This weekend begins a series of Jane Austen movies on PBS. This week in our area we are to see a new version of Persuasion. I love the A&E version starring Amanda Root and Cirand Hines so we will be watching and hopefully this one will be enjoyable.
I have heard however through an "off topic" post on www.sensibility.com that those who have already seen these in England, have mixed reviews. I am going to share a bit of this information, not to "spoil" the movies but so that you might be aware. I know that I would caution my students about watching several of these.
Sense and Sensibility is new on PBS and it has an opening sequence not in the Emma Thompson version. It is a scene between Willoughby and the ward of Colonel Brandon, Beth. We all know that Beth ends up pregnant and that Willoughby is the father of the child. Apparently, there is no nudity but it does let you know that they have slept together.
In Northanger Abbey, Catherine, reads the gothic novels so popular in that time, and they show her daydreams of these books. Apparently there is quite a bit of "flesh" in these 3 scenes. If they weren't there those having the discussion say that this would be a great adaptation as the actress really "nails" Catherine.
The following is a quote by one of the ladies:
"The new "Northanger Abbey" has a totally inappropriate reference to a book current in Regency times. No gentleman would have dreamt of discussing this book with a lady, especially a young lady, as one of Catherine's friends does. For information only, the book is called "The Monk" by Matthew Lewis, and is to be X rated in my opinion. (It is one of a series of Gothic novels written late in the 18th and early in the 19th century.) "
This book is not mentioned in Jane Austen's book "Northanger Abbey", this is a fabrication of the director of the movie.
I have seen the Emma that they will be showing, and while it is more true to the book, this Emma is stuck up and not so "loveable".
I am hopeful that the movies overall will be watchable and enjoyable. We shall see.