off the shelf: Re-reading Emma

The “boy” recently upgraded my Nook from an old Color to a lovely (and super light) Glowlight. That said, I have a habit of downloading ebooks and never getting around to reading them (bad TBR habits also translate to digital), so I told myself to start using it or else!

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But which book to read first? The struggle is real (booknerds know what I mean). After some thought, I picked Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s been well over 10 years since I first read Emma and, of all the Austens, it’s only one of two that I’ve never reread (the other being Mansfield Park).

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Credit: A solitary elegance, C.E. Brock illustrations

I’d forgotten what a delight it is to read, with all Emma’s schemes and misconceptions. It’s such a modern story. Emma’s views on life and love (and her meddling) can be applied to any modern romcom situation and still be relevant 200 years later. There’s also something to be said for revisiting a classic after so long—my own perception of the story has changed, making for a much more pleasurable experience. Emma is a silly book, but it’s also a deep one, filled with plots and ironies. I’m enjoying it in a way that differs greatly from my enjoyment of Pride and Prejudice, or even Persuasion (my favorite).

 

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Where is my Emma?

I didn’t believe my boyfriend when he said that he saw the conclusion to Emma on Monday. I thought surely he meant that he saw an encore of episode 2, but apparently the smug boy was right! My PBS station aired episode 3 on Monday night and I had no idea 😦 . Guess I will have to watch it tomorrow; I can’t stay up to watch the midnight encore on the in-between HD channel.

Review: Emma Part 2

Thank goodness for Masterpiece online, as I missed last night’s viewing.

The score. Love it and can’t wait to get it. The music just seems to fit perfectly with the scenes, which is something that I always look for in a good period film.

I also love the simple graceful lines and fabrics used for the costumes, especially the be-ribboned empire waist day dresses that Emma wears, as well as the delicate and ribboned, Grecian-style coifs that she sports.

There are several elements that are making the series grow on me,  Emma’s introspective scenes in particular, but this is also the point in the story where she started to grow on me as a character when I first read the novel.

I like that the imaginings and flashbacks in this series also add depth to the characters. For example, when Emma imagines Jane Fairfax playing piano for Knightley, the viewer gets a glimpse of Emma’s as yet unexplored feelings towards Knightley. I haven’t watched the other Emmas in a while, but I don’t recall seeing this device in the other adaptations.

Laura Pyper as Jane Fairfax is also growing on me, though Rupert Evans as Frank Churchill still gets on my nerves, but that may be because I always found Mr. Churchill’s dealings with Miss Fairfax and Emma to be truly mean-spirited and Evans’ portrayal is definitely playing on that characteristic.

Christina Cole as Mrs. Elton is just as obnoxious as I imagine, though I keep thinking of her as the honorable Blanche Ingram in Jane Eyre whenever she appears with Mr. Elton.

Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley is also growing on me; the longing glances and his interaction with Garai’s Emma are making him a lot more noble in my estimation.