?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Dear Friends,

The last couple of weeks I've been despairing over my book project.  I became deeply troubled that I had again embarked on something I couldn't do. Each time I have put down a book or article project (mostly my article projects turn into book projects), it's not been laziness or even lack of time. It's been I have come up against a barrier I can't leap over. This is even true of why I went no further with Anne Finch, Vittoria Colonna, and Veronica Gambara.  In all cases I hadn't the money or ability to travel alone, had no connections and probably lacked the credentials and know-how to do the networking, library work and private archive looking, not to omit getting a place to live for a while. For Colonna I realized I couldn't stand the idiotic and pernicious religious readings I'd have to do.  Again I came up against the same problem with Sophie Cottin: I just can't reach all the French sources I'd need, I felt even for an article.  For Trollope's travel book I felt I needed to travel to Australia and New Zealand.

But this time I had seen nothing in my way, no obstacle beyond my (feeble) power. For a book on the Jane Austen Movies I could take down the scripts by stenography; I could get the stills by capturing them with the vlc viewer.



From a lovely montage late in the 1995 P&P, Jane and Elizabeth walking and talking together

It was a matter of using interlibrary loan, GMU resources on line, and buying what I needed on the Net, precisely what I did for Trollope on the Net, and all my work on Austen thus far.  I went about it realistically and controlled myself. At no point have I written madly and have produced really readale good text, piece by piece, very slowly, controlled writing. I told myself in July I would write a chapter this summer that was not overlong and there I found my first hitch.

I am now on page 39 double-spaced pages, and have two and one-half mor movies to analyze and I know I must not go over 43 pages. 

The chapter is overlong if I am to have nine chapters.  My plan was: introduce and discuss the varieties of film adaptation and my perspective; 2, the S&S movies; 3, the P&P; 4, the MP ones; 5, Emma movies; 6, NA movies; 7, Persuasion ones, 8, Biopics, self-reflexive, composite, documentaries, oddities; 9, Coda and conclusion.

My second obstacle is how long it takes to analyze a movie for real. This is one helluva job. Here I am after 4 months and I've written up decently a section on Austen's S&S and then two and one-half movies.  Now in this case I began with all the transcripts done and sheets of typed out summaries, commentaries and specific topics (Point of view) across all five. I have here and there something like this for say two of the P&P movies, one Emma, one MP, but nothing complete for each set.  Gentle reader, there are right now by a modest count, 38, that's thirty-eight movies

I'll be dead before I finish and I so long to spend days reading books once again, following other trails, other projects.

But I have conquered this first DOUBTING period.  I am seeing my way to a book on just the S&S and P&P movies.

These are not Austen's masterpiece finest books, but they are superb, and the movies made from them of great interest, particularly some of the free adaptations of P&P. It is this stunningly well-known and respected text.



An early moment of happiness for Elinor (Irene Richards) in the 1981 S&S: she sits with Edward talking of art at Norland Park, her sketch books nearby

I have devised a sort of contrast between the two sets of movies that can provide a grid or structure to take me across the two sets with a coherent development of contrast and comparison.  The outline would now be to rely on parts.

Part 1:  This stays the same: I will define and outline the types of adaptation.
Part 2:  Seeking refuge: the S&S movies
Part 3:  Divergent paths:  the P&P movies
Part 4:   Conclusion

For Part 2 something like 61 pages (what I now project my S&S chapter will be) is not overlong. It can be subdivided in modern chunks for th reader.  P&P has twice as many movies so say Part 3 can be 120 pages and that subdivided.   30 pages before (part 1) and 15 after (part 4), brings us to 225 double spaced pages. Now that is about what I had for Trollope on the Net and it made a publishable book.

I am still not happy with myself. I haven't finished the Part as I'm now calling it and it's August 14th. I must begin my syllabus next Wednesday at the latest. I won't begin it before then. I have promised myself to write two proposals to try to go the JASNA at Portand, Me, in 1020 with a paper on Northanger Abbey (and maybe Radcliffe or Smith), and I've read about a conference on film in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which has one panel to be dedicated to Jane Austen on film.



A Poussin I associate with Radcliffe: the mysterious woman in The Dirt Road

It'd be unlikely I (a nobody) would get a place, but I thought I'd try, for the conference is one I'd enjoy and learn from and Jim says we can go and he'll come with me. He may come with me to Portland, or Izzy may come. I've promised a short essay on translations of Austen for an online magazine and in September I must write that review on wm McCarthy's great (really fine and good) biography of Anna Barbauld.  Teaching begins August 31st.

So I have less than a week left of freedom since I must begin my syllabus next week.

Have I used my time wisely this summer?  I know I often didn't begin work on my project until 10 am or later (11), and maybe I didn't need to have gone over all the stuff I did again and again, but I felt I had to. I couldn't remember the films accurately enough. I am not doing impressionistic criticism and I am taking into account the filmic and other precursor texts for each film. This is why they take such time.

I've come much farther and closer than I've done in years -- since Trollope on the Net really. I have a long good piece and I can see my way to carrying on, and now I've cut down on the amount I will cover, I won't despair again.

I did ask on WWTTA how others came to Austen and told my own. I don't know if I did this on my original blog, Ellen and Jim have a blog, too. I think not. I wrote it on Austen-l (foolish Ellen). Well here is my brief concise account written this week, from the heart:

I first read S&S and P&P between ages 12 and 13, they were in a collection of high status older novels printed in sets in the 1930s by do-gooders. My father owned several such sets. I loved both immediately; I identified with both heroines, and saw a (pastoral) version of my parents in P&P (the realities I knew were much harsher) and wanted to be like Elinor, saw her as a role model and empathized very much. At 15 I read MP for the first time, and was gripped, and when I got to the end, went back to the first page and reread compulsively. I felt I was very like Fanny in what counted about her (I took couldn't go past doors where there were people considered of high rank or esteem); I loved its strength, austerity, beauty, most of all it seemed so strong.

I cannot remember when I read Persuasion and NA; it was before I was 21 because then in college I was assigned to read Emma and knew I had read the other two. I have a period where I can't remember much (ages 17-19), a partial blank, but I knew I loved Persuasion best at the time, and wanted to stand on Beechen Cliff and reject all Bath as being unworthy of picturesqueness; i.e., I longed to go, which I finally did in my 50s and also climbed that high high hill and looked down.

Emma, I was 21 and find the scene with Miss Bates so painful I didn't read it for a long time again.

When I was in my thirties, and living here in Alexandria (early 1980s), I read some of the juvenilia for the first time, specifically Love and Freindship. i found the texts just hilarious. I first heard of Lady Susan and the powerful unfinished The Watsons, and some of the others, Catherine, or the Bower, Sanditon, when I got onto Austen-l in 1995. I hurried up and read them, and then for the first time, the letters. They were something of a shock at first. 

And since then so much criticism and many more biographies than Elizabeth Jenkins (which was the only one I had read up to 1995).

As I wrote on WWTTA, for many readers it would probably make an important difference in our attitudes towards Austen and towards the various interpretations and schools when we first read her.  Younger serious readers (people who makes plans to read all of this kind of bok or that the way someone on WWTTA said she did when young) are deeply impressionable, and to read Austen young is to allow her to thread herself into the crevices of our development, to intertwine her texts with the very marrow of our oldest experiences and most long held thoughts and feelings so how can we not take her seriously and write about her the way many do.



Another reading session of The Jane Austen Book club; undeterred, they meet together, each with her or his copy, to discuss Jane at the hospital

And so another day of this summer comes to an end.  It hasn't been bad. I've not missed teaching. I've enjoyed going out at night and have had pleasant experiences online for most of the summer.  I've only been desperately unhappy late at night, mostly because of the isolation of living in Northern Virginia and the loneliness of life.

Ellen

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
misssylviadrake
Aug. 15th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Journalizing, 8/15/09
I like to talk to myself: so here I am in the middle of August with nearly 3/5s of one part of a four part book.

E.M.

Edited at 2009-08-15 07:03 pm (UTC)
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
P&P at 12
From Rachel on WWTTA:

"I've enjoyed the comments about first readings of Austen. Here's mine: 12 years old, summer; I used to make reading lists for myself around the end of the school year, so I could read all summer. I had a notion about getting through all of the "great books." Somehow I thought Pride and Prejudice would be a political story (at the time, the Civil Rights movement was at its peak), and I was disappointed to find it a mere love story. At this first
reading, I felt certain that (until the denouement) that Wickham was the hero and Darcy the villain. The proposal scene I found chilling, when Elizabeth is alone with Darcy. I wonder if the wit was lost on me at the time?"
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
P&P at 8
Another friend from WWTTA:

"I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was in third or fourth grade. It was about the same time that I broke my arm (a hairline fracture gotten not from my numerous falls from horseback but a simple mistimed step in the barn), and the forced inactivity drove me to my father's well-stocked bookshelves. I've since read that book countless times and consider my set of Austen's complete works as among the most treasured books in my collection."
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Reading when older
From Mary on WWTTA:

"My older sister swears we read P&P in high school in the 1940's, but I have no recollection of that at all! About 15 years ago, I happened on a copy of Emma at a vacation house on Cape Cod. I was absolutely bowled over by it: so marvelously and slyly written, not a word wasted, such real characters. And I loved Emma from the start, opinionated and self-confident as she was, and found myself soundlessly yelling, "Oh Emma, don't DO THAT!" as she made one wrong move after another.

This was after the 1995 Firth/Ehle series, which I hadn't even noticed. I immediately started reading all the Austen I could get my hands on, and viewing the films avidly. I found my way to the Republic of Pemberley (which I still visit every evening), have collected several copies of every novel, all juvenilia, several bios; made a total of three visits to key sites in England (Chawton, Winchester, and other actual and film locations); am a life member of JASNA, and received not one but two JA action figures
from friends!

I really resonated to the 2008 "Miss Austen Regrets" on TV, starring Olivia Williams as Jane and Greta Scacchi as Cassandra. I know it was partially fiction, but felt the spirit and manners of JA were well portrayed.

Austen remains endlessly fascinating to me, and I appreciate the insights and enterpretations (though I don't always agree) from various sites (Austen-L and Janeites, and this one)."
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Christmas 1950
From Theo:

"I first read Austen when I received that flowered box set (still in good condition) Christmas 1950 when I was 11, from my mother.:
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
French introduction
From Catherine:

"I discovered P&P by chance, without any inkling of what other readers or critics, French or otherwise, thought of her and her novels.

The French translation I first purchased simply had a foreword by Virginia Wolf, and that remained all the commentary I read on JA until the past few months.

I need to have a long talk with my (very French) mother about the way she reads JA. We discovered JA independently from each other. Does she see JA as a "literary" or a popular writer? I will report any startling insights here.

For me, JA's comedic genius is what first drew me to her. The greatest French playwright, Moliere, wrote comedies. Could Austen's success with French audiences be explained by the fact that they see her as a writer of comedies?"
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
As a young adult in college
Penny:

"I discovered Jane Austen as an a young adult in college.
I must say she helped me with my broken heart as I read her other books and juvenilia. I think history of England is a riot. Even as a child she was funny."
taelle
Aug. 16th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
The first Austen I read was P&P, at about 18. I had read Bronte's Jane Eyre before that, and had mixed reactions, and then a friend of mine at school mentioned that there is another novel a bit like that but, considering my objections to Jane Eyre, I might like it more. I took a mental note of that; and then, at the university already and with a bit of a budget of my own for buying books, I saw that book she mentioned. And she was right - I loved it.

... I still keep that edition of P&P around, even though I own a 3-volume set of all the 6 novels in Russian and also several of the novels in English.
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Jane Austen in Russian
Dear Taelle,

I'd be very interested to learn more about Jane Austen in Russian. Is your edition by one or more translators? do you think they are accurate? How do they differ (generally speaking).

I loved both Jane Eyre and Mansfield Park equally. I read Jane Eyre for the first time just around the time I read Mansfield Park. Years later (in my 20s) I read Villette and thought it was one of the great Victorian novels and a more mature version of Jane Eyre; I still do.

Ellen
Re: Jane Austen in Russian - taelle - Aug. 23rd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
misssylviadrake
Aug. 16th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Late acquaintance; movie important and also online experiences
From Arnie on Austen-l:

"I had no acquaintance whatsoever with JA prior to 1995, when I saw Thompson's S&S. I enjoyed it a lot, but thought there was an excessive concern with manners. Then I saw Davies's P&P and actually started reading JA for the first time. I was hooked for life, I began to realize what a transcendant genius JA was, and that what at first seemed an undue preoccupation with manners was actually an extremely profound exploration of psychology, epistemology, history, and morality, mixed with an equally extraordinary sense of humor and joy in puzzle making and puzzle solving.

By 2000, I had read all the novels except NA, seen adaptations of all the novels except NA, and I had begun to read bios (fortunately I started with Nokes), and that's when I decided to look for an online Austen group.

I found Janeites and it changed my life forever (for which I will be forever grateful to Nancy!) It was the perfect incubator fo me at just the right point in the trajectory of my journey to the center of JA's world. It took less than 2 years of active participation in group reads of all the novels for the "Trojan Horses" planted in my head by JA to finally burst open. And, ironically, it was in S&S, which had been my first experience of JA. I got the idea that Willoughby had been stalking Marianne, it was not an accidental meeting.

It then took me another 2 1/2 years to realize that the dozen strands of secret subtext I had by then discovered scattered through 4 of the novels were part of a global strategy on JA's part, and that's when I first knew I had some books to research and write.

Luckily for me, I had no academic training in literary criticism, or I might have been blinded to the shadow stories of JA's novels, because they are not supposed to be there.

The past 4 1/2 years have been one amazing ride that shows no signs of being over.

Cheers, Arnie"

Edited at 2009-08-17 02:11 am (UTC)
misssylviadrake
Aug. 17th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
At school
Carol from Austen-l:

"I've heard your tale before Arnie, but it always fascinates me. I was at school when I "discovered" Austen and have been hooked for life. However, the experience of adult discovery must be very different.

On first read, I remember being alone in my English class by not being "fooled" by Wickham. And although I think my teacher was quite satisfactory, I remember her assuming that my opinions had come from someone else who had "told me the ending"—not a very good way to impart a love of free thought and expression. (And I remember an aunt giving me a copy of P&P, which would be "easier to read". It was an abridged edition that left out all the "Austen" bits.)"
emma_townshend
Aug. 17th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
first/second reading Jane Austen,
hi there! you might remember me from many moons ago, I just called into Trollope for a moment and read your comment there, then came over here.

I remember being made to read Jane Austen for school and thinking it was such terrible rubbish, when I was about 13. I really did not like it at all. This was when I had already decided Mrs Dalloway was the best book EVER and was just discovering also Pale Fire.

It took me a long time to like Jane Austen; in the end not till I was 19, when my friend Sophy gave me all her A level texts after the exams (she was so sick of them and I said I'd like to read them) and it was Mansfield Park, with its slow days, bullying sofa-lady and pet dogs, which got under my skin. And then, like you, I read the juvenilia and pulled muscles laughing. This was NOT my idea of Jane Austen, but it charmed me.

Thanks for your interesting post, I wish you the very best of luck doing the book.
misssylviadrake
Aug. 17th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
Laughing with Jane
From Anielka on Austen-l:

"I read the whole lot when I was about thirteen or fourteen, just after my Entire Works of Thomas Hardy summer (What a waste that was! I had had this idea about entering an essay competition......)

1) I thought Mary Crawford was very obviously horrible, a liar, about as friendly as a snake and grasping. I thought Henry Crawford WAS a snake. I thought Sir Thomas Bertram was a bit mad kissing Fanny and then insisting she marry Henry. I wanted to laugh at Mrs. Norris in her silly, selfish face.
2) My mother and sister swooned for Darcy. I thought he was a proud stuck-up git at the beginning and a proud stuck-up git at the end. I still do. I think Jane Austen thought so too.
3) I thought Marianne marrying Brandon was a rubbish ending. No-one gets sick and then wakes up changed (except in Jane Austen). Plus I thought Brandon too old for her and Knightley too old for Emma. I still refuse to believe Louisa marries Benwick. Mind you, every Easter I was on the edge of my seat hoping for Christ not to get crucified so a strong and earthy connection with reality has always evaded me.
4) I thought Frederick Wentworth acted like someone who didn't like Anne much and was downright rude on several occasions and I spent a great deal of time looking for double-hedgerows with hazelnuts (I found some - they're really pretty - come in star-shaped little furry cups). Plus Louisa and Henrietta seemed a bit young for him "Anyone between 15 and 30 may have me for the asking". Anyone that shallow deserves to marry someone silly. Knightley was a devious old bloke who was strangely without a girlfriend at an improbably old age and if he really fancied Emma he would never have corrected her.
5) I was horrified that Edward Ferrars had been engaged to Lucy Steele and I thought he should have stuck by her and have acknowledged her much earlier and not under duress. Edmund was worthless and weak. Let him have Mary. (I was still so idealistic about men. Fortunately my standards dropped sufficiently enough for me to find a real one to marry).
6) I had a really good laugh at the juvenilia and Lady Susan and I accidentally read a very weak continuation of Sanditon. I thought Emma's patronage of Harriet highly ridiculous and was bereft when "The Watsons" stopped where it did. I was traumatised when I realised there wasn't any more!
7) The whole lot had too many clergymen in it, hypochondriacs and life-changing illnesses. I noticed a very peculiar thing where Austen siblings neither resembled one another physically or temperamentally whereas most families of children I knew were a great deal more homogenous. I was sure Elizabeth was adopted and I thought John Dashwood was a cruel idiot in thrall to a mean and self-centred wife because no brother is that nasty.
8) The language was tricky BUT I learned that there is magic in reading it: just like all English school children of a certain type I had to "do" Shakespeare and Chaucer and I "got my eye in" with regency text and realised that if you read enough (let's face it, I had just read the entire works of Thomas-dreary-and-highly-unlikely-Hardy) the language sort of seeps into your consciousness and becomes fun. I remember reading some speeches several times trying to work out the "he said/ she said and noticing that I couldn't tell which character was really speaking.
9) I thought Elizabeth brave, I wanted to be the stoic Elinor, I was the tactless Emma, I adored Fanny and lived the interior life of a repressed Anne Elliot. Catherine Morland sort of.......didn't do it for me. General Tilney was so implausible with his terribly-rude turning Catherine out that I sort of sneered through the end of the book. Henry Tilney was facetious and it worried me that he knew about fabric.

10) I laughed and laughed and LAUGHED and LOVED IT ALL. I was the only child who had to explain the jokes in Punch to her foreign family members (they spoke perfect English...and several other languages and some read Latin and Greek - they just didn't understand the satirical tradition....) Our local librarian loved me ...

I'm still laughing and I don't think a single one of my First Impressions was incorrect."
misssylviadrake
Aug. 17th, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
From a non-fiction editor
Carol on Austen-l:

"As a high school student of Austen, you move through various stages of comprehension as you mature. Hormones are the great arbiters of teenage reading and comprehension. I read P&P for school, and remember the classes because I didn't agree with the impressions I was being taught. I have the paperback still with all its annotations and pencil notes. I quickly moved to Persuasion which remained my favourite book for a decade. I read it again and again, usually between any other book, including Austen. I could recite great chunks of it.

It was probably 20–25 years between reading the first novel and seeing an adaptation. However, I do remember seeing a late night run of the old Olivier movie well after reading the novel. I just figured it was all wrong and I'd never even heard of it until that night. My first adaptation was the David Rintoul one.

The condensed version I had was a Readers Digest condensed book. And from what I remember, the deleted bits were all those that we now crave to examine. It was all about what and when, and never the how or why.


One other thing I just realized--for me, when I began reading JA, it was a return to reading fiction, after a 20 year hiatus,



That's a long time between drinks as they say. I am a writer and editor and produce books for the world wide market. They are all non-fiction and the topic range is huge and most go into translation from English. So I spend most of my life reading non fiction for work and commissioning academics to write parts of the books I produce. It's like running a large university sometimes.

Thus fiction is my great escape and I rarely read non fiction for leisure. I delve into Austen at any chance because it contains so much that I'm forever finding things to divert me. No other author can get a topic out of my head as quickly and as efficiently as Austen. That said, she links me to topics such as my research on Napoleon last year. The almost frivolous mention of the wars in Austen is so intriguing when you understand the other."
misssylviadrake
Aug. 17th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
IN reply thus far:
Like Carol, the first movie I saw was the 1979 _P&P_ -- on TV; I also saw the 1983 _MP_. I bought copies of the videocassettes in boxes I liked them both so much. But they didn't influence the way I read the books; I thought the 1983 one faithful, and the 1979 I liked because I like the "take" and departures: it read the book in a more woman-centered way with Elizabeth as more melancholy. I was glad to see Mary treated with more respect, and Anne de Bourgh pitied. I have felt and still feel there is some self-hatred in such a hard portrait of a reading girl (Mary) even if the reading girl is made stupid. There is jealousy in the portrait of Anne de Bourgh, of a privileged girl, and it cannot be full explained away by saying this is Elizabeth's jealousy.

I can see why a person who spends her life as an editor and amid non-fiction would come to Austen for escape. But there are other escapes, so that just throws the question back? Why this one? What is in this escape that allures?

Anielka, on the characters I'll just say I didn't like Emma and thought I was not supposed to like her, but I was supposed at the same time to enter into her case and feel for her. That was part of the point. When I read Austen as a girl even then I kept in mind how the author wanted me to see the characters and if I got angry it was that I disagreed with Austen -- so I didn't like how she presented a reading girl. But I admit for the most part I agreed with every single attitude she seemed to have in the novels. I laughed and cried and was uplifted and loved them.

On the movies & lists, to Arnie:

In 1996 I did see the Lee/Thompson _S&S_ and yes it influenced the way I read the book; it changed my thoughts about it some, and Rickman has forever changed my response to Brandon. I also saw the 1995 Persuasion_ which came to DC theatres a year after it was played in Britain. I loved it and (like the 1983 MP) thought it true to the book. It didn't change my thinking or feeling; I was very attracted to Hinds :) Both are still to my mind brilliant films.

I did not see another movie until 1997 despite all the hullabalo on the lists here and elsewhere. Then I was asked to review a volume of essays on these movies, and it was then I began to watch them. I wrote the review in 1998 and put it online:

http://www.jimandellen.org/austen/janeausten.onfilm.html

The above is one of the most popular documents on my website.

My thoughts on all these films are complicated and I've written about them since on my blogs and elsewhere and am now embarked on a book on the Austen films.

As to the lists, yes they changed me: first I learned about other books, and two I joined a community of people who loved Austen. Where had you been all my life? My father liked her but otherwise I hardly ever met anyone who felt about her the way I did. I had the demoralizing (to me astonishing) experience in college of seeing most of a class say they thought _S&S_ "boring." I was that naive (I was 18) I was stunned and I did speak out against it.

Until then I had thought I would not write professionally about Austen and kept my writing about MP in my dissertation to a minimum (it was germane). Well I changed my mind and began to teach and to write and to talk about her -- and so the lists have changed my life.

But they did not bring me to Austen nor did the movies. The lists made the experience public and richer and the movies altered the experience again -- pardon the generality as it would take too long -- complicated, but I'd say they mean more vividly and humanly to me than the criticism which has also deeply enriched and changed my perspective. Until then it was mostly personal and ethical and aesthetic.

Ellen
misssylviadrake
Aug. 17th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
When matters
It makes an important difference in our attitudes towards Austen and the various interpretations and schools when we first read her. Younger serious readers (I too have had projects to read 'all' of this or that) are deeply impressionable, and to read Austen young is to allow her to thread herself into the crevices of our development. For example, the year I was fifteen I also read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park for the first time, and I know it has never quite left my mind since. The character of Elinor as I was experiencing what were to me very bad experiences in my middle and later teens was important in the recesses of my mind to help me through, as model of endurance.

Later first readings will probably be more distant. I'm saying also that other women authors I came across later who don't seem to mean as much don't because it came later. I read Eliot much later, Woolf even later than that and so on. Burney I did come across in my later teens in an abridged version of her diary, and I read Anne Radcliffe's _Romance of the Forest_ in a 1797 copy (yes, lovely three volume book on the open shelves of Brooklyn college library) when I was about 18. It made a deep impression and I went onto and loved her _The Mysteries of Udolpho_ immediately. Had I been older and had available things like Booker Prize books (say A.S. Byatt's _Possession_) I might not have been as charmed. I did learn (I think) why they charmed readers in the 1790s; like Mrs Morland who had but Grandison to read, I didn't have available or know about then what I learned of when I became a more mature reader in my 20s.

Ellen
Page 1 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2018
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow