I’m sure they were told it couldn’t – or shouldn’t – be done (hence the tongue-in-check Word of the Week) . . . and look at them now. As a writer, I can totally identify and empathize. I hear contradictory advice all the time (“write what you know,” then “write your dreams and fantastical thoughts;” “don’t edit as you go,” then “don’t let your mistakes get too out of hand as you write,” etc., etc.).
This week, as we X more squares on our calendars of confinement, might I suggest a dive into the world of YouTube Jane Austen web series? None of them are new. It’s likely you’ve seen many, if not all of them. But just in case you haven’t, for your delectation, in no particular order . . .
Windmills in the Head
Pride and Prejudice
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
“My year long video diary of my sisters, my best friend Charlotte, and eventually a guy named Darcy.”
“Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse is reimagined as a young lifestyle coach and matchmaking entrepreneur.”
Sense and Sensibility
“Teen vlogger Margaret Dashwood documents a year in the life of her family.”
Elinor and Marianne Take Barton
“Updating the action to a modern-day university, ‘Elinor and Marianne Take Barton’ explores the highs and lows of being young, (relatively) independent and dealing with friends, family and boys. As well as the video diary of Marianne Dashwood, the series follows the other characters through social media and Tumblr blogs.”
From Mansfield With Love
“From Mansfield With Love follows the life of Frankie Price as she posts a series of vlog letters detailing the ups and downs of life at Mansfield Park.”
“Join Catherine Morland as she chronicles the perils of young adulthood and her many (mis)adventures through her vlogs on YouTube.”
The Cate Morland Chronicles
“Cate Morland, a recent journalism graduate who is obsessed with fan culture, particularly of the short-lived cult series The Mysteries of Udolpho, finds her new job at an LA entertainment magazine puts her in contact with many different people in the pop culture sphere, but none more exciting than Henry Tilney, the former star of The Mysteries of Udolpho himself…”
Welcome to Sanditon
“Welcome to Sanditon relocates the action from the English seaside to a California beach town, and replaces the novel’s protagonist with LBD’s [Lizzie Bennet Diaries} Gigi Darcy. Gigi has come to Sanditon, CA to run a beta demo of the Pemberley Digital Domino application. The residents of Sanditon have all been invited to join in the test, and discover how this “life-revealing” app performs.”
All-Purpose Jane Austen
The Jane Games
“A web series in which Jane Austen and her characters abandon pride and good sense to compete on a modern day reality show.”
Persuasion did have two web series that I watched, albeit a couple of years ago, that have since disappeared entirely. Just in case my search skills failed me, their titles were The Elliots and Anne Elliot (although this last one petered out after four episodes; I kept hoping the actress would do more because it was a promising series).
I am no fan of anything bearing the name Brontë, so it took me by surprise that I really enjoyed the web series based on Jane Eyre. Maybe it was far enough removed from the source material, and true aficionados will not be so approving.
The Autobiography of Jane Eyre
Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.