Tag: Emma

Celebrating the Anniversary of Jane Austen’s “Emma”

On December 25th, 1815, Jane Austen’s novel Emma was published at the author’s own financial expense in London, England. Austen retained the copyright and paid a 10 percent commission to publisher John Murray II Publishing House. In America, the book was $4 a copy. It received mixed reviews at first, but as time passed it gained more popularity until everyone came to love the heroine, Emma Woodhouse. This must have been a surprise to Jane Austen, who had previously stated she was creating a character “whom no one but myself will much like.”

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image via The Daily Mail

Perhaps Jane Austen said this because she was creating a character who declared herself entirely self-sufficient? Would never marry? To summarize, Emma focuses on a wealthy young woman of a country town in England called Highbury. She is surrounded by friends and family – she’s quite the socialite – and makes it her business to meddle in the affairs of others by matchmaking. That is only the most general plot summary; Austen does so much more within the novel.

 

According to an article by Louise Flavin at JASNA, Austen pioneered a new kind of writing technique or style called ‘free indirect discourse’ whereby she wrote in the third person but merged it with the fictional character’s habits of thought, so a sentence becomes both distant and personal: “she [Harriet] was a very pretty girl, and her beauty happened to be of a sort which Emma particularly admired… Emma was as much pleased with her manners as her person, and quite determined to continue the acquaintance.” As you can see the narrator of the sentence is also the prime fictional character, so the reader is able to see through Emma’s eyes and thus stay within Emma’s mindset where everything is a surprise while the prose is able to maintain third person distance. We call this close third person now. This excerpt also establishes the major theme of the novel, which is the weakness/failure of human judgment (primarily Emma’s).

image via wikipedia

Emma was the first Austen heroine who had financial independence. In Emma’s eyes, she has no need to marry. She is born with an authority all of the other Austen heroines lack. The town of Highbury is also portrayed as a female-dominated world. Still, Emma suffers mishaps and learns lessons; Mr. Knightley, despite Emma’s autonomous personality, is often softly criticizing her for her mistakes. Emma exhibits distorted logic in trying to marry off a friend, Harriet Smith, to someone above Harriet’s class, and who is mutually disinterested in Harriet, while finding no redeeming value in Harriet’s true love Robert Martin, who actually thinks as highly of Harriet as Emma does. It’s clear Emma needs to be set straight. In the end, Emma comes to realize money (or lack thereof) doesn’t make (or unmake) the man, and that it isn’t her business to matchmake when she doesn’t even know the terrain of her own heart; she realizes it’s Mr. Knightley, landed gentleman of Donwell Abbey, whom she’s loved all this time. Mr. Knightley wakes up to the realization of his own love for Emma, too. They marry and he moves into her estate where she lives with her father. What we witness is Emma’s evolution and slow humbling into a happier, more peaceful unity within and with others.

Despite Emma’s initial flaws, her character is highly intelligent and she repeats some of the wittiest lines of all of Austen’s characters. It’s hilariously true when she says:

“It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind.”

(Agreed.)

Or how about when she says, “seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”

 

Virginia Woolf called Jane Austen, “mistress of much deeper emotion than appears on the surface.” Most critics agree Emma was Austen’s real tour de force, where her writing was at its strongest and where she exhibited forceful technique, with a subtle feminist subtext written within, and well-developed characters, namely Emma herself. Scottish novelist Margaret Oliphant called it “the work of her mature mind.”

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image via pinterest

There have been many TV and big screen adaptations spanning the decades from 1948 to 2009. In 1995, the popular film, Clueless,” with Alicia Silverstone as the Emma-inspired Cher, hit theatres as a loose take on the book. It was set in Beverly Hills and contained many of the same plot points, themes, and was noted for its humor and originality. In 1996, a more true-to-the-novel adaptation came out with Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, and in 2010, a Bollywood version called “Aisha” premiered to dismal reviews. There also was a web series called, “Emma Approved” which originally aired on Youtube in 2013 that stopped then started up again in 2018, based on the book. It seems, however, that nothing as of yet has come out and done justice to the novel that was to be the last one published by Jane Austen while she was still alive, though we hear news of a new adaptation starring Anna-Taylor Joy along with Bill Nighy as the father coming out in February 2020. We’ll see how it does!

In any case, happy anniversary, Emma. You only get better with age.

 

 

Featured Image via Indiewire 

 


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Don’t Be A Bonehead, ‘Clueless’ Is Back

It has been announced that another Clueless reboot will grace our presence. Paramount Studios is planning another film and be more modern as it is set in 2020.

 

Image via The Times

 

As we know the original movie had ties to the Jane Austen novel, EmmaBut the reboot will more focused on Cher’s bestie, Dionne. There is also talks of another Clueless television series

I have hope for these reboots but of course I am skeptical. Paramount aired the reboot  ‘Heathers’ and needless to say, it did not go well. Much like ‘Heathers, Clueless is a product of its time. Clueless  is the definition of the nineties and it will be difficult to translate. The more modern the filmmakers make it the better.  Both Heathers and Clueless draws fine lines when it comes to humor and cheesiness and it strikes a good balance.

 

 

Let’s hope they can reach the same balance in the new reboots.

 

Featured Image Via Mental Floss

Escape The Pumpkin Spice With These Hulu & Netflix Releases

With September comes cold sweater weather. If you find yourself missing Summer already, blast the heat and bingewatch some Netflix and Hulu in your bikini!

 

For September we are including Hulu releases as well as Netflix. We have to be inclusive after all!

 

We’ve put every new release into categories and included the Netflix and Hulu release dates to boot! Click on the titles or where it says “book” or “novel” to either the watch film/show trailer or to purchase the original book.

 

 

Fantasy

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Image via Giphy

 

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers – based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s second novel of his epic fantasy trilogy(September 1st, Netflix)

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King – based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, and the final book of the LOTR trilogy (September 1st, Netflix)

 

 

Horror

 

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Image via Giphy

 

The Walking Dead (Season 9) – based on the comic series by Robert Kirkman (September 1st, Netflix)

The Dark Half – based on Stephen King’s novel of the same title (September 1st, Hulu)

 

 

Crime

 

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Image via Giphy

 

American Psycho – based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis (September 1st, Netflix)

Basic Instinct  – based on the novel by Richard Osborne (September 1st, Hulu)

 

 

Drama

 

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Image via Giphy

 

My Sister’s Keeper – based on the novel by Jodi Picoult (September 1st, Netflix)

Disturbing Behavior – based on the novel by John Whitman (September 1st, Hulu)

Emma – based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma (September 1st, Hulu)

 

 

For Children

 

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Image via Giphy

 

Igor – inspired by the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly (September 1st, Netflix)

Pinnocchio – based on The Adventures of Pinnocchio by Carlo Collodi(September 1st, Hulu)

Archibald’s Next Big Thing (Season 1) – based on the children’s book written by Tony Hale and Tony Biaggne (September 6th, Hulu)

Curious George: A Royal Monkey – based on the Curious George books by H. A. Rey (September 10th, Hulu)

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Gizmodo

Top Five Emma Memes

Sure, Emma’s not a perfect character, but she is trying to help, even if she… really shouldn’t. It’s not like anyone lets her get away with her nonsense, anyway. Insert growth meme. But between meddling, genuinely helping, and finally figuring out her own life, here are some really memeable moments we can’t let go by unnoticed.

 

When you love unsolicited advice

 

Image via Goodreads

 

I mean, she wasn’t, but relatable, amirite? We’ve all known someone who basically runs their relationship like madlibs. Poor Harriet, though. She thinks Emma is so cool and wise, just because she acts cool and wise. Maybe by the end, but certainly not here.

 

When your friend always knows what’s best

 

Image via Tumblr

 

Stay out of it, Emma. The guy you picked isn’t exactly a gentleman, at least not in action. I’m all for helping your friend find the best guy for her, but maybe the first criterion should be at least the slightest bit of interest. I’m just saying.

 

 

Feeling the funeral spirit?

 

Image via Tumblr

 

Okay, so maybe not the most appropriate tone to strike at a funeral, but it’s understandable. Sure, someone died, but what about true love? I ask you. Everything’s coming up Fairfax. And Churchill. And honestly even Woodhouse. Frank’s aunt really did the story a solid.

 

A good nemesis is hard to find

 

Image via Tumblr

 

Have you ever had a nemesis? Because let me tell you, it is great. Sure, she looks angry, and maybe she is, but you can definitely enjoy a good rivalry. The most important part of having a mortal enemy is to have fun and be yourself.

 

 

When he gives super helpful advice

 

Image via Emma

 

What a quality take, KNIGHTLEY. Just what everybody wants, your opinion on women. Okay, so he probably didn’t mean any harm. Still pretty insulting though. I guess we’ll forgive him, since he’s less of a jerk by the end. Insert growth meme again. This books sure has character development.

 

 

Featured image via Pinterest

7 Contemporary Adaptations of Classic Novels

Everyone likes an adaptation, and sometimes the best adaptations are underground. Here are seven picks from YouTube, perfect for marathoning, all based on classic novels and set in the modern era. No matter whether you’re a fan of Jane Austin, William Shakespeare, or Charlotte Bronte, there’s something for every classic book lover. Watch away!

 

1. Nothing Much To Do

 

Image via YouTube

 

If you like Much Ado About Nothing, get ready for Nothing Much to Do, an adaptation from New Zealand in vlog format, this time set at Messina High. All the accusations, the threats, and a few serenades on ukulele, this modern adaptation has all the humor and hatred you love, while also featuring a plastic flamingo. A must watch.

Based on Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare

 

 

2. Autobiography of Jane Eyre 

 

Image via Miss Daydreamer’s Place

 

Fans of Jane Eyre will appreciate the tragedy and measured pace of Autobiography of Jane Eyre. Filmed as a video diary, this series follows nursing student Jane as she leaves school, becomes a governess, and falls for the master of the house. Covering all the original beats of the story with inventiveness and heart, it has all the Gothic appeal of the original. Plus Adele is cute.

Based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

 

3. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries 

 

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

A classic, and for good reason. Thorough plotting, well paced character development, and silly costumes make this series compulsively watchable. Elizabeth is very much herself, lovable, judgmental, caringJane is sweet and decisive, Kitty is an actual cat, and Lydia is gleeful and wild. Set in California, Lizzie is a grad student with no interest in marriagemuch to her mother’s chagrin.

Based on Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin

 

 

4. In Earnest

 

Image via Pinterest

Seriously, this web series is good. I’m not joking. You might say I’m Earnest, but honestly, who isn’t? Oscar Wilde’s classic is reimagined probably exactly as he would have wanted itwith everyone confused and overdressed. At just fifty episodes, it’s an excellent binge watch, and relatable, at least if you’ve ever wondered how to propose to someone you’ve given a false name.

Based on The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

 

5. Emma Approved

 

Image via Hollywood.com

In this adaptation, Emma runs a PR firm with her brother-in-law, George Knightly. Some great parties, some terrible decisions, and outrageous confidence make this a fun and lighthearted series, despite any low moments. Fans of Austin will be thrilled, and if you’re not yet obsessed, you will be.

Based on Emma by Jane Austin

 

 

6. Anne With An E 

 

Image via Kickstarter

If you can’t wait to return to Green Gablesor visit for the first timeGreen Gables Fables is a delightful and heartwarming take on the classic story. Never discouraged, Anne’s passion and creativity make this series sing, and even at one-hundred-fifty episodes (the longest on this list), it seems too short.

Based on Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

 

7. Jules and Monty

 

Image via YouTube

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy may have slightly less murder, but it has just as much tragedy as the original. The clash between two warring fraternities reaches new heights. Even with a lower mortality rate, this is still a tear jerker, so be warned. It’s also the shortest series on this list, with only twenty-one episodes.

Based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

 

 

Featured image via NegativeSpace