When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on. Books about adventures in the Amazone, stories about ordinary girls such as myself enjoying every day, drama in long gone times and adventures set in a fantasy world very unlike our own. As every young reader does, I imagined myself to be the main character, living through all the exitement, picturing myself in the world described by books. I would wear gorgeous, long dresses in period drama, be running around the forest in little more than a twig-and-leaf bikini or have pointy ears when being an elf.
As I turned older, I got my own bookshelves. I stacked them with all the books I loved so much. The hanging bookshelves were positioned in a triangle next to my bed, the middle one the highest, so I could sit in bed with my back against the wall, reading while surrounded by books. That is when my imagination concerning the world of books began to change. I had always pictured myself as the main character, the heroine. Now I began imagining simply living in the same world. In my dreams, I could see a hidden doorway beneath the triangle of bookshelves. Passing it, I would enter whatever world belonged to the book I was reading at the time.
It was a lovely time, my childhood, and I had quite forgotten I used to imagine this, until I watched ‘Lost in Austen‘ for the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge. Miss Amanda Price gets to do what I always imagined: she gets to step into the world of her favourite book, somewhat exchanging places with the main character. She is awed and very exited. I can imagine she might have had the same childhood ideas and fantasies, that have now become a reality. Amanda screws up, naturally, for she only knows the novel and barely anything of life 200 years ago. Unlike my completely appropriate behaviour when I entered the world of books, Amanda fails to conform to the norms and standards of the time. Instead of running its natural course, her entering the world alters the so beloved story of Pride and Prejudice.
The first episode I have watched with my hands before my eyes, feeling somewhat ashamed of the odd behaviour Amanda displays. After that I was quite able to follow the storyline. What an exaggeration of characters, that are already quite stereotyped in the novel. Mrs. Bennet is more fussy about her daughters getting married, Mr. Bennet vexes his wife even more than becomes apparent in the novel. Mr Collins is ghastly, horrible, despicable… mainly EW, that’s the best word to describe him.
Lost in Austen really is a very funny story, with exaggerated characters and very inappropriate behaviour by Amanda. Flirting with the BBC’s 1995 adaptation, we even get a wet Mr Darcy, which doesn’t make sense in the story at all. Miss Bingley, who would have imagined, turns out to be a lesbian, and Georgiana not quite so innocent as we have always believed her to be. The whole adaptation is a great parody on the story we all know so well, beautifully pictured and acted. And another bonus: I think it contained the most attractive Mr. Darcy I have seen thus far 😉 Yes, drool time, definitely!
- Austenprose reviews (episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4)
- Jane Austen World reviews (episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4)
- View Lost in Austen
- Interview Elliot Cowan (Darcy) and Jemima Rooper (Amanda)
- Behind the scenes