Last Thursday, being a particularly nice day Coco and I decided to annoy the War Office by relaxing in the garden, me with a book and Coco with some poor little lizard which he teases before devouring. I sometimes wonder how he would have fared had he been with us when we lived in Manly; we had a delightful family of three ‘Blue Tongue Lizards’ every summer which were quite large and looked fearsome.
He may well have thought twice before having a go at them, but then again he probably wouldn’t; he’s a silly dog, he sometimes thinks he’s a fair bit bigger than what he actually is and he is as game as Ned Kelly!
Undoubtedly the W.O would have found something for me to do had I have stayed in the house so I opted for the most pleasant option; and Friday likewise being a pleasant day we did the same thing over again.
For a change I decided to read Pride & Prejudice, I hadn’t read it for a month or so, and I keep going back hoping to find that there are not three volume’s but a fourth that I’ve somehow missed. It only takes me a few hours to read this work now, I find I know it so well that I turn the page, glance at it and then go onto the next and I’m right up there with the story the whole time.
There are many parts that I do enjoy reading slowly savouring each word or situation and on these I take my time, and why not, there is so much that is delicious!
So it was not until late Saturday afternoon/early evening that I put the book down; disappointed! Still no IV chap i.
I sometimes feel that Miss Austen just wanted to stop writing and couldn’t be bothered finishing the story off properly. After all she gave us three volumes in great detail and then when we’re down to the nitty gritty she knocked the lot off in a few pages; a couple of very small chapters. I feel cheated!
Try as I might I can find no reason for her not to have a volume IV, there is so much unsaid in those final two chapters that could have filled at least a IV and possible a V.
Perhaps Miss Austen was becoming sick of the story after all she had been fiddling around with it for some years, although I do believe that Miss Elizabeth Bennet was her favourite creation, so the question is still why did she just stop and let the story peter out like it did.
Was it because she was a maiden lady who really didn’t know enough to write about a young recently married lady. There most certainly were a great many taboo’s on spinsters in her day, not least I suppose those imposed on the daughter of a clergyman.
Yet she did know and understand about marriage; witness the first two paragraphs of Vol. II Chapter xix, so why did she teaze (Miss Austen’s spelling) us?
So whilst I’m pondering all this my mind drifted off to the 1995 BBC production of Pride & Prejudice. I think we can all pretty well agree that this was the best production of this story to date, but it was/is still lacking.
There were some silly parts/scenes that could have been left out well and truly and not spoilt the program because they did nothing to enhance it in the first place.
The one that most comes to mind immediately is the ridiculous swimming in the pond scene, absolutely ludicrous having no relevance to the story whatsoever; just a bit of masculine fluff to tickle the ladies fancy. Absolute nonsense, as was his fencing scene.
Come on now can anybody really imagine Mr. Darcy waving a sword/foil or epee? I can certainly see him with a quill in his hand, but a sword? Really!
The BBC are usually so spot on but with this production they just missed out. Important scenes are twisted and mutilated so much so that they bare no resemblance to the story whatsoever.
Take for example the “Introduction”; in the book this is a delightful scene. Elizabeth spotting Mr. Darcy through the window, coming along with his sister Georgiana to introduce her and meet the love of his life; with Lizzy in a tizzy; Mr. & Mrs. Gardiner all curious and suspicious all at once, and then them knowing what was going on in Mr. Darcy’s mind. What fun!
What a delightful scene that would have been! I never tire of reading that chapter and I would not have tired of watching it on screen as all the actors involved were superlative and yet we missed out on Mr. & Mrs. G!
As usual I’m carrying on a bit so to cut this short, the finish! I always stop the program once the happy couples are seated in their carriages, which is all a bit silly really.
Then they had to be kidding. “The Kiss”! Ludicrous I blush for Miss Austen.
Why for the final scene could they not have done something more in keeping with the story. It finishes with “With the Gardiner’s they were always on the most intimate terms…….” doesn’t this suggest a final scene of say Mrs. Darcy and Mrs. Gardiner in their phaeton with a couple of little ponies trotting off around the park and Mr. D & Mr. G wandering down to the lake for a spot of fishing, chatting away and the camera’s moving back until there are just the dots in the distance which fades out; just as Miss Austen’s great novel fades.