Find Me On FaceBook! MichelleMoran.com
December 2006July 2007August 2007September 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011July 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011July 2012August 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017July 2017September 2017October 2017December 2017February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018
History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History
Buff wants to know.
RSS: BLOG FEED
Logo designed by Shaun Venish
Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design
A serial flirt with a taste for drink and toyboys: How the REAL Jane Austen is portrayed in a new drama based on her own letters
An incorrigible flirt with a crush on a man half her age, a woman who scandalously reneges on the acceptance of a marriage proposal, and a reveller familiar with hangovers because of her penchant for wine.
The above depiction of Jane Austen has already sent shudders down the corsets of her fans worldwide, for this little-known side to the early 19th-century author is the subject of a new BBC costume drama, Miss Austen Regrets.
Many of us are familiar with the swoon-inducing romance of her novels, from Pride And Prejudice to Sense And Sensibility and Mansfield Park.
Her powerful characters, combined with her biting social commentary, have made her one of the most widely-read and best-loved writers in literature.
But the facts about the author's life are in short supply as Austen (played by Olivia Williams in the film) never wrote a memoir, never sat for an interview and never recorded whether she herself had felt the joys and disappointments of the love about which she writes.
To make matters worse, when Jane died, aged 41, her sister Cassandra burned many of her letters - probably to spare the feelings of relatives and acquaintances who were the target of Jane's barbs.
The characters and incidents in the film - exquisitely shot at Hall Barn, Buckinghamshire, where Sense And Sensibility, Gosford Park and Chariots Of Fire were also made - are drawn from the correspondence that does survive between Jane and Cassandra, and Jane and her niece Fanny Knight.
They examine why, despite all the love stories filling her rich imagination, Jane, who embodied the brilliant wit and high spirits of her heroines, did not take the plunge into matrimony herself.
"People who think of Jane Austen as a little country mouse who was reserved around men will be shocked," reveals Gwyneth Hughes, who wrote the script after painstakingly scouring Austen's letters for revealing new insights into the author's life.
She comes across as more waspish than ever before. In fact, Jane was described by her contemporary, writer Mary Russell Mitford, as the "prettiest, silliest, most affected husband-hunting butterfly ever".
"She really liked witty repartee and she was very comfortable in male company," says Hughes. "The flirting is clear from her letters, especially where she says tartly: 'I never married because I never met anyone worth giving up flirting for.'"
She certainly never seemed to find her own Mr Darcy and therein lies the crux of the plot of Miss Austen Regrets, where Jane jokes: "I am she that loved and lost", and says to Fanny: "My darling girl, this is the real world - the only way to get a man like Mr Darcy is to make him up."
Olivia Williams's Austen is no shrinking violet. She sees her novels as beloved children and the decision not to wed as vital to her giving birth to them.
It is not simply the tale of Austen's life, which began in Hampshire with her six brothers and sister in a family on the lower fringes of gentry.
Phyllida Law plays Jane's mother, and Williams in the lead role brings across all the confidence of a woman who began writing novels at 15.
The real Jane mixed frequently with friends and neighbours, and read novels (often her own) aloud with her family in the evenings. This socialising often led to dancing, either impromptu in someone's home after supper, or at balls held at the assembly rooms in the town hall.
One of her brothers, Henry, later said that: "Jane was fond of dancing, and excelled in it."