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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dark Austen
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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I see there is a ' darker' Pride and Prejudice in production.

I assume that's the one where the first Mrs Darcy is locked in an attic at Pemberley, and Mr Collins has another career as the Buxton Strangler (I see Tom Hardy in the role).

What other touches of character, plot or casting do we see s upping the shade potential?

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Perhaps Mary's sanctimonious moralising is a front to cover her secret life as a Satanist?
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Dafyd
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# 5549

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Mr Bennet is played by Sean Bean. Miss Bingley chops off his head at the end of the first series. Then it turns out that all her children are the result of an incestuous relationship with Mr Bingley.
Mr and Mrs Collins' marital relations are shown to us in rather too graphic detail leaving us in no doubt that they are not consensual.
Elizabeth kills Lady Catherine de Burgh by feeding her to a dragon.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Mrs Bennet, tired of Mr Bennet's determined efforts to beget a son, has taken to putting laudanum in his dinner. This explains why he finds it difficult to drag himself from his library; the man is clearly doped up.
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roybart
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# 17357

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It is revealed that Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia were each in turn sexually abused by Mr. Bennett. The revelations occur when an attempt by Mr. Collins to exorcise Lydia's demons goes horribly wrong.

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Oh Mr Bennet is definitely using. I see him with a snuffbox of white powder. Which Mary cooks up in the potting shed (you remember when he tells her in company 'You have delighted us long enough'? Code telling her to get himsome more horse before he starts guzzling the carpet).

Mrs Bennet of course started on the gin before breakfast and by mid afternoon is usually wandering the streets, accosting soldiers and asking if they'd like to meet some nice girls.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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And I think we can take it for granted that Bingley's fortune - and probably Darcy's - is based on the slave trade. This allows not only for lots of torture porn flashbacks set on the middle passage, but accounts for the glowering black housekeeper at Netherfield and a number of mulatto children.
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Dafyd
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# 5549

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As in Longbourn, the novel by Jo Baker, Wickham shows an inappropriate interest in the kitchen girl.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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roybart
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The entire Bennett family struggle to keep Mr. Bennett's numerous addictions secret. Due to wartime inflation, the cost of drugs has sky-rocketed. Elizabeth, at a loss as to what to do, visits Pemberly while Mr. Darcy is away and slips several valuable pieces of Darcy family silver into her reticule. She cuts the family's best Gainsborough from its frame and leaves the house with the painting secreted under her petticoat. This and loot from other thefts are passed on to Mr. Wickham to fence for the family. However, Wickham and Lydia elope on the proceeds.

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Thinking it over, it's more likely Elizabeth half-inches a few knick knacks from Rosings during the interminable dinner parties. Suspicion falls on one of the housemaids, who is summarily arrested on Lady Catherine's orders.

This would allow at least an episode's worth on the Bloody Code, culminating, of course, in a hanging.

In fact, I'd expect a few rotting highwaymen dangling in the background just as part of the scenery.

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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And those who lived happily ever after?

After six months of stifling wedlock to the pompous curate Mr Collins, Charlotte (Lucas) goes insane and brains the unfortunate clergyman with a pair of fire tongs. Darcy comes to the rescue and sends her off to an English sugar plantation in the Caribbean where she writes treatises against slavery and the Abomination Known as Marriage.

Lydia stays in love with her charming reprobate of a husband, Wickham, for precisely three weeks and five hours. He is busy seducing the formidable drag queen Lady Catherine de Bourgh when Lydia breaks in on them with a cunningly wrought scmitar and disembowels the unhappy Wickham. Lady Catherine helps her conceal the crime in return for a friendship with benefits.

Elizabeth Bennet lives in blissful marital union with her dearest Darcy for five years. She wakes up one morning to realise she has been in love with Bingley's snobbish sister since the first time they met. She admits to herself that she is secretly a masochist who needs a sadist to liven up her placid rural existence. She runs away to Paris with her tormentor and they make a fortune in the Rent-a-Dominatrix business.

Darcy kills himself with his grandfather's military officer's sword and returns to haunt Pemberley, acting like a more restrained Heathcliff. No howling or head-bashing or gnashing of teeth, just a mysterious fleeting sneer that frightens the servants.

Mr and Mrs Bennet carry on as usual for another 30 years.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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There's already a Pride and Prejudice with Zombies movie.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
There's already a Pride and Prejudice with Zombies movie.

But no one has yet made Pride and Prejudice v Mega Shark [Snigger]

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheAlethiophile

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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Every now and again I sit through a low-budget disaster movie like Sharknado or Anaconda.

I can imagine the handsome bachelor Mr Bingley of Netherfield arriving to give the Bennets a little exotic piranha in a glass bowl and then standing back as it turns into mega-shark and devours pugs, marriageable daughters and parents.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Helen-Eva
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# 15025

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Elizabeth and Charlotte Lucas have been in a passionate lesbian relationship for years. Each marries in order to disguise their true feelings and to achieve financial independence. As soon Charlotte has had a son (to keep control of the inheritance) Mr Collins suffers a freak baptising "accident" that only Charlotte witnesses and drowns in the font. Charlotte moves in to Pemberley where she and Elizabeth keep Darcy locked up in the attic while living on the money. Jane realises that Charlotte is a murderer and in order to buy her silence Lizzie has to agree to an incestuous threesome with Bingley before killing them all in a biazarre murder/suicide pact. Darcy's son grows up to become an opium fiend and Charlotte's to run away to sea and become a pirate.
Lydia and Wickham are both killed in the Napoleonic Wars and exist happily ever after as zombies.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Mr. Bennet's straw hat reveals itself as a carnivorous entity from Mars (or wherever), and devours him from the scalp downwards.....

Of course, at the end of The Devouring, only the hat is left, and thus is able to dispose of each subsequent character (Mr. Collins, for example) who is foolish enough to put it on...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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HCH
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# 14313

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In some ways this is an easy target. How about a light version of Bronte?
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Bishops Finger
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Or Thomas Hardy? A comic version of Jude the Obscure perhaps...

[Disappointed]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Sandemaniac
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# 12829

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You lot are really sick and twisted.

That's probably why I like it here...

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Or Thomas Hardy? A comic version of Jude the Obscure perhaps...

[Disappointed]

IJ

Musical? Sort of Rodgers and Hammerstein in Wessex?

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
In some ways this is an easy target. How about a light version of Bronte?

A very good question because Jane Austen only dipped her toe into gothic with Northanger Abbey, but it is hard to out-Gothic the Brontes.

I was thinking about the scene in Jane Eyre where Rochester disguises himself as an elderly pipe-smoking fortune teller in order to trick Jane into showing her feelings for him. While happy to conceal from her the presence of his mad wife locked up in the attic. He comes across as what we would now think of as a disturbed narcissistic sociopath adept at gaslighting vulnerable women rather than a passionate lover.

Jane Austen would have introduced cups of tea, small-talk and made Rochester seem ridiculous.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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The 'dark and adult' Austen is, though, an actual Thing.

My reading of those two code words is = 1 sugar plantations/slavery 2 sex and nudity. That they're not in the book is of course irrelevant: neither was Colin Firth in a wet shirt.

It would be jolly to see the sensationalising tide flow the other way. A Jane Eyre in which Bertha Rochester got appropriate psychiatric help: Tess and Angel go to couples counselling: Captain Ahab campaigns for the conservation of marine megafauna...

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Helen-Eva
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# 15025

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
In some ways this is an easy target. How about a light version of Bronte?

Jane Eyre is sent off to school at Miss Hannigan's orphanage where she teams up with a lovable mutt called Helen who completely fails to die of consumption. A long lost uncle leaves her a fortune which enables her to go and live in the country where she finds a handsome stranger called Mr Rochester who owns a circus. They sing a duet on the joys of riding performing horses. Mr Rochester's circus gorilla escapes from its cage and corners Jane in the church but she is rescued by Mr Rivers who takes her back to the orphanage where he falls in love with Miss Hannigan who turns out not to be nasty after all. Jane returns to Mr Rochester and persuades him to give up the circus and live on a farm instead and they all live happily ever after.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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roybart
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# 17357

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Before say goodbye to Austen, I just wanted to mention the July issue of the Times Literary Supplement, which is devoted largely to "Jane Austen 200 Years On." This is currently not available on the TLS website, though the site stll has up a long piece by Ian Samson (scroll down). For Austen admirers, however, the entire issue is worth a trip to the library.

Apropos this thread is a quotation from Lionel Trilling, a very big deal in literary criticism in the second half of the last century: "It is possible to say of Jane Austen, as perhaps one can say of no other writer, that the opinions that are held of her work are almost as interesting, and almost as important to think about, as the work itself."

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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HCH
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# 14313

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That's quite a nice comment from Trilling. I have lately been rereading some books by Sarah Caudwell, who I believe belongs in Austen's company.
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roybart
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Before this thread slides off the Ship into the Sea of Oblivion, one more thought on Austin. The 7/21 TLS issue includes commentaries on Austin from over 20 literary people. Only one -- from Joyce Carol Oates -- is less than deferential to Austin.

Austen, according to Oates (by far the most distinguished and successful author among the TLS group) admits that Austen is "brilliantly witty" and the mistress of the "deftly turned sentence."

Then comes the knife.

Austen, according to Oates, is "the very spirit of 'civilized' English society. She invites as to laugh -- though not cruelly -- at human foibles. She holds up a mirror that flatters even as it chides. Very kindly she allows us to imagine ourselves 'superior' -- for she has invited us to be her confidante; we are safely on her side. Here satire is a light whip that will never draw blood."

Oates's conclusion: "We love Austen as the white "feminine" fantasy that stirs even (some) feminists to nostalgia for a world of good daughters, good wives, good mothers, and good, poised prose that never falters, stumbles, decays, effloresces, or soars." *

Oates would say that a "dark" Austen is not Austen at all. This seems to me to be true despite current talk of the (unspoken) slave trade, etc., and the addition of vampires in 21st century pop culture.

It just occurred to me that that might be one reason I haven't actually re-read her novels since I was in my 20s, long ago.

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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The essay that changed my mind about Austen and led me to read all kinds of charming ’conventional’ women writers of the 18th and 19th centuries differently, was an essay I read in my first year at university, DW Harding’s famous ‘Regulated Hatred: An Aspect of the World in Jane Austen’. Not only did it give me an insight into what Jane Austen tried to say in sly and artfully concealed ways, it gave me some idea of what could not be addressed at all in that society.

In Northanger Abbey, Catherine has been wondering if Henry Tilbury’s father might have committed murder. Henry gives a calm deflecting rebuke that is ironic and says this, quoted by Harding:


‘What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing; where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies?’

To understand why Austen could not say certain things, why she knew she could not address so many issues, we just have to look at those neighbourhoods of voluntary spies.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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A "light whip that will never draw blood"? That doesn't square with the satire in almost every character. I myself have been compared to the bore Mary (Lizzie's sister) on board and believe you me, it hurt--mainly because so much of it was true.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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roybart
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# 17357

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quote:
‘What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing; where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies?’

Thanks for that, Marie Louise. I guess I should have been clear that I much admire Austen for style, narrative technique, and for being so much better at these things than the novelists who preceded her and most who followed. Perhaps it's the subject matter that no longer engages me??? The first time I read the Austen novels I was curious about what would happen. The second time, I paid special attention to the manner in which things were expressed and developed. But maybe, after that, the sad fact is that I no longer care much whether her heroines find true love in marriage or not. Is heresy! I know.

Lamb Chopped: Yes, poor Mary doesn't get much support from her family, does she? Or from Austen. My single favorite line from P and P is uttered by Mr. Bennett to Mary, who has been playing the piano at a social gathering. It goes something like, "Thank you, Mary, you have delighted us long enough." Ouch!

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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