Thursday, March 04, 2010

All That's Left

I just finished Northanger Abbey a few moments ago. As I have been reading all the Jane Austen books these last few weeks, I am down to my least favorite, Emma. I cannot think of why I don't like it more, but there it is.

Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility are always fun to revisit, of course. And I really enjoy Persuasion and Northanger Abbey quite a lot. Though Persuasion and Northanger Abbey are not as popular, or as well read I think them both delightful and highly recommend them.

Mansfield Park
is nice though I find Fanny a bit...lacking. I wish she had a bit more spunk. Lady Susan's letters are well written and convey quite a story in fewer words than most Austen stories. My only regret is that there are not more to enjoy once I am done with Emma.

What say you? What of Jane' stories have you read? What do you like the best, or even least? What do you think of Emma?


Carina said...

Though I am usually more of a "stalker" on your blog, Kimberly, my thesis paper for my degree was on Jane Austen and the novel of manners, so I can't help jumping into this conversation! :)

Mansfield Park is my least favorite because I feel that Fanny is not a fleshed-out character in that she is much too good. To me, a character must have strengths and weaknesses to be appealing and realistic.

As for Emma, she is probably one of Austen's least likeable characters. Emma lacks discernment and good judgement and even kindness. While the novel has many humorous moments, it is hard to "like" Emma and thus, care about her as a character.

Oh dear, I didn't mean to focus on the negatives, so let me add that I LOVE Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion! And even Northanger Abbey with its mockery of the gothic romance novel is a fun read. :)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I remember reading P&P in high school for a Brit Lit class and falling in love with it. It will be a sentimental favorite but I think Persuasion is a close tie.

I was telling Steph recently that I was surprised I enjoyed the new Emma on PBS so much because I usually find Emma annoying. Because of that, I never read the book.

I guess I like the way the new Emma was portrayed. Stephanie says the DVD has lots of scenes not shown on PBS due to time constraints.

Never read Northanger Abbey so I can see a "month of Austen" coming up. :)

The Queen Mommy said...

Oh yes... Jane Austen and a HUGE cup of tea. Now THAT'S a good day. My favorite is Sense & Sensibility. I'm far too like Marianne, although as I'm aging, Elinor is something I'm embracing... I thrive on the whole story in so many ways.

Now for Emma, I like her. Simply because she is SO flawed. Again, maybe its because I can relate to her in some ways - and reading her is a reflective journey. Although like you P&P and S&S are my favorites...

Oh how I long to have 4 uninterrupted hours today...

Bernideen said...

Kimberly: I have to tell you something funny! We watched the BBC version of Emma first the #1 DVD but did not realize that when the credits came up that it really wasn't over so we switched to #2 DVD and then stopped when the credits came up. We went to bedand Itold my husband that Jane Austen had really messed this one up as it made no sense at all! A week went by and myhusband suggested we watch it again....we let it keep going and realized we had missed sections 2 and 4 the first time. BOY DOES THAT EVER HELP!Ilike the finale maturing EMMA
after she finally begins to grow up!

Anonymous said...

This is funny to me because I have always loved Emma. I love the Kate Beckinsale one so much that I was skeptical of the new Emma but I loved that one too-the dresses!! Loved them!
A few years ago I had a Jane Austen year and read her main 6 books-I never got to the lesser known 2 although I bought them. I enjoyed them all so much-even Emma. I just love her, I don't know why.
When you are done with the last book, you can read books about Jane. For instance, I have one right here that I haven't begun yet called "Jane Austen A Life" by Claire Tomalin. There are many books about Jane-check the reviews on Amazon. There are sequels to her books too-some of which have gotten good reviews. Or read similar books, such as ones by Elizabeth Gaskell. You can stay in the time period a LONG time. :)
And of course there are always the movies-lots of them now. Yummy. :)
joanna in ca. (a lurker for a few years but how could I resist talking about Jane?)


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