A dear friend, Bill Felver, used to say that he had been puzzled over the behaviour of the wonderful Mary Crawford in ‘Mansfield Park’ until he realised that Miss Austen had just made up that part of it (and of course Mary had never really behaved like that.)

I too have been puzzled, but over the behaviour of Marianne in marrying Col Brandon, which seemed such a foolish thing to do. Until I realised that the Col. is really Alan Rickman.


15 responses to “Sensibilities

  1. I like the idea of you getting caught up in the life of an Austen character.

    May be just what you need.

    (though where on earth does one find the requisite leading man?)

  2. I’ve never really managed to get into Jane Austin and have always found myself irritated by her female characters.

  3. rosemaryhannah

    Well, Emma is I think very very trying. Marianne is self indulgent and Eleanor is so so repressed. I’ve no time at all for Fanny Price – I think Bill was right to prefer Mary Crawford. But the poor lass in Persuasion is really rather sweet, and Lizzie Bennet is really rather appealing, I think.

    All things being considered, the character I would most like to be caught up in the life of is Miss Austen – if only I could be the alter ego of somebody so successful in the way of getting film rights (or would be if still alive..)

  4. I tried to play ‘who would Bill be’ but I couldn’t find him in Austen and kept coming back to Henry James (or maybe Mark Twain, though as Twain rather than a character).

    He never did convince me of the merits of Dickens, though I wish he’d lived long enough to have a better go at it.

  5. rosemaryhannah

    Bill was Wol – he told me so himself. Though I think there was a good deal of Pooh in him.

  6. I’m enjoying the vintage Alan Rickman shot personally. Men did get to wear more interesting clothes in the past, sigh

  7. Yes, he was Wol, with a very Pooh-like heart.

    Just out of curiosity, if we play the Pooh game, who would you say I am? (and then I will tell you the lovely story of how my favourite group of 13 year old girls once answered that).

    (you, of course, are Milne: storyteller extraordinaire.)

  8. rosemaryhannah

    Flattery WILL get you everywhere. I strongly suspect I’m Eeyore.

    Well, you might be Piglet, because inside you are a very brave Very Small Animal. You lack the confidence of Rabbit, but his organising busyness must surely appeal.

  9. rosemaryhannah

    Indeed, Bea – and frankly In Robin Hood, I always felt Marion made a very foolish choice.

    And I suspect that perhaps you are Rabbit – organdising the others, but sadly capable of being reduced to damp fur and ‘Oh Tigger, I am glad to see you!’ by adverse mist.

  10. I have never been called Piglet before. How interesting. I hate being Rabbit, and am not good at it. It seemed to come with the job.

    Now, for the story of my kids.
    I have spent much of my life choosing not to be Owl, but the danger is there. (and unlike Bill, I would not be endearing with it.)

    When I played this game with the group of girls who came to me for ‘Personal and Social Education’ (i.e. — cake, hot chocolate, mediation and serious talk), they announced in one voice ‘You’re Kanga!’ Not true, but lovely, nonetheless.

  11. that should have said ‘meditation’ not ‘mediation’ . My dyslexia has been playing up all week.

  12. rosemaryhannah

    Well you know, afterwards I thought ‘She likes to ‘carry’ people – I do wonder if she is Kanga. Kanga too is busy, and needs to have days counting the clean spots on Roo’s bib.

    Um, well, yes. I can see the Wollish side too. But most academics do have one.

  13. No, I don’t like to carry people. I like to push them out in boats (and then sometimes give way to the temptation to paddle alongside to make sure they’re OK).

  14. rosemaryhannah

    You see? Kanga to the life!

  15. I must admit to loving Emma, although I probably wouldn’t in real life, because she is so hopeless so much of the time. But perhaps I’m overcompensating because I just read so many essays that said quite horrible things about her and am feeling somewhat protective. The only Austen heroine I can’t abide is Catherine Morland. Honestly, she drives me up a wall.

    Now, Col. Brandon = Alan Rickman really does explain everything.

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