Monday 22 August 2011

Austenesque Extravaganza

In Miss Bennet & Mr Bingley, Fenella Miller returns to Jane Austen's best loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, giving an insight into both Charles and Jane's private thoughts through that difficult year. We discover what Jane did in London and how Charles filled the days until he was able to return to Netherfield. This book takes us past the wedding—when Kitty Bennet becomes the heroine of the hour. Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

I wrote Miss Bennet & Mr Bingley at the suggestion of Amanda Grange who is the bestselling author of many Jane Austen sequels. I had just completed a Victorian family saga set in Colchester (where I live) and wanted to write something completely different.
Like all of us here I love Jane Austen's books and Pride and Prejudice in particular. I had always wanted to know a bit more about Jane and Bingley and in my book I have explored this. I should love to write another book like this. Unfortunately my proposals have been turned down  as someone else has already written, or was writing, something very similar.
I suggested a ghost story set in Pemberley after Lizzie and Darcy were married and also a prequel were Darcy is an all action hero saving the world as a spy. I would love to do a contemporary taking on this but those have been done as well. Any suggestions gratefully received.
I started reading Regency stories with Georgette Heyer in my early teens and graduated to Jane Austen a few years later. I've read all of them several times and I think the only one I still don't enjoy as much as the others is Emma because I've always found her an unsympathetic heroine.
I also enjoy the television and film adaptations of the stories. I didn't like the Mansfield Park version with Billie Piper – not because she's not an excellent actress – but she was just wrong  person  in my opinion. What do you think?
I think the BBC version with Colin Firth and his white shirt must be everyone's favourite Pride and Prejudice film. However, I thought "Lost in Austen", a TV time-slip version of Pride and Prejudice, was terrific. The last scene with Darcy and the 21st-century heroine was the most romantic I've ever seen. I think I watched it a dozen times before I deleted the recording.
Now here is a small quiz for you:
1. How many film/TV versions of each of Jane's book has there been?
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
2. Can you name three modern films that are based on Pride and Prejudice?
3. Can you name three other titles of work by Jane Austen not listed above?

Good luck.
Fenella J Miller


  1. Gosh, that's actually too hard for me. I don't tend to like the TV/film versions - apart from the brilliant usual suspects - so couldn't tell you how many there are to save my life. Three of each, maybe?

    As for the other two questions, erm ...

    Good quiz though!

  2. 1. How many film/TV versions of each of Jane's book has there been?
    Sense and Sensibility I say probably 3. The 70s or 80s one, The Emma Thompson one and the 2008 BBC one.

    Pride and Prejudice countless!! i think last time I checked there were roughly 7... some not on dvd though. So in terms of what I have on dvd, I have the Elizabeth Garvie one (80s, I believe), the '95 Colin Firth one and the 2005 film version.
    Mansfield Park I know of the following: 70s/80s one with Sylvestra Le Touzel as Fanny Price and Nicholas Farrell as Edmund, then the 1999 Frances O'Conner and the 2007 Billie Piper version.
    Emma A 70s one, 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow, 1996 Kate Beckinsdale, 2009 Romola Garai.
    Northanger Abbey
    2. Can you name three modern films that are based on Pride and Prejudice? Bridget Jones, Bride and Prejudice, Lost in Austen.
    3. Can you name three other titles of work by Jane Austen not listed above?
    Love and Freindship
    The Watsons

  3. Woops, I missed out Northanger Abbey and Persuasion:

    Northanger Abbey: 0s one with electric guitars in the soundtrack !! starring Peter Firth as Tilney, and 2007 version with JJ Field.

    Persuasion: 70s version with horrificly bad costumes, 1995 Anne Root and Cairain Hinds, and 2007 with Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins.

  4. I've got a lovely little book with all the answers in. Not sure I'd have known without it. Very impressed with your knowledge so far.

  5. I would love to read your book on the Bingley couple :) Variations on the other couples in P&P would be interesting. For example, what if Wickham and Georgina did elope without Darcy coming in time to where they were?

    I don't really like Persuasion, except for the ending. I prefer Fanny acted by Frances O' Connor. Somehow she looked more like a Fanny.

    I like Colin Firth as Darcy not because of his white shirt scene, but because of how he portrays Darcy. Oooo, I love Lost in Austen too! Yes, the ending is really nice :)

    Wow, your quiz is difficult but I will give it a try.
    1) S&S: 2
    P&P: 4
    MP: 2
    Emma: 2
    NA: 2
    Persuasion: 2
    2) Bridget Jones' Diary
    Bride and Prejudice
    (Sorry, can only think of 2.)
    3) Lesley Castle
    (Sorry, can only think of 1.)

  6. I love the idea of Wickham & Georgiana eloping - and I don't think that has been done. It would mean a whole new story for Lydia Bennet - but then it would be a new book. I'm inspired now to write a second JA related book.

  7. oh Fenella it's early in the day to be working this hard!
    '71,80,95,08 [4] + 2000 bollywood version 'i found it' & 2011 'from prada to nada'
    '40,80,95,03,05 [5] + 04 'Bride & prejudice' bollywd version and 'Bridget Jones Diary'
    Mansfield Pk? 83,99,07 [3]
    '72, 2 in'96,09 [4] plus versions 'clueless'95 and bollywd's 'Aisha' 2010
    NA? '87,07 [2]
    '71,95,07 [3]
    3 modern P&P based adaptations?
    'Lost in Austen','Bridget Jones’s Diary', 'Bride and Prejudice'
    3 other JA titles?
    'Lady Susan','Love and Freindship'[yes it is 14 yr old JA's misspelling not mine!], and 'The History of England'

    actually, this turned out to be a great exercise, Fenella. good for one of my JA challenges - now i know what to add to my participation - some great movies to look forward to watching "))
    sorry you couldn't continue with the 'Sociable Sunday' party on Sunday. hoping you've recovered well?

  8. I only know Persuasion and there are 3 adaptations in existence: 1971 Firbank/Marshall, 1995 Root/Hinds, 2007 Hawkins/Penry-Jones, and one by the BBC in the 60s that was destroyed when they mucked out the vaults. And considering the costumes in the '71 version, this may be a blessing!

    And I have to agree with you about Emma. I try and try with that girl, but still, nothing.

    Interesting post, Fenella

  9. I'm in awe of your JA knowledge -and without the book to help you. I'll pick a winner when Meredith tells me the challenge is over. I think it's early next month.
    Ive now got three ideas for my next book -thank you .

  10. *I'm not sure about all the movie/tv adaptations-
    S&S-3, P&P-4, Emma-4, MP-3, Persuasion-3, NA-3. *3 modern movies based on P&P; Bridget Jone's Diary, Bride and Prejudice and You've Got Mail. *Three other works by Jane Austen: Lady Susan, The Watson's and The History of England.

  11. Fenella, Sorry to say, I am not a good quiz taker and my brain really does not feel like counting all of the movies, tv series, etc.
    Anyway, your book sounds interesting. I think it would be interesting to read more about Jane and Bingley!

  12. Jakki, the quiz is not compulsory:)It's just there for a bit of fun and for those that like doing them. Bingley is perceived as a bit of an idiot - I hope I've made him seem less of a lightweight. Mind you he is always compared to Darcy!!

  13. 1. There are quite a lot made of P&P,S&S.
    E,MP,P I know of only a few.

    2. Bridget Jones Diary, Is the only one that is coming to my mind.

    3. The only one I know of is the one she wrote when she was very young about Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.

    These questions stumped me! Very fun! Thank you!

  14. I'm really interested to read your take on Jane and Bingley. They are so often portrayed as sweet and amiable, but with very little depth. I'd like to know what exactly made him take Darcy's words about Jane as gospel. And how Kitty gets to be the hero.

    As far as the quiz, I will have to think on that and try my hand later.

  15. Oh my!! That's a lot to think about after such a crazy day!! LOL

    Sense & Sensibility: 4
    Pride & Prejudice: 10
    Mansfield Park: 3
    Emma: 21
    Northanger Abbey: 1
    Persuasion: 5

    3 Films based on Pride & Prejudice:
    Bridget Jones' Diary, Lost in Austen & You've Got Mail

    3 other works by JA:
    Love & Friendship, Sandition & Lady Susan

  16. haha, Nice quiz! I will just say I've seen:
    4 versions of P&P, 5 if you count Bride&Prejudice
    3 versions of Emma
    3 versions of S&S
    1 Northanger Abbey
    1 Mansfield Park
    2 Persuasion

    I love the idea of P&P from the Bingley-Jane point of view!

  17. This is great - if no one gets the exact answer I shall go for the nearest. Already a few of these are close. Thanks for taking the time, all of you, to enter and read.

  18. Oooh, a quiz!
    1. I have no idea...quite a lot!
    2. Lost In Austen, Bridget Jones' Diary....and that's all I got
    3. The Watsons, Sanditon, something about a history of England...I can't remember the exact title.
    Fun--thanks for posting!

  19. Hm, maybe you should try writing a prequel to any of JA's works and continue it on to a sequel or variation type. As far as I know, not many books are about prequel and it may be challenging for you to write it at first but if you set your heart and mind to it, I'm sure you will succeed.

    I love quizzes but I'll answer this another time

  20. 1. How many film/TV versions of each of Jane's book has there been?
    Sense and Sensibility- 4
    Pride and Prejudice-10
    Mansfield Park- 4
    Northanger Abbey-1
    Persuasion- 2
    2. Can you name three modern films that are based on Pride and Prejudice?Bridget Jones Diary, Bride and Prejudice,Becoming Jane (lol I know that was a sneaky one, but hey it works!)
    3. Can you name three other titles of work by Jane Austen not listed above? All I know is Lady Susan

    Also for TV shows you need to go on Youtube and type in REgency House party part 1. Great show on what life was like Regency style and exactly what Pride and Prejudice matchmaking was like. ;)

  21. Oh dear, I don't know the exact numbers so I am reduced to guessing.
    P & P - maybe 6 or 7? I have only seen three but I know there are more.
    Sense and Sensibility - 4?
    Persuasion - 5?
    Northanger Abbey - 4?
    Emma - 5?
    Mansfield Park - 6?

    Movies based on Pride and Prejudice:
    Bridget Jones' Diary
    Bride and Prejudice
    You've Got Mail

    Other works of Jane Austen:
    The Watsons
    Lady Susan

    Thank you for the fun quiz!

  22. The quiz is now closed and the winners will be announced by Meredith very soon.
    Thank you for entering.