Yes, I’m in love. With a DVD. With, to be precise, Lost in Austen. I know, I know, I went on and on about how good this programme is back here, but that was when I’d only seen one episode… The Carbon Copy bought me the DVD for my birthday, I’ve watched it all again, and am having to be very stern with myself to restrain from watching it all over again straight away.
What’s not to love? Amanda Price, Pride and Prejudice addict, accidentally swaps places with Elizabeth Bennett. She has to try to keep the novel on course, coping with the differences caused by her presence, Lizzie’s absence, and some rather unexpected undercurrents to Jane Austen’s novel… and at the same time, of course, gets rather smitten with Mr. Darcy. It’s messing with Austen so I should hate it. But obviously I don’t. My utter delight in this TV series has dislodged prose-writing ability from my brain, and so I’ll give you some bullet points as to why Lost in Austen ought to be bought by you IMMEDIATELY. If it’s not available in the US and elsewhere, start a petition today.
It’s Jane Austen – which is an exceptionally good starting pointWith 21st Century life – so no forgetting-to-entertain-the-audience-because-we’re-fastening-our-bonnetsAnd Jemima Rooper – the lass playing Amanda Price is quite astonishingly likable, and not just because she was in the Famous FiveShe’s also a very funny actressA Real Person (just like you and me) gets to go to Longbourn. And Rosings. And Pemberley. It could happen to us…I would just say ‘Downtown’, but the clip wasn’t on the DVD, for copyright reasons… thankfully YouTube has it, so click here.There are so many treats for Austen fans. Look out for Amanda quoting Emma, and probably lots of others, and…… yes, there is *that* lake scene. The women reading will be wondering, I’m sure… and Amanda uses the word ‘postmodern’ to describe it, so you can all feel worthy and intellectual while pressing ‘rewind’ and ‘pause’ a lot.
Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Bennett. And his wonderful lines: “I must beg to be excused. Large gatherings of society make me break out in hives. As do small gatherings.”; “Mrs. Bennett and Lydia are currently in society. Society has enough to be getting on with.” And so many more.The best insult ever: “Damn you, Darcy, and damn every man who doesn’t stay up all night with a candle in his window daming you!”What happens if Mr. Bingley gets a crush on Amanda, instead of Jane? Think about it… think about it… who comes to visit and is put off marrying Jane because her mother suspects she will soon be, as it were, otherwise engaged?And wait ’til you hear Caroline Bingley’s secretThe adorable Perdita Weeks as Lydia – sister of equally adorable Honeysuckle Weeks. Yes, those are their real names.A genuinely moving romance. Should Darcy end up with Lizzie (as we’ve all been brought up to want) or new girl Amanda (whom we also now adore)? I lost sleep over this one.
The DVD has an excellent ‘Making of…’ feature, a whole hour of interesting interviews and soundbites from actors, producers, designers, cameramen, makeup artists… no writer interview, oddly… my favourite being the man painting the fence: “I don’t even know who’s in it. One of the other lads might be able to tell you that.”Oh, it’s all just delicious, silly, wonderful, delightful, intelligent fun – a hundred times better if you, like Amanda, like me, adore Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. So perfect I want to have it on loop for the rest of the month, pausing only to watch Pride and Prejudice itself.