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Jane Austen Book Club: Sense & Sensibility

My high school prom dress my mum made me a Jane Austen inspired gown.
This past month I have read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility for the #JaneAustenBookClub with Erin of Quintessentially English.  While I have seen the film starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet a number of times I have never before read the book.  After a month I have been led to believe that all books should be read first before you see the film.  This is a fundamental rule I try to live by as an adult and pass on to my children as we make our way through the Harry Potter series together.  To be fair I have only read Pride and Prejudice (again and again) up until this book club and have lived vicariously through Jane Austen in film.  
After completing the book I have been left to feel like Sense and Sensibility may be one of my least favourite books by Jane Austen.  Basically it was hard enough to read without picturing the actors who had portrayed the characters in the ’95 film version.  It was disheartening to find that some of the characters did not come off the same way on paper as they did on film.  An exception to this though would be Mr. Palmer (portrayed in the film by Hugh Laurie) who was one of my favourites in the film and made me laugh in the book with his muttered comments. 
A Favourite Line
 F R O M   T H E   B O O K 
“Lady Middleton could no longer endure such a conversation, and therefore exerted herself to ask Mr. Palmer if there was any news in the paper. “No, none at all,” he replied, and read on.”
Sense and Sensibility Chapter 19
A Favourite Line
 F R O M   T H E   F I L M   
Charlotte Palmer: Oh, if only this rain would stop! 

Mr. Palmer: If only you would stop. 

I think the reason the book Sense and Sensibility did not resonate with me as well as the Ang Lee film version was due the acting of Alan Rickman.  Honestly the video clip below where he comes in to see Marianne playing the piano says it all.  It is as if the world has stopped and all he can see is her.  I remember seeing that scene for the first time as a teenager and wanting so much to be loved like that.  To have someone look at me the way Col. Brandon looked at Marianne with all those stolen glances. The way he was always there for her even when she did not realise his love for her.  
It gets down to the climatic scene near the end where a drenched Marianne  is being carried back to the house by Col. Brandon. To me it was the most romantic scene in the film.  Then I read the book and it came across less romanticized and more about practicality or duty.  Col. Brandon had been dealt not the best of hands of life and it only seemed a good fit that Marianne put aside her silly notion of sensibility and marry him because it was a good match for him.  In the book I did not really feel they fell in love as it seemed they did in the film and I think that is how the film ruined the book for me. 
“to see Marianne settled at the Mansion-house was equally the wish of Edward and Elinor. 
They each felt his sorrows and their own obligations, and Marianne, 
by general consent, was to be the reward of all.” – Jane Austen

Margaret: It’s going to rain.
Marianne: It is not going to rain.
Margaret: You always say that and then it always does.
In the end I liked reading the book but it seemed harder to get through than reading my favourite, Pride and Prejudice, which I am staring to read again this month for July. Feel free to join in on the Jane Austen Book Club. You can link up with Erin with your posts and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #JaneAustenBookClub  

FUN FACT: Did you know actor Greg Wise, who portrayed Willoughby, 
married the actress who played Elinore, Emma Thompson?

If you have read the book or scene the film I would love to hear your thoughts!

*photos sourced and photograph of myself belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved

Book Club: Sense and Sensibility

June has arrived and with new month I have a new challenge.  I will be reading Sense and Sensibility as part of the Jane Austen Book Club and tweeting about it with the hash tag #JaneAustenBookClub  Every month there will be a new book and I am very excited to join Erin on journey of Jane Austen’s works. I live in Bath, England, a place that impacted her writing and locations that appear in her books.   I am planning a trip to the Jane Austen Centre here in town which sounds fantastic.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you and invite you to join in as well. 

I stumbled upon this lovely gem soon after moving to Bath as I was exploring the city! 

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