Oh my, time does fly. Back in July, I announced that I would be taking part in the Everything Austen Challenge. I more than fulfilled the requirement to read or watch six Austen-related books or movies before January 1. In fact, I easily met the requirements of the Austen Challenge X Two. Alas, I have been too busy this fall (well, OK, sometimes just too lazy) to post about my reading and viewing adventures.
I’ve got bits and pieces of reviews scattered over my hard drive, which I will gather up and post over the next week or two, but in the meantime, I ring in the new year with a list of what I have read/watched since the Challenge began in July.
- Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, by Claire Herman. I actually did manage to post a review of this.
- Jane Austen Ruined My Life, by Beth Pattillo. An entertaining, Austen-inspired modern tale in which the heroine is lured to London by the promise of a cache of undiscovered Jane Austen letters. The cover alone, featuring a swooning lass in an eye-catching scarlet dress, is worth the price of the book.
- The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy by Pamela Aidan. These well-written books, told from Darcy’s point of view, include An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, and These Three Remain.
- “Clueless,” the fun 1995 movie that transports Emma to a 20th century high school. Alicia Silverstone plays the clueless, matchmaking heroine.
- Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler, two time-traveling tales. In “Confessions,” a modern-day woman awakens to find herself in Regency England. In “Awakenings,” a Regency era lady awakens in 21st century L.A., ironically in front of a TV showing the BBC series of “Pride and Prejudice.”
- Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll. Billed as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, this Regency era bodice ripper serves up all the sex and violence Austen left out of her novels, and then some.
- The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy. A saga of Mr. Darcy’s doings before and after he meets Lizzy Bennet, deftly told in diary form. Turns out that Mr. Darcy is not quite as repressed as one might expect. Well, he is a guy in his 20s, after all.
- Mr. Darcy’s Diary, by Amanda Grange. A nicely done reworking of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view.
- “Miss Austen Regrets,” the quietly charming BBC/PBS television drama starring Olivia Williams as the novelist toward the end of her life, as she advises her niece and reflects on her own brushes with romance.
- “Sense and Sensibility,” by Jane Austen. Of Austen’s six published novels, this is the one that has always eluded me. I have finally read all of it. I confess I prefer P&P and Emma, but there’s no such thing as bad Austen.