Tag Archives: Jane Austen

My Inspiration for April II

30 Apr

In April my mind wandered from Regency era to the 1840s. I read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen again, and I watched the film, but at the same time I started writing my story again so I had to be absorbed in the 1840s.

Films that inspired me in April are Effie Gray (2014), Cry Baby (1990) and Submarine (2010). I’ve watched documentary The Real Jane Austen, In Search of the Brontes and BBC’s Family Life in the 1960s. And I’ve also watched television series Lost in Austen (2008) which turned out to be rather interesting and it gave me some ideas too. I haven’t been listening much to music in April, only Pulp and Manics (From Despair to Where). Though, a piece of classical music had enchanted me – Liebestraum (Love dream) by Franz Liszt; I’ve been listening to it while writing my story. In art, my interests ranged from Modigliani, Jeanne Hebuterne and Watehouse’s Nymphs to Thomas Lawrence, John Constable and other 18th century British painters.

1830’s and 1840’s fashion plates have given me hours of fun. I really immerse myself into all the details; shape of the sleeves, decorations, bonnets, lace, trims, and colours. I focused on colours this time. Knowing different shades of colours gives you much more variety than just thinking or saying that something is green, when you have lime, pear, emerald, moss, fern green. Colours are so exciting, are they not?!

I’m so sad that yet another April has vanished, but the sweet and flowery month of May is still ahead of us. Lament for my dearest months – April and May…

1857. The Sister’s Grave by Thomas Brooks

1840s Charlotte Augusta Whale (1819–1858), Wife of George Richmond Collis by Louis Henri Sebbersjane austen sense and sensibility book cover 1sense and sensibility 14

1795. Frankland Sisters by John Hoppner 1

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1825-28. Carl Gustav Carus (1789–1869), Oybin window at the moonlight

1840. November fashion

Haddon Hall, Derbyshire - Jane Eyre 'Thornfield Hall' 1

1848. fashion 17

jane eyre 25

jane eyre 41

1848. January ballgowns, France

effie gray millais 2

1829-30. Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows - John Constable

1843. Fashions for April1960s marianne faithfull 125

1960s twiggy 209

1965. Catherine Deneuve And David Bailey on their wedding day

1966. Mod Save The Queen

1960s mini dresses 22

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Marianne Dashwood – A Romantic Heroine

18 Apr

Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

jane austen sense and sensibility book cover 1

‘Sense and Sensibility’ was Jane Austen’s first published work and is my favourite novel by Jane Austen. Both the movie Sense and Sensibility (1995) and the novel are amusing and interesting, a real nourishment for imagination. Even if you throw out the romance, you’re still left with witty dialogues, interesting Regency fashion, insight into social customs and daily life in Regency era. There’s something so exciting in imagining that perhaps there once was a Marianne Dashwood out there, with all her romantic adventures and sensibilities!

The character of Marianne Dashwood is probably the main reason why I love this book so much. I feel I can relate to her, much more than I can to Elizabeth Bennet, despite the general admiration and affection readers usually have for Miss Lizzy. I think Marianne is a very interesting character, a typical heroine of Romanticism. Embodying the ‘sensibility’ of the title, Marianne is spontaneous, impulsive, idealistic, excessively sensitive, amiable and generous; she’s everything but ‘sensible’. Marianne’s romantic and passionate nature has shaped her interests and hobbies, as well as her attitudes towards love and life; she loves reading poetry, playing pianoforte and singing, living passionately in general, long strolls, romantic adventures, and, keeping in touch with Romanticism, she loves nature. Like Marianne, I am exceedingly romantic, because I’ve listened to Chopin’s Nocturnes one too many a time, read too many Victorian novels, and I daydream too much.

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No voice divine the storm allay’d,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone;
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulphs than he.

       The Castaway, 1799, lines 61–66 (William Cowper)

Marianne is particularly fond of William Cowper who is considered one of the forerunners of Romanticism. His thoughtful and emotional celebration of the beauty of nature was very appealing to Jane Austen herself. I think it’s very appropriate that they included a recitation of Cowper’s poem in the movie because it perfectly demonstrated the difference between two sisters, their worldviews and qualities they value. During discussions about Edward Ferrars, Marianne proclaimed: ‘I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter in all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.

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Kate Winslet is the only Marianne Dashwood for me! She perfectly embodied Marianne’s romantic idealism, spontaneity, and passion for wild flowers and poetry! I have not doubted for a moment that who I’m watching on the screen is a real Marianne Dashwood coming to life. Even her appearance coincided with my own vision of Marianne! Kate’s appearance in the movie was pure embodiment of the word ‘romantic’; her sparkling eyes, golden curls and heart-shaped lips were all perfectly suitable for the image of a romantic heroine.

Every romantic heroine needs a romantic hero. Marianne’s first romantic adventure began the moment Mr Willoughby carried her to the house, in the rain, after she had sprained her ankle. The next morning he brought her wildflowers, and the two bonded over the shared love of poetry. Still, the story would have been too perfect if it had stopped there. Willoughby had secrets of his own. It seemed sad to me at first, but after finding about Willoughby’s immoral behavior and corruptible nature, I was delighted that he abandoned Marianne for I would not want a person like that to be her husband.

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Even though some, or rather, most of the readers have expressed disappointment on Marianne falling in love and marrying Colonel Brandon, I actually liked the ending. Willoughby seems a better partner for Marianne at first; he’s young, handsome and charming, but it is maturity and wisdom of Colonel Brandon that enabled him to deeply love and appreciate Marianne in a way Willoughby never could. It’s just my opinion though, perhaps somewhat shaped by the fact that Brandon was portrayed by Alan Rickman in the film, and I like him, and his voice.

In the end, Marianne realised that Colonel Brandon was very much capable of falling in love or inspiring love in someone else. I think it’s very romantic how he fell in love with Marianne at first sight, as she reminded him of his unforgotten love Eliza, without even hoping or expecting Marianne to return his feelings.

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

16 Dec

Jane Austen was born on 16. December 1775. – exactly 238 years ago!

1810. jane austen

I love Sense and sensibility and Pride and prejudice and I wanted to wish a happy birthday to this wonderful lady novelist. Who knows, maybe I’ll write something about regency fashion soon. Anyways, hope you’ve read her novels and liked them too!