Jane Austen Novels, Ranked

So, a while back I wrote a post ranking Disney Princess movies. (I’d link to it but I’m writing this on my phone and it’s more trouble than it’s worth.) It was kind of just a random idea I had, but it was a lot of fun for me. It was especially fun for me to see y’all’s rankings (and general opinions) as well.

So the other day I thought, why not rank Jane Austen novels? That would be fun. I have some fairly unusual opinions. I’m curious what my readers’ opinions would be. Let’s do this.

So…let’s do this.

FIRST PLACE // PERSUASION

I think if you’re a Jane Austen snob, you say, “Pride and Prejudice is okay, but Jane Austen’s real masterpiece is Persuasion.”

I hope I’m not a Jane Austen snob, but I do think Persuasion is a masterpiece. It’s quiet and autumnal and ordinary, which is why it’s so good, I think. It feels like real life, and then it rings a joyous peal over you of second chances and redemption and forgiveness for foolish choices made and the slow blossoming of love born of deep mutual respect and affection and not, against expectation and probability, dead, even after eight years. Of all Austen’s stories, it strikes the deepest chord with me.

The characters, as usual, are impeccably drawn. I don’t know that Anne is my favorite of Austen’s heroines, but I also don’t know that she isn’t. She’s one of those characters, when I first read the book, I was surprised to learn that somebody actually wrote characters like that. I knew plenty of people like her – in some ways I was very like her myself – but I thought authors just never wrote about people like her. Gentle, dutiful, good – yet also overlooked and taken advantage of, even sometimes by the people who loved her, because they had a forceful personality and her best interests at heart but were a little bit stupid. It makes me mad sometimes, actually, how often people are stupid and can’t get it through their heads that this person you love is DIFFERENT than you. And you might be trying so hard to make her life better, but actually you’re making it worse, because she’s so gentle and conscientious that she’ll give in to you and blight her own future and you’re so STUPID you’ll never even realize what you’re guilty of. Because you’re STUPID.

I don’t know if it was obvious, but Lady Russell frustrates me. She’s painfully true to life. And she’s a good person who really loves Anne, which is what makes it so frustrating!

Anyway, Anne is lovely. Her character growth is lovely. Same for Captain Wentworth. Their story is beautiful.

And Captain Harville is an absolute dear.

SECOND PLACE // NORTHANGER ABBEY

Henry Tilney is my favorite Austen hero, so. He is witty and yet not careless of other people’s feelings. And he appreciates Catherine, who is such a darling.

Austen’s wit is, in general, on full display here. Her portraits of the Thorpes are absolutely merciless. I love the Gothic novel parody going on, and how Catherine is basically fiction’s first fangirl and lets her imagination get away from her with such regularity.

It’s just…a good time. And very smart. And has Henry Tilney in it.

THIRD PLACE // SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Definitely one of the most actually romantic and romance-focused that Austen wrote, possibly because it was the first one she published? What makes this one for me is the characters. And also nostalgia, I suppose, since it was the first Jane Austen book I read. I was nine and quite enamored.

Which, in its turn, is quite possibly because of Elinor. As I said, I was nine. My reading this far had, I guess, led me to believe that fiction was entirely populated by hot-tempered heroines who were always saying things they shouldn’t and letting their feelings run away with them and getting into scrapes.

Which was all fine and good. I liked heroines like that. (Still do.) But what an odd sensation, to realize that people actually write books sometimes about characters who are like me! Who never lose their tempers or say what they think if it has the smallest chance of offending someone (and hence often become the confidante of both sides) or let their feelings run away with them. Who never, in fact, show their feelings. And who are reproached for it by the people who do, and who are assumed to not HAVE feelings because we don’t show them and…I didn’t know, when I reread this recently, if I’d still find Elinor so impossibly relatable, because maybe it was just the first time I’d read a quiet, calm, capable heroine and that was why I latched onto her so strongly…but no. HIGHLY RELATABLE. (I am much more blunt now than I was as a child and will say what I think to people if they ask – but they don’t usually, you know – and am not nearly as socially adept as Elinor. But still highly relatable.)

And so well-drawn? It’s all so accurate. How does Jane Austen capture people (like Elinor and Marianne and Mrs Dashwood) so very accurately?

I suppose that’s rather a personal reason for liking this one so much, but I really like Elinor, not just relate to her, and it was so awesome to me that she was the main heroine rather than Marianne, who, according to my experience, should without a doubt have been the heroine. And I love Marianne too, especially as more of a secondary character whose flaws aren’t excused but who is still a lovely girl, and I’m exceedingly fond of Colonel Brandon.

And Edward’s a pretty nice chap as well.

FOURTH PLACE // PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

It may come fourth in the list, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Pride and Prejudice is rightfully iconic. Lizzie is a delight, Jane is a dear, the Bennet parents are a hoot, Darcy is a fascinating character study, and I wouldn’t object to marrying Bingley. And there’s lots of drama.

Wickham is one of my favorite Austen villains, too. So slimy and despicable. I wish he came to a worse end, honestly. I hope that’s not dreadfully vindictive of me, but what a…well, I kind of promised myself once I wouldn’t ever refer to any human being as trash because it bothers me so much when other people do it and I think it’s wrong? I won’t make an exception, but I did think about making one for Wickham. Just ugh.

FIFTH PLACE // EMMA

I haven’t read this one since I was little, but I definitely liked it! It reminds me of Persuasion with how real and ordinary it all is, and I like that. I find Harriet insipid, and Emma sometimes gets on my nerves a trifle though I’m fond of her, but Mr Knightley is a solid human being and We Approve.

Yeah…I like Mr Knightley, that’s most of my feelings on this one.

Oh, and Frank Churchill. I don’t know if I like him or not – I don’t think he’s an out-and-out villain – but he adds a spice to life, for sure.

The Eltons are delightfully awful.

Mainly this isn’t my favorite just because Emma gets on my nerves sometimes, which puts it lower than Pride and Prejudice whose heroine I am deeply fond of, and then I don’t have the same personal connection to it (or to Pride and Prejudice) that I do to Sense and Sensibility. Then it’s probably as funny as Pride and Prejudice, but not quite as witty, and even Pride and Prejudice falls short of the sparkling, clear-eyed brilliance of Northanger Abbey. And then none of them, of course, have quite the SOUL-STIRRING BEAUTY of Persuasion.

So hopefully that explained the ranking order a bit.

LAST PLACE // MANSFIELD PARK

Also haven’t read this one since I was little, which means perhaps I’m not being fair to it, but it’s going last because I don’t actually like it.

Fanny is a lovely character (Jane Austen writes strong women and, again, We Approve), but Edmund DOES NOT deserve her. Mary Crawford is annoying and it annoys me excessively that there’s some dramatic reason Edmund comes to realize she’s no good. It feels like an authorly cop-out, actually, in my opinion. I wanted Edmund to GROW to realize that she’s not the right one, but instead circumstances have to write it in letters of fire in front of his face that she isn’t, because nothing short of that is going to convince him, apparently.

Which, fine. Maybe men are that oblivious when infatuated. (They…totally are, actually, a lot of the time.) I still don’t like it. It feels unfair to Fanny that her goodness can only ever be perceived by contrast with someone else’s badness.

Fanny just…deserved better all around. And that’s how I feel about it.

BONUS // MOVIE ADAPTATION RANKING

I thought this would be fun to do real quick, too.

Fair warning that I’m not a big fan of period dramas and definitely have some unpopular opinions here, lol.

Starting with WORST, we have the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma. I actually only watched the beginning and couldn’t stand it – weirdly gloomy, stiff and wooden, weird music? They were going for something but I’m not sure what. My mom and sisters watched the whole thing and said it didn’t get any better. So that’ll be a no from me, thanks.

In NEXT WORST place we have that 1995 Persuasion movie. I thought it might be good at first, but then it was just…slow and did that period-drama thing where people stare at each other a lot. And also stare out windows a lot. Sometimes at the rain, to signify Bleak Sadness and Despairing Uncertainty As To What The Future Holds But It’s Probably Boring. Sometimes just…out the window. Also the proposal scene at the end was horrifically awkward. No thank you.

Coming in at THIRD WORST is the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Yes yes, don’t kill me. I liked it fine the first time I saw it (it was mildly cool to kind of see the book play out on screen word for word?), but my mom and I rewatched it recently and just…it’s so long. And boring. And did people really talk like that? Really? Like, with super proper diction but also always sounding like they’re out of breath because…conveying emotion through your voice is hard in a Regency piece, I guess? And why is EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION punctuated by awkward silences? And why do people do so much STARING? GET ON WITH THE MOVIE, WOULD YOU? *cough* so…that one’ll also be a no from me. (But Jennifer Ehle was lovely, that I will say. Very charming, very Lizzie.)

Coming in next at FOURTH WORST, or maybe THIRD BEST, I’m not sure, is the 2005 Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. That’s right, I like it better than the long one. *ducks half-heartedly to avoid the rotten vegetables and occasional metal projectile* This one was actually fine the first TWO times I watched it. Keira Knightley does a nice, modern Lizzie, who’s not very Regency but who is at least feisty in a way modern people pick up on. It’s a pretty movie, if not a historically accurate one. It moves along at a good pace, has nice music, keeps the gist of a bunch of good lines from the book, doesn’t involve TOO much staring (but still plenty of rain), and gives Mrs Bennet depth. Which is awesome. But also Mr Bennet is no good, and it loses charm on rewatches, and the ending is truly painful to watch.

Getting to the end now, in SECOND BEST place I present to you the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility. I remember that it was good. Rather serious and dramatic, like the book, but I Felt Things when Elinor reached her breaking point and was like…well, I forget the line, but basically, “YES, Marianne, I DO have feelings! And it HASN’T BEEN EASY. And you haven’t helped!” Elinor and Marianne were superbly acted, although I totally forget Colonel Brandon, which is sad but possibly more my memory’s fault than the character’s memorability. Not sure what I’d think if I rewatched it (might be a little long and sad), but I quite enjoyed it the first time.

And finally, for BEST OF ALL, I give you…the 2009 Emma miniseries!!!! I’ve watched this three times and enjoyed it immensely every time. It’s bright and funny. Romola Garai’s facial expressions are truly inimitable. The costuming and set is gorgeous, Mr Knightley is the Knightleyest, Frank Churchill the Churchillyest, Mr Elton is suitably horrid (and his wife SO vulgar) and it’s just a good time.

Okay! That’s all that! I hope it was mildly interesting! And I do hope you will tell me how you’d rank Jane Austen’s novels! (Movie opinions welcome too but PLEASE don’t kill me about my P&P opinions, I’m sorryyyy XD)

Published by sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

12 thoughts on “Jane Austen Novels, Ranked

  1. I will not attempt my own ranking because it has been five years since I first read the books, and the only one I’ve reread since is Emma. I will say *cough* that I utterly disagree with yours (though I enjoyed reading it), seeing as I absolutely rank Northanger Abbey dead last and my initial impressions of the books led me to think Mansfield Park was my favorite. Ha. Where would you put Lady Susan?

    As for movies, my favorite is either the 2009 Emma (good stuff, truly) or the 1995 P&P (possibly dry and long, but so nostalgic and really captures the world for me). The first Jane Austen movie I saw was the Emma Thompson S&S, and I quite enjoyed it, but I can’t really say if it’s good or not. Emma (2020) was a delightfully gaudy romp, probably second place if I ranked them. And I also saw some weird version of Mansfield Park that ended with Edmund and Fanny dancing… idk. At least it ended with Edmund and Fanny /together/ (instead of some weird “and at the right proper time they of course got together, you imagine when that was” that Austen gave us).

    Then there’s the 2005 movie. I just cannot stand the Mr. Darcy in it. I’m sorry. I can’t. I don’t know why exactly but he’s awful. And that rain proposal scene? And Lizzy swinging in the barn or something? And the kiss in the field? *shudders* No thank you. I did like Rosamund Pike as Jane, though (and she didn’t have these weird curled bangs that she never brushed).

    Of course, NONE of these adaptations can top the 1995 Wives and Daughters miniseries (and only the two Emmas, in my opinion, come close). In fact I prefer W&D (at this time) to all Austen I have ever read and watched. Now there’s a hot take for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I remember that! 😂😂 I haven’t read Lady Susan yet, actually. I’m curious about it, because my aunt read it recently and seemed very confused. Like she thought it was cool but also weird, or something. What do you think of it?

      I can’t decide if I’m interested in Emma 2020. I like the sound of that, “a delightfully gaudy romp,” but at the same time I don’t know that I’d want an Emma adaptation to be too stylized? And I fear that one would be? Like, part of the magic of the story of Emma for me is that yes, it’s bright and sugary and quirky, but AT THE SAME TIME it’s a lot like real life…and I think Emma is an incredible character but it’d be so easy to make her into just a caricature (a feat the 2009 one neatly avoids by being perfect lol). And I just think a good Emma adaptation is a hard balance. But I am interested in the 2020 one.
      The fact that it ends with them together and the book doesn’t even do that is so funny to me. Although it also makes me wonder if Austen would like that she’s known as a romance author, since a lot of the time she clearly seems to be interested in quite other things.

      Haha. I can understand hating that Mr Darcy. I didn’t have particular feelings on him, but yeah. 😂
      Wait, what’s wrong with the Lizzie swinging in the rain scene? I like that scene…
      I’ve met so many people, including my mom, who didn’t like Rosamund Pike, and THANK YOU for agreeing with me that she was beautiful and did a great job!! I get that the 1995 Jane was supposed to have a sort of Greek style of beauty, maybe, and the curled bangs were a Regency style but…truly why did she never brush them.

      Do you know I’ve never read ANY Elizabeth Gaskell? For some reason, even though I like Jane Austen and L. M. Montgomery, my brain is always like, “that sounds boring.” But now I’m really interested in W&D.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard so many places that Persuasion is a masterpiece; it’s sitting on my bookshelf just WAITING patiently for me to read it (along with Mansfield Park). Your description of it is beautiful! I’m definitely nudging it a bit higher on my TBR. 🙂

    I completely agree with you: I also loved Elinor as a heroine! She definitely was so relatable…and it was refreshing to have another heroine who wasn’t constantly pining for her man in a sickeningly dramatic fashion, unlike many stories of today. XD Austen is excellent at writing those. Colonel Brandon is a wonderful gentleman, as well (…am I the only one who thought Elinor and Colonel Brandon should have gotten together?).

    Oh, my goodness, the Kate Beckinsale Emma. Yes. That one was awful. 😛
    But the 2009 Emma is SO GOOD. That and the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries are by far my favorite adaptations, although I’ve loved the other ones I’ve seen, too. (Except for the Kate Beckinsale Emma XD)

    I’ve only read three Jane Austen novels thus far (Emma, P&P, and S&S), but I adored them all and for sure have the rest of the books on my TBR.

    Loved reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is good news indeed. Persuasion will not (I am PRETTY sure :P) disappoint you.

      That’s an interesting idea, Elinor and Colonel Brandon! I can see it, too. Personally…I’m not much of a romantic? And I kind of love their friendship so much I’d hate to see it morph into a romance. I LIKE the idea of them just being bros. xD But I can fully understand shipping the two of them, although I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody else express that opinion…so apparently yes, you are the only one. xD

      I mean, seriously, what were they trying to do with it??! The fact that both it and 2009 Emma are adaptations of the same story is crazy. Because 2009 Emma is BEAUTEOUS PERFECTION.

      I hope you will adore the rest too (and have high hopes)! Jane Austen is a master.

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for your lovely comment. 🙂

      Like

  3. Hm. Apparently my mom is a Jane Austen snob and I am not, because Persuasion is her fave, and P&P is mine. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Persuasion (for all the reasons you listed and more), but P&P has my heart.

    Okay, here’s my ranking:

    Pride & Prejudice (Just…the sisters, the banter, the wit, and MR. DARCY.)
    Persuasion (It’s so good, as you expressed so well.)
    Emma (Emma’s arc is phenomenal, the twist is excellent, and Mr. Knightley…<3 ❤ <3)
    Northanger Abbey (so fun! but imo it has less substance to it than the others, and I am less attached to any and all of the characters)
    Sense & Sensibility (because the first time I read it I was as bored as all get-out despite identifying completely with Elanor (#logic) and I haven't reread it yet.)
    (And…I haven't read Mansfield Park yet.)

    Elinor. So relatable. (Also, Legolas is 90% Marianne, so that's fun.)

    You're not allowed to trash the 1995 BBC, I'm sorry, you just aren't. It's basically the book as a movie–one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen!!
    I've never seen the 2005 one, because my mom hates it with passion, but I'm going to watch it one of these days solely because my grandfather loves it.

    AHHH THE EMMA THOMPSON S&S IS SOOOOOO GOOD! I loved S&S when I watched the movie! *hides*
    In that one, Alan Rickman is Colonel Brandon, and he is phenomenal, but when he first came on screen, Legolas and I could not stop laughing, and Mom had to threaten to make us leave.

    Like

    1. Haha, I’m a snob and you’re basic. and your mom’s a snob too. What fine company we make. XD

      Sisters, banter, and wit YES ❤ (question: do you like Mr. Darcy more as a relatable human or a swoonworthy marriageable gentleman? because I relate to him a fair bit and it's part of why he /isn't/ my favorite, and I could see you relating to him too maybe…so I was curious.)

      Emma's arc truly is phenomenal! And so is Mr. Knightley!

      (I will pretend you did not say any of that about my beloved NA….) 😛

      (I was just listening to a podcast where they talked about S&S and were like "does anyone actually think this isn't boring who read it before watching the movie?" and I was furiously raising my hand but apparently a lot of people do find it boring. Which I don't get at all. But whatever. xD)

      Haha, that's great! My little sister is also 90% Marianne and my mom is 90% Mrs. Dashwood and…yeah. Being 95% Elinor myself is Interesting. But fun too.

      I'm sorry. I take it all back. *apologetic smile* My aunt would also kill me for my opinion on it, but like, I'm glad y'all love it so much??? I truly am??? I just…cannot accept the statement that it's basically the book as a movie because the BOOK IS WAY BETTER and doesn't have so much awkward silence. I just don't buy that people talked that /slow/, either. I want my Regency dialogue snappy. But I AM glad you love it, and I totally did not trash it at all and will never do so! Uh-uh! (please still be friends with me sam)
      I want very much to know what you think of it! Complete book accuracy is obviously not attainable in a regular feature-length film, but I thought they did pretty well staying true. Historical accuracy is out the window but go in with an open mind? And there is snappy dialogue and pretty aesthetics. I'm hoping you'll like it, in other words.

      As I said…that seems to be a common experience? So I will forgive you, because you're basic and I'm a very forgiving snob. XD It is an incredible movie, though.
      Okay so…that made me laugh but why were you guys laughing? Was his entrance ridiculous? *tries to remember*

      Like

      1. Ah yes, excellent company. XD

        So, if it’s possible, I love Mr. Darcy for both those reasons? I really do relate to him–I generally see myself as 70% Hermione, 15% Mr. Darcy, and 15% Elinor, or something like that–but he’s also awfully swoon-worthy. Thing is, he’s not especially swoon-worthy at the beginning, because he is so proud and awkward &c, and that’s honestly when I relate to him most, not going to obfuscate. But towards the end, when he’s working on being a better person for Lizzie, and doing nice things for her? Then he gets swoon-worthy, imo. Anyway. Just my thoughts.

        (Look, I love NA! It’s one of my favorites! I just didn’t get as attached to the characters!)

        I haven’t reread S&S since I watched the movie, but I think I shall at some point and see what I think…

        Haha, that definitely sounds interesting-and-fun.

        Okay, okay, I take back my comment that it’s basically the-book-as-a-movie. I take it back! It’s not the book as a movie, it’s just a really good movie adaptation. The book is DEFINITELY still better–I just do like the movie/miniseries! (Don’t worry, if I’m still friends with you after you told me your opinion of Tony Stark, there’s not a lot that you can do to get rid of me. XD)

        I’ll add it to my list! (Which. Is very long at the moment. I don’t have an actual movie watching list, just one in my head, and I keep forgetting movies, and I haven’t watched anything this month yet, and ahhhh I need to write it down probably so I stop freaking out. XD)

        Okay, so we were laughing not because his entrance was ridiculous, but because it was Alan Rickman. You see, we were either in the middle of or had just finished watching the Harry Potter movies, and it was undeniably hysterical to see Snape as a Regency Love Interest with Actually Good Hair. XD

        Like

      2. Thank you for your Mr Darcy thoughts! Makes a lot of sense. When I both love and relate to a character it’s kind of the same, I think – I relate to the beginning of their arc and then love who they become. XD Like Eowyn, for instance.

        (Okay, okay! But how can you not get as attached to them, that’s what I want to know! XD)

        (I forgot about that. That’s a relief. XD Fair warning that I shall now proceed to tell you ALL my outrageous opinions. XD)

        Gotcha! XD “a Regency Love Interest with Actually Good Hair” 😂😂

        Like

  4. When I saw that you had ranked Persuasion 1st, I said to myself, “ahhhh. YES. sarah has shown her quality…to the very highest.” xD *fist-bumps*
    You don’t need the approval of a random stranger on the internet, but you definitely have mine for this post. ;D

    PERSUASION. Where does one even start? It’s such a beautiful, quiet, uplifting book…I think you explained it quite well, actually.
    And while I don’t hate Lady Russell, I do think she is a frustrating character. She’s really interesting, tho, in my opinion, because she feels so realistic, like you mentioned. There’s a part of me that wants to hate Lady Russell, and another part of me that just wants to excuse her because she was doing her best for Anne out of the goodness of her heart. It’s that weird tension that exists in every relationship between humans…you love someone even when they do something wrong, but you can’t excuse their actions either. I have to appreciate Austen for her insights into human nature.
    I have a crush on Captain Harville. ❤️ He’s a dear in the 2007 adaption (WHICH I ADORE), but he and his little family in the book are just SO PRECIOUS.
    (Captain Wentworth is so beautiful but OUCH did he raise my ideal-man standards to unrealistic heights.)

    AAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHhhhh NORTHANGER ABBEY. *visible happiness* This post just keeps getting better and better. 😊
    I always thought this was one of the more underappreciated of Austen’s novels and I didn’t understand why because I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
    It was the first novel I read by Austen and I fell in love with her writing because of it. TIME FOR A RE-READ. 🙌🙌🙌
    I love the mysterious, adventurous vibe in this book that isn’t really present in other Austen novels. While balls and tea parties and gossiping about the rich bachelor next door is weirdly entertaining, sometimes I want a little more action and personally I think Northanger Abbey is the most adventurous out of all Jane Austen’s books.
    AND HENRY TILNEY. I love the man. My sisters don’t quite understand why I love him so much more than the other Austen heroes but his sense of HUMOR y’all and he’s so kind and gentle and also completely savage and how can you not love him???!!! *melts*

    Pride and Prejudice is so iconic, nothing I say will do anything.
    (I have to fight you on the 1995 P&P adaption tho, because it’s PURE WONDERFUL-NESS.)

    Haven’t read Sense and Sensibility, only watched the movie and was only mildly impressed. It made me a little uncomfortable how much I connected with Marianne…well, until she married Colonel Brandon that is. :/

    I hate Mansfield Park. Watched an adaption, and thought “OH BOY THIS IS WRETCHED.” I read the book in hopes of redeeming my opinion of the story but I still hate it. Very much so.

    Emma, while I don’t think it’s my favorite Austen novel, is SOOOO close to the top of my list. However, I think I actually like the 2007 mini-series more than I do the actual book. IT’S JUST SO GOOD. The actors, the costumes, the colors, the soundtrack, the AESTHETIC. *screams* it’s everything I ever wanted or needed from an adaption of the book. 😍
    It’s by far my favorite of any adaptions made from an Austen novel.

    Okay, I need to stop because I could go on forever.
    Absolutely delightful post, Sarah! This was quite fun and I appreciate your appreciation for Austen’s works. 😄❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *returns fist bump*
      The approval of a random stranger on the internet who happens to be Eden is, in fact, better yet than the approval of just any random stranger on the Internet. 😂😊

      WHERE INDEED. It is a weird tension. I mean, it exists ALL THE TIME in real life, but it’s odd to find it in a book. You usually have much more cut-and-dried reactions to characters. I must applaud Jane Austen for her ability to be so nuanced.
      ISNT HE PRECIOUS THOUGH. Aren’t they all precious. (I must see the 2007 version then! I’ve long wished there was a good movie of Persuasion.)
      (Ikr lol)

      DUDE you love Northanger Abbey too??! This COMMENT just keeps getting better! 😃😃
      I agree, it has a slightly different vibe and I love it! I don’t understand why it’s so underrated either…it’s so good? And HENRY TILNEY. ❤️❤️ I agree with everything you said about him. I love the way he compliments Catherine. He can never just…compliment her, he’s got to be clever and ironical about it. Which he is about most everything, but he’s such an upstanding fellow. ❤️ *high five for good opinions* 😂

      That is precisely how I feel.
      (And…not how I feel. XD but glad you do)

      😂😂

      SAME. It’s weird to like an adaptation better than the book, but like…it’s so BRIGHT and SPRINGY and the ACTORS. *kisses fingers* I also can’t imagine Emma any other way now than the way the actress played her – she’s iconic. And Mr Knightley too – “badly done, Emma!”

      Thank you!!! Feel free to fangirl over Jane Austen with me any time! It is one of the most pleasant occupations there is, I do believe. 😃😍

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this muchly. It makes me want to go on an Austen rampage. After all, I’m overdue for one and I haven’t…even…read all the novels…*sinks sheepishly behind the shelter of the nearest pillow*

    Persuasion is, I think, my definite favorite of the novels that I’ve actually read. I don’t really remember specifically WHY I loved it so much, I just know that I DID, y’know?

    And I really enjoyed Mansfield Park, although I can see what you mean about Edmund not deserving Fanny. I think, with that one, I don’t really think of it as a romance? She happens to get the man in the end, because that’s what readers demand from Jane, but her catching the man isn’t really what the novel is ABOUT. It’s about Fanny saving the family from disaster, even though they don’t deserve it and she definitely doesn’t actually OWE them anything, because she’s just such a good person. And then the romance between her and Edmund–the actual romance, not Fanny having a deeply-rooted soul-changing crush–all takes place offscreen as part of the epilogue part of the book. If that makes any sense at all. *shrugs* (It’s funny, I read Mansfield Park and Persuasion around the same time, and I did decide I liked Persuasion better, although it was a tough decision; and now apparently more details have stuck with me from the plot of Mansfield Park, while the only think I really remember about Persuasion is the mood?)

    The only other one I’ve read is Pride and Prejudice. Which I’m…sick of because I played Aunt Gardiner in a high school drama production. *hides again* (I do appreciate it, intellectually. I just…can’t see myself being in the mood for it for the next, I dunno, twenty years?)

    I’m glad you like Northanger Abbey so much! It’s on the syllabus for one of my lit classes this fall and I’m very excited.

    However…..I have to add that I have a complete and utter weakness for Emma (as a story, since I’ve not read the book). I think the Kate Beckinsale version was my introduction to it, actually? My friends turned it on and at first my brain was like “why are we watching this boring regency movie” but by the end I was….so in love. With the way the characters’ lives weave together, with Austen’s surprises that in retrospect you feel like you REALLY should have seen coming, with all the matchmaking. With Mr. Knightley. I saw the 2020 film the other week and liked it even better.

    Emma’s just….she’s such a snob, y’know? She’s…an awful human being who doesn’t KNOW she’s an awful human being. She doesn’t just grow, she undergoes conversion. It’s painful and beautiful and just, thank goodness for Mr. Knightley. And I love the whole thing with Miss Bates. The way Austen kind of tricks us into thinking it’s funny to ridicule someone (because how else do you handle someone that ridiculous?), and then she has Mr. Knightley turn around and slap us in the face with this invective against snobbery, and how DARE you lose compassion for this human being just because she bores or annoys you? (I vaguely remember reading an article where this lady was arguing that yes, Jane Austen’s novels have good Christian themes in them, and I think she pointed out this moment as evidence that Austen herself, for all her biting wit, can’t have lacked charity because otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to do this so effectively.) We all have a Miss Bates in our lives–at least one of them. And it’s so easy to do what Emma does and…ridicule people. At least in our own minds, if not at dinner parties. And that’s BAD. As Mr. Knightley reminds us. It’s VERY BADLY DONE.

    I just love Mr. Knightley, and the story of /Emma/ is a stunning song against snobbery, and I think Chesterton must have highly approved. And if/when I finish reading it….it might just overtake Persuasion as my favorite Austen novel.

    Well. Maybe I’ll have to listen to some Jane Austen audiobooks on this semester’s commutes at some point. 🙂

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    1. I can just imagine a rom com titled “An Austen Rampage,” haha. *slips copy of Northanger Abbey to you behind your pillow*

      That makes lots of sense! I really should revisit Mansfield Park; I was, like, ten years old the last time I read it, so I might see it differently now, and be able to appreciate Fanny’s sacrifice rather than just scowling at the UNFAIRNESS.

      Haha, I can understand! I never hated Beauty and the Beast till I was in it in high school, either, and I’m just thoroughly sick of the whole story now. It doesn’t help that both B&B and P&P are SO culturally ubiquitous.

      EEEEEE I can’t wait for you to read NA!! I do love it very much. Such a clever, heartfelt tribute to ordinary people and ordinary virtues and readers. With a sprinkling of Gothic flavoring.

      First important thing: you really need to see the 2009 miniseries of Emma.
      But second important thing: YES. *sobs in agreement* I think Emma, above any other Jane Austen book, cut home for me with the picnic on Box Hill and the Miss Bates situation. Like, even reading it as a little kid, I felt so /convicted/ and I still
      do every time I watch it. Because Jane Austen fools you! She gets you to play along laughing at Miss Bates and then throws it back in your face and shows you what you’ve really been doing and…UGH. I am Emma and I hate it. It truly is SUCH a stunning song against snobbery. I…don’t have words. Just yes.

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