What I planned to do today: read Emma for the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge group on Goodreads. Organise my tea cupboards (yes, plural). Finish the sheep detective book and review it. Write a blog to accompany my vlog on Hyvä Lukija.
What I actually did: read some of Emma, but not a lot beyond the introduction by G.B. Stern and two chapters. Set up a blog and write an introduction for Valeton University Department of Andrewology on Tumblr (that’s the VUDoA -part of the title, vudofandrewology.tumblr.com is the link). This is a bit of silliness that has been breeding on Twitter over theories about Classic Alice. It’s so enjoyable to write something completely different for a while!
FMWL is an acronym for the webseries From Mansfield with Love which is, obviously, a webadaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
That novel is my favourite Austen!! I know, I know! What? you ask with indignation (or don’t, if you have a good taste). I hated the novel when I first read it. It was the first Austen I ever read and I truly marvel that I continued to read Austen after that experience. But really, the blame is with the translation. I read it in Finnish. There is no way that this satire-dripping text could ever be properly translated to Finnish. The first time I read it, I was bored by it and thought it would be the last thing I’d ever reread. Then, in college, someone gave me a really trampled edition of the book in English and I started to read it on a freezing bus. I missed my stop.
I feel like in Austen the main characters who have flaws have usually the most admirers. Emma, Elizabeth, Marianne, for example. And I’m not saying that I find Fanny somehow irresistible, but maybe there are just so many wonderful flawed characters in Mansfield Park apart from Fanny (and I’m not saying she’s flawless either, her flaws are a little more extraordinary, that’s all).
I just like the taste of that book. The whole novel is so drenched in satire that every sentence is as delightful as the next.
I love the novel so that I always have to justify the points that I like in it’s adaptations. For example the 1999 adaptation by Patricia Rozema. It’s a good film, but not really based on the book. Or, well, stupidly based on the book(and the Author). The Fanny Price in that version surely would have ended up with Henry Crawford. Edmund Bertram was far too dull for her.
Last summer BBC broadcast a radio drama of Mansfield Park. I have never wanted to slap Edmund (Benedict Cumberbatch) so much! I think the radio drama made him even worse than he is in the book.
So finally getting to FMWL, I have to say that I am truly enjoying the experience. Fanny is employed in Mansfield Park Hotel as a sort of jane-of-all-trades and hangs out with Edmund, who at this point at least is very sweet (I think he’s the first Edmund I’ve ever really liked, even in the beginning of the story – maybe I’m averse to clergy!! Am I Mary Crawford? No, for -other- reasons, surely). The Crawfords have yet to arrive so he can still get annoying, but I’m already quite taken with him.
It’s also great to hear something other than American English for a while. I haven’t watched a good Brittish series in a while, apart from QI. And there are very few non-American or Canadian literary webseries, it seems. At least that I’ve come across. Only NMTD springs to mind at the moment.
So yes, I like the series very much, the creators are good fun and it’s also nice to have a webseries roughly on the same-ish time-zone (only -2 hours). I don’t think I’ll love the adaptation for the same reasons as the book, but it is, so far, my favourite of Mansfield Park’s adaptations. They drink a LOT of tea. Kindred spirits.
Thus, ramblingly I leave you, not knowing if I have made any sense at all.
Just as a reminder to myself here in the end to blog about that series they are making of The Scarlet Pimpernel.