still adapting

I can’t quite get used to clicking the ‘home’ button on my browser and having mizkit.com actually come back up again. It makes me happy every time, which is good, because for the first month it was down I couldn’t look at the ad farm without spasming with rage.

I amused myself this afternoon while getting the MOUNTAIN ECHOES give-aways packed up. Hopefully I will have also amused the recipients, when it comes to that. :)

Slightly longer than intended “Mansfield Park” picoreview behind the cut, for mild spoilers.

Having sent one boy to bed and the other to a movie last night, I sat myself down with some popcorn and a root beer float and watched the Billie Piper version of “Mansfield Park”, which I’ve never read (so I only knew exactly what would happen because I’ve read other Jane Austen books :)). It was fairly charming; Fanny is actually far less of an active character than many of the others in the story, which I found kind of interesting. She was likeable, happy, sweet, a good person, but she wasn’t in any way proactive or self-defensive. Everyone in the film did a fine and enjoyable job, and it was pleasant viewing.

But I tell lies: I did not know exactly what was going to happen.

I knew most of what was going to happen, but when Uncle Sir Thomas went off to Antigua early on because of business going badly, I thought it signaled that when he had to suddenly rush off to London at the end that it would transpire that they had lost everything and were now suddenly poor, and that they would have to somehow adapt with Fanny’s ingenuity to their new circumstances. And that she would finally get the boy, because the woman with whom the boy had fallen in love would have nothing at all to do with a poor man.

I was genuinely surprised when it turned out Uncle Sir Thomas had gone to London not to discover the family fortune lost, but to try to patch up the mess created by the beautiful but apparently not too smart sister, Maria, who had Married Well and then threw it all away by having a blatant affair with the Handsome Scoundrel. I really thought, from the presentation of that character, that she was clever enough to marry well and then have a discrete affair. Apparently not.

And because I didn’t expect it, it *really* played up the common theme in Austen’s books about women making mistakes of passion which ruin them, and the utter hypocrisy of the men in those same affairs being tut-tutted at but not ruined. I realize it was the way of the era (and that we still subscribe to it: look at Kristin Stewart, whom I don’t even particularly like, in the unfortunate affair with her director), but coming from 200 years down the road, as a liberated woman, boy, the whole thing just made me twitch.

(And also made me want to write not just MAGIC & MANNERS, but a MANSFIELD PARK homage… :))


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