Note: Only pseudo spoilers, no details, but you might want to proceed with caution.
The Lost in Austen miniseries finally reached the top of my Netflix queue! My husband and I enjoyed watching it last night. It really is very funny at moments but, overall, I have to agree with one of Amanda Price's lines - "that's Jane Austen spinning in her grave like a cat in a tumble dryer" - when I reflect on this film. Let's face it, Jane Austen probably spends a lot of time tossing and turning in her coffin. Those of us who, to quote myself, are "determined to continue, elaborate on, or simply meddle with Jane Austen's novels" take extraordinary liberties with her work and it is appropriate to acknowledge that much of what we do would not meet with her approval. I have struggled with this in my own writing and in my reading of Austen fan fiction, sometimes horrified by the fantastic scenarios which her characters are thrust into (like Darcy and Elizabeth conversing with Lady Catherine while swimming naked in an alpine lake in Mr. Darcy, Vampyre or engaging in premarital relations in almost every one of the The Pemberley Variations ). What Lost in Austen reminded me is that while I might rave and rant about incongruity or historical inaccuracy, it is all done out of love for Austen. Her stories have become so much a part of our lives that they virtually live and breath, constantly changing and expanding into new avenues as they adapt to our modern world. Amanda Price puts it beautifully: "I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and the language and courtesy. It's become part of who I am and what I want." This rings so true to me. It doesn't matter if Georgiana is a spoiled little girl determined to have her way or if Miss Bingley sexual preferences are less than conventional. I'm even willing to overlook the fact that a night in a hotel room with a man didn't ruin Lydia's reputation. It's all in homage to Austen and, while sometimes maddening, overall it's thoroughly delightful. So please try to rest in peace Jane. Being one of the most beloved authors of all time cannot be easy but it's sure have its compensations.
One last thought - is Christina Cole destined to play all the hated ladies in Austen? She was Miss Bingley in Lost in Austen and Mrs. Elton in the new BBC version of Emma. What's next? I could see her playing the role Isabella Thorpe and think she would be a perfect Elizabeth Elliot. She is absolutely stunning to watch on screen.