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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (50) Northanger Abbey

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
This meme celebrates an awesome adaptation related to a weekly category. Any format of adaptation (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. This meme is hosted by Alisa Selene at PictureMeReading. Check out her site and join in on the fun!

An Awesome Coming of Age Adaptation
Title: Northanger Abbey
Adapted from: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Just seeing the images for this adaptation when I looked for a picture to use for this post brought back so many wonderful memories of the first time I watched it.  I was not familiar at all with the story before seeing it, and I was in for such a pleasant surprise because while the story does have Jane Austen's signature ironic wit, Catherine Morland's romantic and exuberant tendencies was the perfect foil for the gently mocking attitude towards the melodrama of Gothic stories.  And I did read Jane Austen's novel after seeing this TV movie and was a bit disappointed in how the wry humor overpowered the optimistic, innocent voice of Catherine, and even the charming, teasing Henry Tilney played with such perfection by JJ Feild in the adaptation.

I do think this adaptation is slanted more towards bringing out the whimsical aspect in the story and is consequently more delightful and more satisfying as an experience than Jane Austen's cynical approach.  Catherine is very impressionable and innocent because her experience of life has come mostly from the over-the-top, dramatic Gothic romance novels she reads, and while believing that the novels can occur in real life, she gets into a few mortifying misunderstandings. Yet eventually she realizes her own perfect romance which only seemed to reinforce the idea that maybe these novels are not life ruiners.  (Sounds good to me!)

Catherine is the oldest of her large family and is very naive, but she comes into her own as she deals with false friends, first love, and heartbreak.  And she comes out just as sweet and endearing as she began and with someone who loves her for who she is.  This is one of my top TOP favorite period dramas because it's so engaging and winsome, marvelously acted and scripted and with a cheeky sense of humor.

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10 comments:

  1. This is actually the only Jane Austen novel that I read before seeing an adaptation of it... and that is to say I actually haven't seen any adaptation of it yet! But now I want to check out this one!

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    1. I love this version! If you like the book, this will probably become a favorite. :) And it introduced me to my crush JJ Feild. :D

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  2. I enjoy the series of Jane Austen novels on Masterpiece... I also love this book!!

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    1. I thought the series was really well done! I thought this was the best of course, but Persuasion was really good and to a lesser extent Mansfield Park.

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  3. I loves this adaptation SO much..gah..JJ Field..those little cute, teasy smiles of his...SIGH..can't wait for Austenland!

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    1. I know! JJ is just too cute! So perfectly cast, and I'm sure he's perfectly cast in Austenland too!

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  4. I really liked this adaptation. It came out in a year when both the BBC and ITV were pumping out Austen adaptations and this was easily the best (though I think Lost in Austen was awesome too). It was nice to see such care given to one of the less famous works and I think it was perfectly cast. JJ was great as Tillney while Felicity Jones really captures Catherine's romanticized outlook on the world and made for a believable and charming heroine.

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    1. It would be too hard to choose between this and Lost in Austen, because I love both of them so much! I am glad that this adaptation introduced me to the story because I probably wouldn't have ever read the novel otherwise.

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  5. I adore JJ Feild, even if I mess up spelling his name every time! I've not read this book, but I loved this adaptation. I was in a phase during my senior year of high school in which all I wanted to do was watch British miniseries--especially classic novel adaptations--and read Jane Austen. It was a good time. I think a re-watch is in order!

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    1. LOL, I do have to double check my spelling of his name every time I type it! It's so against my ingrained spelling. :) I feel like re-watching this as well! And I remember really liking the soundtrack to this one, I wish I could buy it somewhere!

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