Six Degrees of Separation – From Austen to…

Chain links…

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best. The idea is to start with the book that Kate gives us and then create a chain of six books, each suggested by the one before…

This month’s starting book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. What a pity! This means I’ll have to start with my obligatory Darcy pic instead of ending with it! Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to search for another hunk to fill the end spot… a tough job, but one I’m willing to undertake to bring you pleasure…

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both: by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgement, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance.

Pride and Prejudice is, of course, the story of a man falling in love with a fine pair of eyes and a woman falling in love with a big house full of servants – undoubtedly, the basis for a wonderful relationship. Thinking of relationships reminds me of…

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. This is a woeful tale of what can happen to a young girl when she goes off travelling but forgets to pack her paracetamol. It also provides a warning to us all never to declare undying love to a rich man whose mother controls the purse-strings, else we may end up the wife of a country curate…

Talking of country curates reminds me of…

Emma by Jane Austen – a terrifying tale of a middle-aged man who grooms a young girl to grow up as his ideal woman. Poor Emma is offered an escape route, when Mr Elton the curate offers to marry her, but alas! It is too late – her indoctrination is complete! A fine moral lesson to us all from the pen of Ms Austen…

Mr Elton…

We are given another, and perhaps even more important, moral lesson in…

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – An innocent young girl is trapped in an old abbey, with only spooky shadows, a potential murderer, a patronising young man who can dance unnaturally well, and a pile of pulp fiction to occupy her mind. Naturally, she picks the pulp fiction, starting a process that will rot her mind and eventually take her beyond hysteria to the brink of near insanity. The moral clearly is – don’t read books!

“…and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read The Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.”
“Have you, indeed! How glad I am!—What are they all?”
“I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocket-book. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.”
“Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?”
“Yes, quite sure; for a particular friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest creatures in the world, has read every one of them…”

And, most certainly, don’t read this one…!

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope – In a desire to save us all from the perils of reading fiction, Ms Trollope has written a book so majestically awful it is certain to put the unsuspecting reader off for life! A book that introduced me to two words that prove that the human race is already well on the way to total mental decline – amazeballs and shagbandit – it left me feeling that even emojis can sometimes be less offensive than the written word.

😉 😛 👿

He gave an almost imperceptible smirk. ‘The obigations of the heir…’
‘Oh my God,’ Marianne exclaimed. ‘Are you the heir to Allenham?’
He nodded.
‘So fortunate,’ Belle said dazedly.
Marianne’s eyes were shining.
‘So romantic,’ she said.

After this experience, I had to be persuaded to try reading another book, which brings me to…

Persuasion by Jane Austen – a tragic story of a young woman who dumps her lover and then is surprised that he takes her seriously and goes to war with the French (an extreme reaction, but quite romantic in its way. A bit unfair on the French though, perhaps.) The moral of this story is surely that we should grab the first offer we get, girls, for fear we might otherwise end up having to marry a curate…

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”

“Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

A lesson taken to heart by the downtrodden heroine of our last book…

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – a story wherein a young girl is wrenched from her mother and forced to live with two ugly sisters – ugly on the inside that is. Poor little Fanny is destined to spend her days as a skivvy without so much as a pair of glass slippers to call her own. Until her fairy godmother (rather oddly named Edmund) waves her magic wand and suddenly Fanny gets to go to the ball after all…

There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.

* * * * *

And they all lived happily ever after!

 * * * * *

So Austen to Austen, via relationship advice, curates, moral lessons, don’t read books!, persuasion and grabbing a husband!

Hope you enjoyed the journey. 😀

Oh! And here’s your extra hunk…

57 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – From Austen to…

  1. Your comments on Trollope’s S&S made me laugh. I actually have this in my TBR stack but haven’t got to it as yet. I did however just finish Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible (also part of The Austen Project) and, because I didn’t take it too seriously, found it to be a lot of fun.

    Thanks for joining in #6degrees!

    • Haha – the Trollope left me with emotional scars! I read Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey and quite enjoyed it, but then Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma made me swear an unbreakable oath I would never read another of the Austen Project books! And I’ve been much happier ever since… 😉

  2. Ah, yes, you’re keeping it nice and narrow for us here! A delightful romp through the dubious moral lessons of Miss Austen – and no, I haven’t found any book based on her books which quite lives up to expectations!

    • Couldn’t resist doing all the Austens even though it felt a bit like cheating! Haha – I think I’ve been just as cruel to her as Ms Trollope was though. I shall punish myself by having only a small slice of cake today… 😉

  3. Oooh, two hunks for the price of one – I love it, FictionFan! Quite honestly, I see no reason not to start with Darcy… And how clever of you to go all Austen here. I like it. Now, I must look into getting that Trollope, since you’ve recommended it so highly… 😉

  4. Nice job! I wondered making my chain up with Austen’s books too, but changed my mind. I’m steering clear of Joanna Trollope’s version – sounds dreadful! I did enjoy the journey, but not Mr Collins – sorry.

    • I didn’t really think about it – it just seemed to be the only way to go! Haha – poor Ms Trollope! But it really is a dreadful book. Fortunately she has written much better ines in her time. What? Not Mr Collins? But he’s soooo gorgeous! 😉

  5. Ahh!! That image alone at the end is a moral lesson! I confess that all these years I have completely been missing the insightful moral lessons that Austen has to offer. I always suspected she was misread by people, but never appreciate how much until now. Truly some terrifying prospects held forth today! 😉

  6. There are not enough laughing emoticons to show how much a chortled & chuckled & felt general amusement all the way through this post!

    And bravo for working out a way to combine almost all the Austen’s in one post.

    PS I had the same reaction to the Trollope S&S – it was a stinking, fat load of pure old trollope! But I only got as far as pg 2.

    • Haha – glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t start out to make fun of my beloved Jane but I was taken over by an irresistible impulse… 😉

      😆 Page 2?? You were so much wiser than me! Somehow I felt I had to plough my way through the entire thing – I’ve never really got over it… 😉

  7. Thanks for your amusing and educational journey through the work of Jane Austen! I think my mother ended up reading Trollope’s version of Sense and Sensibility after accidentally ordering the wrong version from her library.

    • Haha – glad you enjoyed it! Oh, your poor mother! I still have the emotional scars, though in truth, in comparison to Alexander McCall Smith’s version of Emma, Trollope’s S&S doesn’t seem quite so bad… 😉

      Thanks for popping in and commenting. 🙂

  8. Hee hee hee…. ewwww to that last picture! 🙂 I’m taking part in this meme this month – just need to format my post – thought this was a really fun selection! I love how all of your pics were Austen themed!

  9. Yiiiiii!!! That photo of Mr. Collins is like a weapon! You should warn people before you brandish that!

    Thank you for this trip through Austenland. (Have you read that book by Shannon Hale?) Persuasion is my favorite of Jane’s books, with Pride and Prejudice a close second. It’s interesting how such beloved books have inspired pale imitations.

    • Hahaha! I shall carry a copy of it in future to ward off potential attackers!

      No, I haven’t come across it – it sounds quite fun though! P&P is my favourite for sheer entertainment value and because Darcy’s the best hero, but I think S&S is the one I rate most highly…

    • Haha – thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! 😀 I really hated the Trollope but I hated Alexander McCall Smith’s version of Emma even more – I gave up on the Austen Project after that. 😉 Both writers do much better when they stick to their own thing…

  10. I admire your cleverness, FF — well spun! Part of me had hoped, of course, that you’d find a way to close with a picture of Rafa, but it wasn’t to be. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to be happy with Google Images.

    • Youe mean you don’t believe this is what the books are about? 😉 Ah, I thought of having a gorgeous Austen related man – maybe Greg Wise as Willoughby or the lovely Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon – but somehow Mr Collins seemed the best…

  11. Haha utterly brilliant!! I haven’t read the Trollope yet but if it has any amazeballs you’ve just convinced me NOT to pick it up! Oh, thank you for the added bonus of the sexy Mr Collins at the end! 😉😂

    • It does indeed have amazeballs in it – more than once – and an annoying teenager who’s always listening to her iPod. Ugh! Haha! Glad you enjoyed the post – and Mr Collins! 😀

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