This weekend my roommate and I watched one of my most favorite movies, Sense and Sensibility, since she had never seen it. I know, it’s a crime against all things wonderful! I bet this was probably my hundredth time to see it and I loved it just as much as the first time. As soon as we finished the movie, I started rambling on and on about Jane Austen and all her other novels. Things like, “Did you know that Sense and Sensibility was published first but not written first, and published under the pseudonym of ‘A Lady’ ”. I am aware I am a total geek.
This got me thinking about things that inspire. And Jane Austen would definitely make that list for me. Here are a few of the reasons why I love all of it.
The clothes: I love the empire waste and how it can go from an everyday dress that is durable (great for long walks into town) to an ornate and intricate evening gown that will turn heads at the country dance. And who can’t notice how AMAZING all the hats were that they wore. If there is a clothing accessory that I wished would be more prevalent today it’s the hat. Let’s not forget about the men and their clothes. I know I know, it’s a little stuffy. However, it’s hard to not swoon when you see the men come riding up in their coats and hats and tall boots. Its just so chivalrous looking.
The Setting: Most if not all of Jane Austen’s books take place predominantly in the country. Now it may be a small modest cottage or a grand estate that gets its own town (Oh Pemberley), but either way its beautiful. I have always loved her descriptions of the homes and their grounds. The furniture of this time was so well constructed and detailed, truly beautiful. Its thrilling to imagine what its like to see a ghost at Northanger Abbey, fish in the lake at Pemberley, or snuggle up in the Dashwood’s cozy cottage at Barton Park.
The Men: I did make the comment to my roommate the other night that I think Jane Austen is to blame partially for the wild expectation woman have for romance. Also, I did catch myself saying “Now if I could just take the rugged handsomeness of Colonel Brandon and the tender heart of Edward, I would be set!” I have always loved all of the men of Austen’s books. They most certainly have their faults, but they typically make a big comeback and who doesn’t love a good comeback? My current favorite would have to be Mr. Tilney from Northanger Abbey. He’s a sassy clergyman, love it.
However, with all of this I would have to say my most favorite thing about Ms. Austen’s books is her heroines. Each has such a uniqueness to her and is always triumphant in adversity. It may take a few tries, but the girls always seem to get it right. I have been inspired since I have a young girl by their courage and spirit.
I don’t know if Jane Austen inspires everyone (might be a snooze fest to some men), but she holds a very special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.