Tuesday, May 5, 2020

For your quarantined entertainment...

Well, hello lovely Reader!

It's been a while since the last update here, and I (Miss Elizabeth), thought that while we were all quarantined together (but separately, in our own homes, of course), I might write a post to entertain us all. If you're climbing the walls, desperate to get out of the house (or if your job qualifies as an essential one, in which case we all salute you mightily), I can't do much about that, but I can provide you with at least a few P&P95-tinged moments of delight. Because even though the outside world is rather a mess right now, we can still laugh here on our corner of the internet.

So, for your quarantined entertainment, a few ideas:

Elizabeth Bennet being iconic for more than 6 minutes straight

And on the other side of the equation:

Because why not?


This allows for so much delight: you can laugh at (or pity) Mary, commiserate with six versions of Elizabeth, and pooh-pooh inferior versions of Pride and Prejudice (ie. the Gone With the Wind-esque costumes of the 1940 version, the fact that there is some inexplicable Brahms sheet music on the pianoforte in the 1980 version, and any part of the 2005 version you like).

And lastly, if you really want to spend a lot of time if P&P-land, here's Jennifer Ehle herself reading Pride and Prejudice. 

That's it for me. My deepest hopes that, wherever you are, you are safe and well. I'll be back soon, hopefully, with a series in which I re-watch the entirety of P&P95 for the first time in... a while. Just to test if "my affections and wishes are unchanged."

Yours, etc.
Miss Elizabeth

Friday, August 16, 2019

Jane Austen's How-To's

Once, while I was "interviewing" for the post of Blog Author here, I was asked to write a trial post. This morning, I was going through the drafts, and I found it. I've haven't made too any modifications; I just thought I might send my interview out into the world.

And no, this has nothing to do with the fact that I realized that I owed you all a post and had no idea what to write... So by all means, please enjoy a list of how-to's à la Austen.

Yours, etc.
Miss E.

Jane Austen's novels, if read properly and with a discerning eye, can be used as a how-to guide...even in modern times.* Think about it--she teaches you everything from the importance of a properly boiled egg, to the many ways you can catch a man. If that isn't a full service library, I don't know what is.
We'll start with the more trivial subjects, and work our way up to the big ones, shall we?
What to eat, and how to eat it
~An egg--a very small egg, mind you--boiled very soft is an excellent thing. Not at all unwholesome--it won't hurt you, at least. Especially if it's been boiled by Serle (we have yet to determine the importance of Serle in this equation).

Note: if you want to know how to eat a soft-boiled egg, don't go with WikiHow. Their method involves a blowtorch.

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How to write a letter

~There is but one rule: that it ends with "yours, etc."
 Lace (ft. Mr Bennet)
~Just. Don't.

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"No lace. No lace, Mrs. Bennet, I beg you!"

How to make an entrance
~With your petticoat six inches deep in mud, of course. Is there even another way?
What sort of  man to look for
~Well, it helps if he's rich. Or a decorated hero--or both. Age isn't a factor, even if he's at the ancient age of "five and thirty".
And good taste in muslin is always appreciated.
What sort of man not to look for
~No creepy, sycophantic clergymen--no matter how many shelves their closets may have.


~No two-timing cheats who abandon girls. Or seduce the hero's young sister. Or are ten thousand pounds in debt.
What sort of a girl to marry

~If she stands up to your lecturing and bears it as no other woman in England would, she's the one for you.

This how-to is brought to you by Emma and Mr. Knightley

How to catch a man

~There are several ways of going about this, all with varying degrees of efficacy. The first, recommended by Mrs. Bennet, is to ride a horse to his house in the rain.** You will fall ill, and after a period of time involving his best friend separating the two of you, he'll propose to you. Or you could simply run off to Scotland together (well, say you're running off to Scotland together) and be forced into marriage by your uncle and husband's former best friend (who's paying off all of your husband's debts so that he can get back into your sister's good graces, but that's entirely beside the point).
~Wait for him to propose to you after your best friend turns him down. It's been known to happen, you know.

~Or you could just have fine eyes and a pretty face. That works, too.

Image result for pride and prejudice jane rain 1995
Never underestimate the power of a set of fine eyes...

How to get the girl
~Don't insult her family. Or her. You won't make any favorable impressions that way.
~It helps to be a young man in possession of a good fortune. You can amass this fortune either on your own (by disappearing for a decade and coming back as a decorated hero) or inherit it along with a large estate with beautiful grounds (the grounds may be what help the young lady realize that she does indeed love you...so try to have some of those).
~Read her poetry. Inquire after her health if she becomes deathly ill.
~Write her a letter.*** This has been known to work to a great degree of success. Telling her she pierces your soul is a nice touch. Basically, if the letter will make women swoon two hundred years in the future, it's good.

Image result for persuasion jane austen illustrations

Smoldering glances. Always the smoldering glances.****

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And there we have it--Jane Austen's advice for us mortals, summed up from her novels. Do you, dear reader, have any Austenian advice for us? Do let us know...

Yours, etc.
Miss Elizabeth

*Some modifications will need to be made for the 21st century
**This feat may be replicated in the 21st century with an open convertible. Please do not send us your dry cleaning bill.
***This, however is an area you may not make modifications in. Has anyone ever swooned from an email? I think not.
***We do not guarantee results in this area, however, if you are not Mr. Darcy or Colin Firth.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Game the Forty-Seventh: Favorite Scenes

Greetings, dear reader! I was on my lunch break today, lying in a rose garden and looking up at the sky (this is my favorite way of spending my lunch hour. I'm in an office the rest of the day, and I need to know what trees look like by lunchtime), and I had a thought. One of several, but this is the one that matters to this post. I realized that waaaay back when, we had the "How I Met P&P 95" game, but I don't think we've had a "Name Your Favorite Scene" game. *

Hence this game. It's not "game" in the traditional sense of there being a winner (winning, after all, is overrated). It's more of a sharing of anecdotes. The "rules" (these are "rules", the same way this is a "game") go something like this: name your favorite P&P 95 scene, the episode it's in, and the reasons it's your favorite (note: "Mr. Darcy in a wet shirt" is a perfectly valid reason).

I'll start: I am actually torn. I love Mr. Collins's failed "proposal", simply because it is so comical that it's painful to watch in parts.
Although Mrs. Bennet's effusive sobs ought to have a mention of their own...

The "Voi che sapete" scene certainly gets an honorable mention (I go rewatch that scene on its own from time to time), and I would be remiss not to mention Lady Catherine's call to inform Lizzy of her disapproval.
It Shall Not Be Endured!

But at the end of the day...Proposal Number Two. Even after seeing it more times than I care to admit to, I still grin like a loon whenever I see it. It just makes me happy.

So, dear Reader... which scene's your favorite?

Yours, etc.
Miss Elizabeth

*If we have had this game, I do apologize. But really, it can't hurt to play it again, can it?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Game the Forty-Sixth: P&P Slogans

Hello, folks! Today we're going to resurrect the "games" part of the Club. I loved the games when Amy and Melody did them, and was truly wracking my brain to find a way I could follow them up with something reasonably similar.

Which is why we have The Slogan Competition. Well, okay, not really a competition, but certainly an attempt to see who can come up with the most delightful, entertaining, or snarkiest (other categories to be made up as we go along) slogan for P&P.

So, rules: come up with a slogan for either the novel or P&P 95 (although you certainly can get extra points for a really snarky P&P2005 slogan) that you feel encompasses the work, include a picture (or a link to it) if you'd like to, and post it in the comments section.

Oh, the frivolity!

But I did come up with a good one...

The winners will be announced around the middle of next week. Good luck, and have fun!

Yours, etc.

Miss Elizabeth

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Changing of the Guard

Once upon a time, on a dark, insomnia-inducing night rather like this one, a young lady followed her first blog. That blog happened to be the P&P95 Forever Club. Later that night (technically the next morning), that same young lady started her own blog. To paraphrase Jane Austen, no one who had ever seen that young lady in her blogging infancy would have supposed that she would end up here.

Hello-- my name is Miss Elizabeth, lately of Modern Miss Bennet, and I am that young lady. And here refers to the fact that I am now the Blog Author (or authoress, to be entirely correct) and your Club Manager. Fear not: Melody and Amy are still the founders and administrators, and I doubt we've seen the last of them. But you'll be hearing from me a bit more often from now on. I shall endeavor to keep this blog running much as it has, in the grand P&P95 tradition, and to build on what came before me. Anything else would be unfair to the club, I think.

I won't lie, though-- I feel a bit as though I've just been informed that I am hosting a ball at which I know none of the guests. Were I more like Mrs. Bennet, I would sag against the wall and weep about my nerves. But because I am not Mrs. Bennet, and would rather like to get to know all of you better, I am going to stand here at the imaginary doors of the blog and greet you. That's what the comment section is for-- and if you'd like to find out more about this impertinent young lady who's taken over your favorite blog, you can read all about me here.

Until next time, then, I remain
Yours very sincerely,
Miss Elizabeth

P.S. A few housekeeping details: over the next few weeks, I'll be dusting off the rest of the blog. I've already begun to do so (you may have noticed some changes in the sidebar), but I would very much appreciate a bit of your help. Part of this dusting off involves checking all the links found on this site, so if you find a link that doesn't work during your perusal, let me know so I can Get Right On It. Please and thank you :)
Yours, etc.
Miss E

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Gardiners: Too Soon Forgotten? {A Guest Post by Rae}

There are things we all love about Pride and Prejudice--Mr. Darcy, of course, and we all love Lizzy as well. We often talk about them, the rest of the Bennets, Mr. Collins, and the Bingleys. We talk about the Gardiners, too, but not as often, it seems to me. 

Have we all forgotten how important the Gardiners are? When we read Pride and Prejudice, do we skim over the ending couple of pages, squealing instead over Darcy and Elizabeth? (Of course, this is not to say that I haven't done this two out of the three--maybe four--times that I've read it, and it's completely understandable. After all, Darcy and Lizzy!) Do we really take the time to read the last paragraph? 

Here's the thing: the Gardiners are quite possibly the most important characters in the book. Jane Austen said so! Let me quote the last paragraph of the book, in case you cannot recall:

"With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."

See what I mean? The Gardiners "had been the means of uniting them"! To be sure, Darcy and Elizabeth saw each other at Netherfield and Longbourn and Rosings, but if you take only their interactions in those places, then it is very doubtful that their acquaintance would have improved, or that "Elizabeth's opinion of him would have improved upon closer acquaintance." (Note: that is not the direct quote. :)) Jane Austen herself said that the Gardiners were "the means of uniting them" and so who are we to argue?

Besides their very key role in Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship, the Gardiners are such lovely people. I don't think anyone could help loving them. As is my favourite way to do this sort of thing, let me just list some of the random things I love about the Gardiners.

-They are a wonderful example of a married couple. As was pointed out in THIS POST, Lizzy didn't really have a good example in her own parents, but the Gardiners showed her an ideal couple who loved and respected each other.

-Mrs. Gardiner was just the sort of companion/mother figure Elizabeth needed. Elizabeth was...rather unfortunate...in her mother. We love to watch Mrs. Bennet (at least I do), but I think we can agree that she was a rather un-ideal mother. Mrs. Gardiner was, from what we know, a good mother, and we see how she acts towards Lizzy. She was exactly what an aunt should be--a good friend, with some motherliness mixed in. She was able to sympathise with Lizzy, as well as offer advice.

-They really love Elizabeth. It seems to me like the treat her almost like a child, and almost like a peer or something. I suppose they treat her just like a niece. :) I love their relationship, though, and it does Lizzy so much good.

Now, of course, this post would be very sadly lacking if I did not give "that one scene" a major highlight. The scene to which I am referring is, of course, the one at Pemberley when Mr. Darcy shows such exceeding civility to the Gardiners.

Of course, then the Gardiners sadly misunderstand Mr. Darcy's character, but still. This scene seems to me to be one of the most important ones of the book. Mr. Darcy is able to show Elizabeth that he is a gentleman. To whom may we owe this scene? The Gardiners, and Mrs. Gardiner in particular. If it weren't for her, they would never have gone to Pemberley, and if they hadn't gone to Pemberley, then the rest of that business that happened between Darcy and Lizzy in Derbyshire would never have happened, I think. I really don't think they would have had an acquaintance in Derbyshire if it were not for that one scene. 

Do you begin to see what I mean? The Gardiners are quite possibly the most important characters in the entire novel! Let me quote the last paragraph again:
"With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."

Let me point out another thing in this paragraph: "Darcy...really loved them." What does that say?! Do you see what a big deal that is? Mr. Darcy loved them. We all know how selective he is about his acquaintance, and even more selective about people he loves. Of course, who could help loving the Gardiners? I'm quite sure he found them a far more pleasing aunt and uncle than Lady Catherine. 

September, 2016