Tuesday, 23 March 2010

‘By the Seaside with Sanditon’ at Austenprose - Chapters 9/12 - It's time to get ready for Pride & Prejudice!

1. Sanditon, ch. 9/12

I'm so sorry I couldn't be as active as I first wished in this new group read Laurel Ann suggested for Jane Austen's SANDITON. I've actually finished re-reading it at the weekend but didn't have any time left to discuss my impressions of the final chapters . Any how reading all the others' comments was enlightening.

New characters were introduced in these latest chapters and several new events take place:
 -Charlotte meets Susan and Arthur Parker. 
- Mrs. Griffiths arrives in Sanditon bringing  three young ladies with her: one is a Miss Lambe an heiress that Lady Denham thinks will do for Sir Edward. 
-Charlotte sees Clara Brereton and Sir Edward secretly meeting.
-Clara returns and lies about her delay.
-Sir Edward seems  unaffected.
-Charlotte realizes that they deceive Lady Denham who would not approve of their match. 
-Sidney Parker , Austen intended  hero for Sanditon is introduced just before the narration was interrupted.

My brief final considerations are about  the huge range of possibilities and interactions which Jane Austen left unsolved/unexplored and that could have been so exciting if widened.
How would the numerous different characters interact?
What type of hero would Sydney Parker be?
Was Sir Edward destined to be punished with a dull marriage of convenience with rich but sicly Miss Lambe? Will he have any possibility of redemption with Clara?
What about Clara instead? Will she rival Charlotte in her relationship with the newly arrived Sydney Parker?
I've got a very long series of questions nobody could actually answer. I understand why so many writers tried to complete this promising start of an amazing piece of satirical narration. There's plenty of material for any inspired writer.
I absolutely need and want to read a good completion so... thanks to Laurel Ann, again,  who suggested us a complete list of attempts. (HERE)

2. Preparing next meeting and re-reading Pride and Prejudice

Next Saturday 27 March, my JA Book Club will discuss PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The girls have so many enthusistic expectations. We will even have new guests from Rome who will share their experience as Janeites and their love for P&P (Mr Darcy?) with us.
I must, I MUST, start putting things together and finish preparing 
- warm -up activities
- excerpts to read and comment
- scenes from different P&P adaptations to be compared
- final feedback/survey

...but I shall conquer this. As someone I know would say, quoting somenone else you should know and recognize.

Let's start with some  notes about Jane Austen 's most popular novel and its historical setting.

Pride and Prejudice was written early (October 1796—August 1797) and published late, by Thomas Egerton (who paid £110 for the copyright, a price generated by the success of Sense and Sensibility) in January 1813. Initially entitled 'First Impressions', the text (a favourite with the Austen family) was probably revised (or as the author put it, 'lop't and crop't') a couple of years before its eventual acceptance. There are few historical markers in the text, but the narrative is probably set around the 1790s period of the initial composition. One of the principal markers is the billeting of militia troops in the Meryton area, among the civilian population. This practice ceased after 1795, with the construction of military barracks for such forces. Contemporary readers would probably have apprehended that the action of the novel was, therefore, antedated to an earlier wartime period.

Now some quizzes to prove your careful reading and your infallible memory

I / I Describe, with their Austenish epithet (or characteristic mark), the five Bennet girls, in order of age.
1/2 What does Mr Bingley wear on his first visit to the Bennets at Longbourn?
1/3 How many sisters does Mr Bingley have?
1/4 What is Mr Bennet's estate, Longbourn, worth, and who will eventually inherit it?
1/5 How old is Charlotte Lucas?
1/6 What first begins to attract Darcy to Elizabeth?
1/7 Who is the commanding officer of the militia regiment which has been posted in Meryton for the winter, and who is the regiment's second in command?
1/8 Where do the Bennet girls get their reading matter?
1/9 What relation is Mr Philips to Elizabeth, and what is his profession?

1/10 Who introduces Wickham to the Bennet young ladies, and what do we know of him?
I / I I How much did the chimney-piece in Lady Catherine's drawing-room cost?
1/12 How much does Wickham estimate that Pemberley is worth?
1/13 How much money does Mr Collins lose at whist?
1/14 What is Sir William's favourite epithet?
1/15 What are Mary's shortcomings as a singer and pianist?
1/16 What does Mrs Gardiner inform her sister-in-law is the latest style in fashionable London?
1/17 To whom does the faithless Wickham transfer his affections, and why?
1/18 How old is Elizabeth?
1/19 How far is it from Longbourn to Hunsford?
1/20 What is George Wickham's relationship to Fitzwilliam Darcy?
1/21 How old is Darcy?
1/22 Why cannot Lydia buy lunch for Elizabeth and Jane, when she meets them at an inn on their return from London?
1/23 Where does the shire militia go in the second week in May, after wintering at Meryton?
1/24 Why does Jane have to cede her place to Lydia, six years her junior?
1/25 Why does Mr Bennet advise Mr Collins to 'stand by the nephew'?
If you can't answer the questions ... it is better you leaf through the novel again. And your reward will be ... unforgettable moments with

MR DARCY 1995 - Colin Firth

MR DARCY 2005  - Matthew MacFadyen

Stay tuned for the answers to the questions and further suggestions on reading Pride & Prejudice.


Unknown said...

Gosh, MG! I'm 'tolerably good' ;-) at quoting every single scene from the 1995 mini, but got a sadly poor score at your impossible quiz! Shame on me, I'm afraid I'm about to make a bad impression (no pun intended) tomorrow... :-/
Off to re-read at least a couple of significant chapters, IYKWIM.
xx KB

Anonymous said...

I started to laugh with you CF quote! But I did pretty good in the test! I'm waiting for the answers to see if I was really right!

Anonymous said...

I think I was quite good at your test, now I'll wait for the answers to know if I was really right!