A few nights ago, the girls and I watched Miss Potter. It is an enjoyable movie. Beatrix Potter comes across as an odd lady in the beginning, seeing her characters coming to life and talking to them. When she starts to work with the young Mr. Warne, he so loves her work that she opens up to him. Her father is always supportive, her mother just thinks its a nice little hobby and wants to marry her off to someone who is "suitable". I love the scene where she "reminds" her mother that their money has come from her grandparents who made their fortunes in "trade". Her friendship turns to love, and she begins to make decisions that are in her own interests, and plans to go against her parents wishes. They come to an agreement, but her beloved dies and because the engagement was kept private, only her parents and his sister know, she must grieve privately, which she does to the concern of all. However, her fiance's sister encourages her to go on with her life and work. She decides that she wants to be non dependant on her parents, and finds out from the banker that she is very wealthy. Her father tells her mother at one point, "Our daughter is famous and you are the only one who doesn't know it". She goes on to buy a farm, and then several others, keeping the beautiful land in trust of the people of England.
Last night, we watched "Persuasion" by Jane Austen. This is an interesting movie. Anne Elliot has lost her true love because she followed the advice of a family friend, and rejected a marriage proposal. This was encouraged because the man had no fortune (at that time) and was a naval man. She spends the years in sadness and stops enjoying life. Her family, father and older sister at home, are wasters of the family fortune and yet think very highly of themselves and of improving their acquantances. They go to Bath, where their money will go further, and rent out their home to an Admiral and his wife, whose brother turns out to be the long lost love of Anne. Anne is left to close up the house and then goes to visit her married younger sister Mary. Mary is always negative about everything, feels slighted by everything and everyone etc...we find out later that Mary's in laws, had wanted Anne to marry their brother, but she refused him as well. This was also based on advice from the family friend. While visiting her sister, she meets up with her long lost love, who at first acts as if he hardly knows her, and won't speak with her. It must be said too, that everyone depends upon Anne, and tends to put upon her. When the group is visiting Lyme, an accident happens to one of Mary's sister in laws, and shortly after Anne goes on to Bath. It is assumed that Anne's long lost love, now Captain Frederick Wentworth, is going to marry the sister in law. While at Bath there is some intrigue, with a young Mr. Elliott, who wants to marry Anne for her father's title. But it is here in Bath that Captain Wentworth shows up and Anne finds out that the sister in law is going to marry a different man. This gives Anne hope, but when they are in each others' company, they are always interupted before they can speak what is on their hearts. They finally are able to let each other know that they still love one another, always have, and at a party Anne's family is giving, young Mr. Elliott is trying to get Anne to say she will marry him, when Captain Wentworth comes in and announces that he and Anne are going to marry. The last scene shows her on board her husbands ship. You feel very happy for them both.
I think I liked "Persuasion" better than Miss Potter. I liked that Anne showed an ability to grow, and improve, while still trying to honor her family. I felt like the Beatrix Potter character was determined to go her own way regardless of her family.
But I would recommend them both highly. I love these period movies where we in our modern culture view life through the lens of the culture and society of a different time.