)Dickens, was an insane genius to be able to weave story lines together as he did...really!!

    1. Jeanine, The LBD is loads of fun! Definitely had me hooked in for the last half of the story. :)

      I agree the 2006 version is very well done. Love it when they have so much time to truly adapt the story instead of rushing things quickly because of time constraints. Toby was excellent! I hope you enjoy the new version. It's different, but still cute. We'll see if that can continue.

      Yes! I loved those two so much! That moment he sees her again is so sweet and lovely and.....*sighhhhh* ;) I will be replaying their scenes for quite some time in my head! "Insane genius" is a great description of Dickens. He really was. A master weaver of storylines! :D

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the Jane Eyre story, I LOVE the book.
    Was one of the first books I ever had a physical reaction to (my heart was pounding with excitement the first time Jane and Rochester kiss, though I'll admit getting there was rather dreary).

    So I'll check that out.

    ALSO! I'm SO-So on Sanditon. I really like Clara and Gigi, but I often feel like nothing is happening, like, at all.

    1. I can see where you'd feel that way, Alex. Sanditon is definitely a unique story so far. Very slow moving for sure. Clara is so great though! She's who keeps convincing me to watch the newest video. I wouldn't like it half so well without her.

      Glad I could help! Especially if you love the book that much. :) The series is pretty quiet. But I felt like it fit Jane's personality to be that way. Hope you enjoy them! :)

    2. I watched the Jane Eyre series the other day and I do think it fits the book quite well while being a little lighter and more accesible. I like the pace too, and the way they are weaving in Jane's past. :D

    3. I'm happy you're enjoying it so far, Alex! I agree the pacing and the lighter moments and just everything seems to fit really well. It will be fun to see where they go with the story. I mean, I know where they go, but how they will get there should be interesting. ;)

  5. YAY!!! I am so glad that you watched Bleak House after all! Oh, you are making me want to watch it again! :-D

    And thank you for introducing me to the Jane Eyre miniseries! I just finished getting caught up last night with the episodes... :D

    Happy Monday!!!

    1. Thank you so much for convincing me to watch it, Rebecca! It was all because of you and I am so happy I finally did. You're pretty convincing! :D

      Oh, I'm so glad you're enjoying it. I am too. I hope they can continue to draw me into the story. Perhaps they'll help convince me to try the book again. :)


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