Monday, February 11, 2008
Austen Mania Explained
I only watched part of Masterpiece Theatre's Pride and Prejudice last night. I've seen this movie so many times I can repeat the lines from several scenes, word for word. Next to Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility, this movie is one of my favorites.
Whether you're into Jane Austen's books and regency romances or not, you should notice that there's a bit of mania going on lately about this world of quiet romance, bucolic countryside, and grand houses filled with people dining or dancing. I've read a couple of Austen-like novels recently. And I think there'll be more coming- more books and movies and maybe even T shirts that read "Austen Addict" or "Give me Mr. Darcy or I'll Die!".
I'm not saying that I'm an Austen Addict, but I can see why people are flocking to these books and these movies, eager to escape this world we are in. In our world, houses are not filled with beautiful sculptures and long dining room tables with the help waiting to serve you your tea. In our world, we don't have men in white ruffled shirts who know how to politely converse with a woman, watching their language and their tone of voice lest some damsel feel distraught.
Yes, there were a lot of horrific things happening in the days of Jane Austen, but those were not highlighted in her books. Instead, we see scenes of lively conversations and strolls through the vast fields behind grand houses. We feel the love that is expressed between a certain two who are aware of something between them. We get to be enveloped in a beautiful world where it is quiet, at times, and slower paced.
Maybe,more than anything, it's this quieter life that we long for. Whispered conversations while sitting on a bench, chatting with a friend while walking arm in arm, sipping tea with a loved one and not having to rush off to our next appointment.
As it is, it's supper time and there is no hired help, so off I must go to make the meal. Harry is barking loudly, outside, wanting to come in. I have to do several loads of laundry. And I promised I would make a banana bread for Bill and the kids. So no more musing here about Jane Austen's blissful world.
Besides, true bliss is having your future secured, your past forgiven, your today covered with His overflowing grace. I'm sure that the Lord is the One I should turn to- not Jane Austen- to get what my heart is longing for.
"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul..." Psalm 23:2,3