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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pride and Prejudice Goes Graphic

Have you ever read Jane Austen in the form of a comic? Well, this was a first one for me, too! My husband attended a Comic Con recently and brought me this this Pride and Prejudice graphic novel.


The graphic novel is written by Laurence Sach, illustrated by Rajesh Nagulakonda and published by Campfire whose mission is to “entertain and educate young minds by creating unique illustrated books that recount stories of human values, arouse curiosity in the world around us and inspire with tales of great deeds of unforgettable people.”  And having read the novel, I too feel that a graphic novel is a great way to introduce a classic to a young audience that might find the original a tad too challenging to grasp.

While I didn’t expect to like the graphic novel one bit, not being used to the genre, I was positively surprised to discover that this version has captured the essence of the novel so well. The graphic novel has stayed faithful to the original, changing nothing and removing nothing essential. The original language of the novel has been largely pertained, although the dialogue does remind me a great deal of the 1995 BBC P & P Miniseries; in fact, I’m quite sure that the authors have seen it and have based a large amount of the storyline on the TV adaptation.


Captions have been added to the illustrations to explain the story clearly, and the thought bubbles add to the effect, showing us what each character thinks, which is obviously missing from Jane Austen’s original novel. This is a helpful effect in Pride and Prejudice in particular, as we can see how Elizabeth and Darcy’s feelings change throughout the story, making the story accessible to anyone.


While the costumes and backgrounds in the illustrations look appropriate, the characters’ faces look chiselled to perfection, making them look super modern. Perhaps this can be forgiven, though,thanks to the style in this genre! The language, however, is not quite perfect in places, with some grammatical errors here and there and some slips, such as the title in Mr Lucas (for Sir Lucas).


Nonetheless, Pride and Prejudice Graphic Novel is certainly a fun addition to my Jane Austen collection and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to be introduced to the author. Funnily enough, my one-year-old daughter loves browsing through the book and looking at the pictures…I’m hopeful that she’ll grow up to love Pride and Prejudice one day as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

'Jane Austen always hits the spot' says Alexander McCall Smith | Daily Mail Online

As we await the publication of Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma, here is a link to a wonderful, insightful article written by him earlier this week on why Jane Austen has the answer to all of life’s problems!

There is also an excerpt from the upcoming book in the article, so it is definitely worth a peek!

'Jane Austen always hits the spot' says Alexander McCall Smith | Daily Mail Online:

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of a new version of Jane Austen's Emma 

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

McCall Smith Re-Creating Emma!

What a coincidence!

Soon after I had written about how Alexander McCall Smith was the modern counterpart of Jane Austen, I found out that none other than the man in question had been called out to rewrite Jane Austen’s Emma into a modern tale! The book will be part of the Austen Project, taken on by several significant modern writers, such as Joanna Trollope, who will be re-writing Sense and Sensibility.

Although, in principle, I’m hardly what you could call a fan of Jane Austen’s sequels, as I feel that it is hard to do justice to her genius, I was excited and relieved to hear that the best person for the job would be writing one of them. The book will be published this November.

Here is a blurb of his upcoming book (from

Emma Woodhouse's widowed father is an anxious man, obsessed with nutrition and the latest vitamins. He lives the life of a country gentleman in contemporary England, protectively raising his young daughters, Isabella and Emma. While Isabella grows into a young woman, marries a society photographer for Vogue at the age of 19 and gets down to the business of reproducing herself, Emma pursues a degree in interior design at university in Bath, and then returns to set up shop in her home village. With her educated eye for the coordination of pattern and colour, Emma thinks she can now judge what person would best be paired with another, and sets about matchmaking her young friend, Harriet, with various possible suitors. Little does she know she is not the only person encouraging romantic pairings in the village. As Emma's cupid-like curiosity about her neighbours, both young and old, moves her to uncover their deeper motives, she is forced to confront a few surprising truths about her own.

On his Facebook page, McCallSmith recently described the experience of writing Emma. He says that he enjoyed writing it but that it was a “real challenge…to portray Emma in such a way that we sympathised with her, while at the same time we saw through her interfering ways”. I urge you to check his Facebook page for some exciting snippets of his yet-to-be-published book! You can also follow the recent developments of the Austen Project on their Facebook page.

Are you familiar with Mr McCall Smith’s works and as excited as I am to get your hands on Emma?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The name now has a face!

Wow! It’s been a while since I posted here. I thought I should comment on a couple of exciting events that have taken place on the Austen front recently.

Starting with the new Jane Austen waxwork, unveiled on July 9th. The waxwork, commissioned by the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, has finally revealed Austen’s true looks with the help of forensic data.

waxwork head and shoulders (high res)

Images from the Jane Austen Centre.

The wax figure of Jane Austen was developed by the FBI-trained forensic artist, Melissa Dring, in conjunction with internationally-renowned sculptor, Mark Richards, and Bafta and  Emmy award-winning costume designer, Andrea Galer. So much detail was put to the waxwork that it took more than three years to finish it, and the result is stunning. 

waxwork full length (low res)

The data on which the likeness is based was gathered from the written accounts of her contemporaries – family members and friends – just as I did as I described in my blog on what Jane Austen looked like.

This can hardly be a small deal for us Austenites, as we must all have been wondering what she truly looked like. I personally feel that the wax figure does do justice to Jane Austen, coming quite close to how I imagined her to look based on all the written accounts. I feel that, being three-dimensional, the sculpture is certainly much superior to Melissa Dring’s portrait of Jane Austen made a few years ago. I’m fairly sure that the sculpture comes closer to the real Jane Austen than the commonly displayed lithography does, and is far more flattering than Cassandra’s sketch of her sister. In conclusion…

….the name now has a face!

What are your feelings about Jane Austen’s new likeness?

Next, I shall continue with the news involving a certain McCall Smith…stay tuned!