Well, my darling Wife has outed me and my secret identity. Thanks, Lois Lane. So I guess I have to confess something. So what am I going to dazzle you with? What earth-shaking and mind warping truth am I going to reveal to you today?
I like Jane Austen.*
I know. Horrible, embarrassing and just plain shocking. Well, maybe not for some of you. But I have a beard and produce testosterone (I think) and grunt while eating meat, dammit! I’ve built things (well, I did, once), and made a garden (not necessarily Manly, but dirty), and have ogled pictures of Megan Fox (I’m not proud).
I haven’t always loved Austen’s work. When I was in high school my senior English teacher made me read Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility. I hated the books, Austen, and my teacher. As a teenage boy there is little more tedious than reading about a bunch of desperate women crying over their lack of ability to marry some snobby tosser. No guns, no violence (Oh, I lie, Marianne sprains her ankle!), and no sex. What the hell was there to interest my 17-year-old self, brought up as he was on Arnold Schwarzenegger films and X-Men comic books?
But as I matured (i.e. grew old) and came to better understand the nature of relationships, and the historical context of Austen’s work, something changed. I cannot even tell you when this all happened, though I have a suspicion that my wife is to blame. She is to blame for all the good bits. I remember sometime early in our own courtship sitting down with Kirsty to watch Pride & Prejudice (you know, the one with Colin Firth). It was the kind of reckless bravado that a young man engages in when he just wants to sit close to the girl he likes. So there I was, braced and ready to endure the snooze-fest of a Jane Austen BBC costume drama.
But I enjoyed it. What the hell happened? And my testicles didn’t even shrivel up. Oh my God.
It turns out Jane Austen is pretty witty. She is also clever and insightful when it comes to describing people, their motivations and their reactions to events. I really enjoy the quirky characters and the banter that plays out between them. The only thing better than her witty dialogue and comic characters, however, are her villainous ones – I just cannot help but hate the likes of Wickham, or many of the nasty, spiteful women that populate Austen’s novels, such as Lady Catherine. But it’s fun to hate them. Or is that just me?
Austen’s books are just plain enjoyable to read, and many of the TV shows and movies based on her work are great, too. The Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice is my favourite, probably because of how I was introduced to it, though the TV mini-series Lost in Austen is also pretty good.
I guess I am man enough to admit that I like Austen. What are your thoughts on Jane Austen and her works?
*Technically, I like Jane Austen’s books. I have not actually met Miss Austen, though I did visit her home in Bath once. She was not there at the time.
This post is part of My Home Truth’s I Must Confess link-up and One Mother Hen’s Open Slather link-up.
Well now I feel a little bad for wanting to watch the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice to see the wet shirt bit while you were clearly wanting to watch it for other reasons! 😉
Glad to see some of my good taste has rubbed off on you, as much as your good taste in geekness has rubbed off on me. Now all we need is for Colin Firth to be the next Doctor Who and we’d be set…
Oh yeah, like you need another reason to watch Doctor Who!
Funny post, I love the way you write, but then again I’m a big self depreciating humour type gal! I must admit I was ‘forced’ to read a lot of Jane Austen at school and that I haven’t gone back there. However, I bet I would be totally hooked now that I’m much older and wiser 🙂 I look forward to following you 🙂 Emily
Isn’t it wonderful that when you get older you automatically get wiser. Well, that’s what I’m hoping. Because if it isn’t wisdom, then I am just incredibly arrogant….
Okay my turn for a confession – I have never actually READ Jane Austen! But I love the movies (esp the Colin Firth version of Pride & Prejudice). The first one I saw was Emma with Gweneth Paltrow and like you, I was fully prepared for a snooze fest and was quite surprised when I really enjoyed it!
I don’t know why I haven’t actually read any of her works yet – I’ve read heaps of “Austen-esque” novels (ie other modern authors who write further works based on Austen characters) and love them. I think I’m scared of the olde worlde language? Maybe that should be my New Year’s Resolution!
If you have read similar books then Jane (all he close friends call her Jane) is well worth a go. I am a bit of a language groupie, though, as I actually enjoy reading Shakespeare… Oh dear, another confession…
I must admit I found the books hard going-I just skipped to the movies! I saw Pride & prejudice while I was in Scotland when it first came out-(The Keira Knightley one)
I also enjoyed a movie called The Jane Austen Book Club-another chick flick but it gave me incentive to read more of Jane’s novels. Sorry you were outed! But now the mystery is solved!
I think you need to be in the right frame of mind to read Austen. Obviously, being forced to read it at school does not cultivate the right frame of mind!
I remember seeing the ads for the Jane Austen Book Club when it first went to the cinema, but haven’t seen it yet. I should check it out.
I can’t see my husband being a Jane Austen watching kinda guy. More into the action and comedy. I haven’t really watched much of it, let alone read it! Lost in Austen looks like something I need to watch, to get me reaqcuainted with it.
I would certainly give Lost in Austen a look. It is very much in keeping with the “spirit” of Austen’s work, but giving it a modern twist. There is also a web series that re-tells Pride & Prejudice in the modern day – I will see if I can get Kirsty to share a link.
I must confess that I can’t really recall ever reading any of Miss Austen’s work. Hard to believe I know but very true non the less. I have of course seen Colin Firth at work though so I vaguely know what you mean about the dialogue etc in between characters being witty, however I really was there just for the view.
I love that you have confessed! Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses
Some people were just lucky not to have been forced to read Austen at school! And I know what you mean about the scenery – I think every guy understands what they are competing with when a girl starts talking about *that* scene in Pride & Prejudice!
Yep, another confession here – have not read or seen any Austen stuff. Except I think I saw the Jane Austen Book Club movie – which was more about a group of women who got together and read Jane, I think (?) I can’t remember. I think reading is something you really can’t appreciate until you are older and don’t have teachers shoving it down your throat. Will make an honest attempt to give ol’ Janey a go!