Monday, April 1, 2013

Blogging A to Z: A is For Jane Austen

Welcome to the first day of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge!

My theme for 2013 is Influential Women Authors.

My definition of influential is any author, classic or modern, who has inspired writers, readers, or the larger scope of culture. Some are personal favorites, or have special meaning to me.

What this list is not: a list of the most influential writers of all time. Rather, this is a collection of influential writers, corresponding with each day's letter.

I hope you enjoy the series!

For the full list of participating blogs, click here.

A: Jane Austen

Bath, England. Photo: Stephanie Scott
How could I NOT begin this A to Z challenge without featuring Jane Austen? Pride & Prejudice alone has been made into several movies, a mini-series (the epic 1995 BBC version, of course), and influenced modern heroines like Bridget Jones. The book has had its themes adapted into countless books, and even a webseries. For books that were written 200 years ago, her influence sure has staying power.

Here's my personal list of noteworthy Austen adaptations:

Bride & Prejudice: A Bollywood take on P&P.
Emma: The 2009 BBC mini-series features a pre-Elementary Jonny Lee Miller as a great Mr. Knightley.
Persuasion: This PBS film is a pretty decent take. Plus, Giles from Buffy!
Lost in Austen: A UK miniseries where a modern Londonite travels through a portal to the early 19th century.
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: This novel by Seth Grahame-Smith would be dismissable as a simple gimmick if not for the author's clear devotion to the original characters and story. Just with added zombies.
From Prada to Nada: Cute film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility with Latina/Latino casting. A little forced at times to keep to the original story, but still fun.

Since I didn't list them all, do you have a favorite Jane Austen movie, novel, or adaptation? Please share in the comments!


  1. If we're going loose adaptations, I quite like Clueless and Bridget Jones :) Excellent choice for your first A to Z post! I love Austen.

    1. I love both of those movies! I saw both of them before I ever read P&P or Emma, so it's really fun to go back and watch after you get all the connections.

    2. Same! I actually had to read Emma, watch the Gwenyth adaptation, and then Clueless for a film studies course way back in first year of university. It was awesome. I also wrote an essay a couple of years later about Austen adaptations and watched Emma, S&S, and P&P (both versions!) within a week. I swear I started talking like I was in an Austen novel!

  2. Red Dwarf VII did an episode called Beyond A Joke which featured characters from Pride And Prejudice in a futuristic computer game, but hearing Jane Austen's name always reminds me of this clip.

    Dave Wrote This

  3. Agreed with Clueless and Bridget Jones :)

  4. First off, thanks for stopping by my place this morning!

    I admire Jane Austin. Her persistence and talent during a time when women authors were looked down upon really opened doors for the rest of us! I love the BBC series. I mean, no offense to others who have tackled the role, but could there be anyone better to play Mr. Darcy than Colin Firth? I think not :D

    Fun theme! I look forward to reading more!
    Enjoy the Challenge,

  5. Jane Austin has been one of my favourite writers.. Great start for April. I relate more of her through Bride and Prejudice.

    You can check my take on A on the A-Z series :

  6. Thank you for commenting on my blog!!

    I really think I do need to pick up a Jane Austen book. I started reading Pride and Prejudice but I didn't like it, but I think nk that was merely my lack of patience! I have seen Bride and Prejudice not that long ago and it was hilarious! Great post!x

  7. I realize some people may disagree, but I really liked the 2005 adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I thought he was just swoonworthy as Darcy.

    Plus, it inspired me to go actually find and read a copy of "Pride and Prejudice", which I enjoyed a lot more than most of the "classic" literature that was forced on me in high school. :-)

    1. I also liked it for the most part. Of course a 2 hour movie can't be as thorough as a mini-series, but the casting and cinematogrophy were great. I highly dislike the ending though, with Mr. Bennett muttering to himself in his study. What, no wedding scene? No final smooch between Lizzie and Darcy?

  8. Great post! I almost checked a book from the library, Jane Austin, and didn't, but will next time!! Since I love to read, it will be on my list of reads for my visit later this month! I have completed all of the books written by Mitch Albom, love his style of writing...which I am truly paying attention to with each book I read....I am an inspiring much to learn!

  9. Yep, Clueless and Bridget Jones. But I adore the Kiera Knightly Pride & Prejudice as well.

    I love this A to Z theme!

  10. I realized that I was thinking of Alan Rickman in Sence and Sensibility when I first thought about Pride and Prejudice. Opps! I thought Bride and Prejudice was a fun adaption of Pride and Prejudice.

  11. Great theme and I agree, hard not to start this list without without featuring Jane Austen!

  12. Good choice for A; LOVE Austen. And I love all adaption picks. I personally love Sense and Sensibility with Alan Rickman.

  13. What -- no reference to the screen version of Sense and Sensibility? I've studied it closely (for a piece in Creative Screenwriting), and Emma Thompson did a really excellent job of adapting it for the screen. Great cast too! BTW, my first encounter with Jonny Lee Miller was in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, where he was unforgettable as Sick Boy. For me it's hard to imagine this strung-out drug user doing Austen!

    Thanks for focusing on one of my favorite writers of all time.

  14. I haven't read any Jane Austen yet, but I really need to! It's on my to-do list :)

  15. I had no idea the Clueless and Bridget Jones were loosely adapted from Jane Austen works... well now I HAVE to read them. I always thought the stories would be stuffy and slow. Clearly I was mistaken... Thank you for this post! Visiting from A-Z, and now a new follower :)

  16. No favorites, but I haven't read the zombie one, yet. I have it sitting around, just haven't gotten to it.

  17. My favourites that are based on Austen's books are Bridget Jones and Clueless.

  18. I love how many adaptations there are of the Jane Austen stories - seeing the different interpretations (like Clueless) shows how versatile and timeless the originals are. Great choice, and looking forward to more!


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  19. As a Women's Studies Professor, I thoroughly love your theme! Come visit us at where we are doing an original poem every day for the A-Z challenge and to celebrate National Poetry Month!

  20. I have never been a big fan of Austin but I'll not deny that she is a major influence on writing and woman's literature in general. Great start to A to Z! I look forward to the rest of your posts!

  21. First, thanks for visiting my blog. I absolutely love your idea...women authors are truly a passion of mine. I'll be checking in to add books onto my list! :)

  22. Great pick. Her books have been influential in YA and clean romance.

  23. I absolutely adored The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The writers did an amazing job of adapting the novel into a vlog. Figuring out the sneaky references to the novel was fun!

    As a student planning to pursue literature, I find your theme [and the first post] brilliant. Waiting eagerly for the rest! :)

  24. oohhh I've never heard of from Prada to Nada that sounds good.
    I didn't enjoy Lost in Austen. I thought Mr Collins was gross! and I couldn't bear the thought of Jane being with him.
    Pride and Prejudice is my favourite and most read book - so you can see why Lost in Austen was distressing hah

    perfect start to your AtoZ ;) x


  25. Great way to start the challenge. She is so influential, more today than ever. I wonder what she'd think of all of the rabid fans and retellings and movies?


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