Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jane Austen Virtual Book Club

I thought for all those who are participating in our little virtual book club, I'd make a post and then update it frequently with our questions to discuss about the book. You can respond by comment on THIS post and I'll add your answers to the questions. That way we have one place to keep up with the book club.

My friend Kersten says that PBS is showing Emma this weekend (I think Sunday) on TV so you might want to tape it. I'm going to try to not watch it until after I've finished the book. I hate when movies prejudice me before I read the book.

Does anyone remember my problem with The Count Of Monte Cristo that I read for the book club I used to be in? The book was 1462 pages, fabulous book and the movie was only 2 hours long and totally changed the ending! Enough said.

Anyway, feel free to post questions, thoughts, etc... here.
If anyone else is reading this and wants to participate, go pick up Emma and read with us!
You can favorite this post or subscribe to it somehow (I think at the bottom?) That way you can see when others have commented about the book/questions.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER (answer any or all that you like):

(About Harriet)
1. Does Emma act as a good friend to Harriet Smith? Why is Emma so determined to "improve" Harriet Smith? Are Emma's concerns for Harriet's education and refinement born of an honest desire to help, or is it something less altruistic? Are Mr. Knightley's criticisms of Emma's interference with Mr. Martin's marriage proposal justified? Does Harriet ultimately benefit from Emma's friendship or her attempts to help her?

15 comments:

trisha too said...

I'm back.
Weekend good.
Count me in.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kris,
I've seen the Gwyneth Paltrow's version of Emma years ago. It is fabulous!I have not watched it recently. I want to read the book then watch it to see if I notice or pick up anything I haven't before.

Bridget

Contessa Kris said...

You know, honestly, I don't think I've ever actually READ Emma. I think I've watched it but it may have been a British version? Does such a thing exist? I didn't realize that Kingsley was the brother of her sister's husband. Essentially her BIL. I'm slowly moving through. I'm on page 25.

Contessa Kris said...

I meant Knightley, duh.

Kersten said...

Ooh, a virtual book club, now this is my speed! :)

I have a fair amount of Emma read - about half, I'd say. Took me a while to get Mr. Knightley worked out in my head from Mr. John Knightley. Was a little taken aback by Mr. Elton's proposal to Emma, when here she had planned to match him up with her not-so-witty friend. :) And some of the spellings take me off guard, like surprize and chuse.

How is everyone else doing?

trisha too said...

Emma the book isn't my favorite Austen--some of the details of the days are tedious to me, which may be what dear Jane had in mind?

Or it's just me.

Still reading.

Kersten said...

I'm still reading - but agree that I also get bogged down in the Mr. and Mrs. details that seem rather trite. I want there to be more action in the book rather than the story moving forward in recall of dialogue between characters that may or may not involve Emma. I do like the challenge, though! :)

Jen said...

Page 17! Spades was fun. A regular girls night would be lovely! Love ya!

Contessa Kris said...

Jen! Glad you made it (she's my SIL). Reading is slow going. Too much going on I guess. I'm on page 70. I'll read more today. Jen gave me an idea. She text (what's the past tense on that, texted? lol) my dd yesterday asking what a word meant from Emma (she wasn't near a computer or dictionary herself.) Just wondered what words you're finding that are new to you. She found alacrity. I need to look it up myself. Maybe this is a stupid question to you all. I'm a word-buff I guess. Can't stand not to know a word. lol

Contessa Kris said...

Kersten - I haven't gotten to the proposal yet.

trisha - I haven't found it tedious yet. I need to keep reading I guess. We'll do something more fun for the next book. I was just starting with what the movie characters started with...

Alisa said...

Reading is going slow for me too with everything going on with my family. However, I have promised myself a scheduled reading day this week! I did watch the PBS Emma Sunday. It was amazing how the whole book came flooding back to me.

Contessa Kris said...

Couldn't find Emma on TV last week. I guess I don't get that channel.

(for my art friends) I was at Borders last night, reading Belle Armoire, a altered clothing art mag. They have a call for submissions of artwork based on the Jane Austen books. Thought you might be interested. Go here and scroll down to 'Becoming Jane'.
http://www.stampington.com/html/wanna_get_published.html
Deadline June 15th.

Contessa Kris said...

P.S. See above. I've added some Emma questions for us to answer, just to get started...

Jen Riddle said...

I am really enjoying this book. Jane Austin is so very descriptive, rarely missing a detail! I am about a third of the way through...I am at the part where Emma finds an unexpected twist in the supposed romance between Harriet and Mr. Elton. I anticipated that much, although I have not seen the movie or read this book before, his actions towards Harriet seemed to be on Emma's behalf. In regards to the relationship between Emma and Harriet, Emma is using Harriet as a rebound from her loss of Miss Taylor. Harriet is unsure of herself and enamored with Emma so that she hangs on her every word and allows Emma to manipulate her thoughts and desires. This is a great match for Emma because she has found a companion that is "sweet tempered", gentile and pretty enough to suit her as an appropriate friend, but one that also worships her and will encourage, support and listen to her every word as Miss Taylor did. At this point it is not clear that this relationship is of benefit to Harriet. She has become a mini-me of Emma and is completely influenced by her. This has lead her to turn away from a man whom she originally appeared very interested in. I liked how Mr. Knightley put it... that she will puff Harriet up enough to feel superior to her former set yet since she has no background of consequence (education, money or family)she will be puffed up in vain... so essentially she will no longer be comfortable around her former friends nor will she fit in with higher society thereby putting her in a precarious state of limbo. Emma appears to be most interested in keeping her friend close by and not so much in her friend's best interests. But we shall see!

Alisa said...

I agree with everything Jenn said. I think another reason Emma has befriended Harriet is simply to show up Mr. Knightley. Prove to him that she, Emma, has this superior talent in match making. That she is an excellent judge of character, which is one thing she really admires about Mr. Knightley. I think it is also simply to boost her own ego. Despite all of this I don't think Emma is doing anything to try to out-right harm Harriet. In her own young, naive, egotistical way she really believes she is doing right by Harriet. But none of this changes how I feel about Emma. I still like her.