Literary Ladies #6: Jane Austen lovefest

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Literary Ladies is my weekly series where I nerd out for a bit & imagine my favorite literary heroines into the modern world. Email me your suggestions or leave a comment below!

Catherine Morland & Anne Elliot: since this week’s stories were originally bound together upon publication, it was natural to feature two of my Jane Austen favorites in the same post. Yes, it’s true: Northanger Abbey & Persuasion are linked also because of their location in Bath, a fashionable resort town, but the similarities beyond that are minimal, as are the two heroines. For consistency’s sake, let’s imagine 2009 Bath as somewhere slightly more exotic & posh, the beach equivalent of Aspen. That kind of vacation in this day and age would inevitably mean more skin & grit than in Jane Austen’s time, as well– but something tells me she wouldn’t be terribly scandalized.

Anne is special because she stands out among Austen’s female characters: she’s older, and at 27 almost certifiably a spinster after having turned down a man she loved deeply because of some bad advice. With friends like that…! She’s depressed, she’s lost, she’s changed drastically since this breakup–but her selfish sisters & neglectful father don’t notice. When he comes back into her life, she remembers her spark…
Anne Elliot
Anne Elliot – by GephydroXX on Polyvore.com
Anne is also unique in that she never wavered in her love for her dashing, not-wealthy Captain Wentworth. Yes, it’s true that by the time their relationship is reconciled, he’s made (won) quite a bit of money, but that seems more like a convenience to a symphathetic character than a realistic story twist. What’s realistic about Anne is her natural disposition, her good temper–qualities that her family doesn’t ever appreciate, but which Captain Wentworth considers her loveliest asset. An actress I’d be interested to see in Anne’s role would be Anne Hathaway, who I adore & worship stylistically. Anne’s style would be conservative in comparison to Catherine’s; there is a ten-year age difference between the two. Where Anne is serious, Catherine is frivolous. Where Anne is reflective, Catherine is gullible. Therefore, where Anne’s style is classic lines and a muted palette, Catherine’s style is flamboyant and ready for a party:
Catherine Morland
Catherine Morland – by GephydroXX on Polyvore.com
Catherine’s stay with the Tilney family is tumultuous from the beginning, and her curious, borderline morbid behavior embarrasses her on several occasions. Bath is famous for its parties, balls, and social gatherings, and Catherine is determined to be seen at as many as she can. Certifiably silly, in the beginning Catherine lacks the understanding of her world not to internalize every insult, but as the story wears on she grows up a bit and is able to lessen the drama in her life. Her style would be eclectic & trendy, both because she’s got a spunky personality & because she’s young enough to be concerned over what is and isn’t ‘in’. I think a young star, like Dakota Fanning, would make a great Catherine. With big, innocent eyes & an unsullied, ‘I’m-not-Hollywood’ look, she’d be perfect.

Read any good books lately?

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3 Responses to “Literary Ladies #6: Jane Austen lovefest”

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