19th century,  General Fiction


2012 meant my re-discovery of Jane Austen. At first, I had a really bad experience with Pride and Prejudice, but everything changed when I read Mansfield Park. I really liked that the love story came as secondary in my reading and that a sense of coziness invaded me. While reading it, I longed for long walks in the sun, infinite time for reading, no responsibilities (nothing beyond making my bed every morning) and bread with butter and tea at four. The characters were interesting and the love story was fine, but it was not what made me revise my love for Jane Austen.

Now I am facing my finals, the weather gets more annoying and cold every day and I long for a blanket and some biscuits with a hot glass of milk. I long for Jane Austen too. I think one of her novels would make everything a little bit easier. It is what I would call, escapist literature. Just the illusion of summer and a simpler life.

Gwyneth Paltrow is among my favourite actresses and she is partly responsible for making me read Emma. When I was younger I watched a BBC TV adaptation with the wonderful Kate Beckinsale but I can’t remember almost anything, just the ending. It was a personal favourite of my mom and I and we would watch it together every time it was broadcasted. Now, I can’t wait to read Emma while I watch the Gwyneth Paltrow movie. Just a blending of movie and the book in my scarce free time. I know Gywneth will be great, I am predisposed to like at least, her acting (wasn’t she fabulous in Shakespeare in Love?) so I think that love will be attached to the novel too.

Cuteness overload as Gwyneth Paltrow takes the lead in Emma (1996)

I also love Kate Winslet and Sense and Sensibility is also on my soon-to-read list, but taking into account that I already have the Emma movie, I can’t wait to watch it. I am also very surprised that I find myself longing for this kind of books. I do love 19th century novels, but Jane Austen was never a favourite of mine, and, sincerely, I don’t think I would ever include her in my “favourite authors” list. But, somehow, I find her relaxing and appealing at certain stressful moments. In fact, I read Mansfield Park while studying for my winter finals. Coincidence?



  • belle

    Good ol’ Jane! I’ve read P&P not once but twice for 2 different classes in the last 2 years. I really don’t want to read that book ever again. I use to love 19th century novels but since having it pumped into me intravenously, I’ve been craving literary fiction and British mystery novels.

    • Elena

      I know, but try something less… Austen 🙂 What about the Brontës? Dickens?

      If you’re into British mystery novels, I highly recommend you The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

  • Rikki

    I am not a BIG G.Paltrow fan but she was fabulous in Emma. My favourite scene is when she is in the cage with the vicar and he realizes that she wants to set him up with that other girl, I forget her name. Strangely enough I always like the guys who play the vicar (I loved loved loved David Bamber as Mr. Collins in P&P).

  • amanda

    I’ve seen the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, but I don’t remember it at all! The novel, on the other hand, I truly enjoyed. I remember it as the most humorous of Austen’s novels, but that could be a bad memory. Best wishes for your studies and Emma!

      • amanda

        I wasn’t planning on revisiting Emma soon. I did see the recent BBC adaptation (2009) not too long ago, which I rather enjoyed. I own it so if I revisit, that’s my most likely option.

  • Li @

    I love the lushness of the Paltrow version of Emma. And Jeremy Northam was such a charming Mr. Knightley <3 I've been meaning to re-read the book and get around to watching the 2009 adaptation of the book.

    Best of luck with your studies and upcoming exams!

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