When I think about Pride and Prejudice and Austen's writing in general, I'm reminded that one of the things I love most is the politely constrained emotions and affections that her heroes and heroines have for each other. There is no wild romance, no unfettered passion, just simple admissions of love and the realist in me can appreciate that. Everything is neat and tidy and to quote Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen in Becoming Jane "My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire."
To me, the BBC miniseries production of Pride and Prejudice is performed and portrayed just as my dear friend Jane would have wished it. I think of the adaptations out there, this one is the most true to form. As far as capturing the tone and spirit in which the story was written, I feel it's right on. The final declaration scene, where he asks Lizzy one last time and she wholeheartedly accepts, actually reads something like this:
"If you will thank me," he replied, "let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you."
Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever."
And Collin Firth as Mr. Darcy did this scene justice
It is not my favorite. I much prefer the more recent, 2005 Focus Features production starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the book (Sorry Jane!). This film, perhaps, is the complete opposite of what Jane wrote. It's gritty and passionate and much more emotional. I'm normally a staunch advocate for a movie being as true to the book as possible. I can admit to being one of those that shouts at the screen and screams "That is NOT what happened!" And I get plenty of opportunities to do that as so many movie adaptations of books result in epic fails.
In this case, when Darcy says to Lizzy, "You must know. Surely you must know it was all for you..." said breathless and full of hope by a man standing to once again be rejected by the woman he loves- I just, well, I can't help myself. It gets me every time and I can't tell you how much I wish those words were actually in the book. These emotions may have been a bit too much for Austen's comfort level, but as a woman, I bet she too would have melted.
A very talented artist on Etsy with a smallish shop called Vintage Chick Designs has created this little number (as well as other Austen inspired pieces) that I just simply covet and I just had to share it with you.
I would like to note that this post has little point. I'm just bored...and shopping.