Summer Reading starts for me

Good books made into…

…good movies = a dangerous combination.

Another reason that I forgot to blog last week…I had picked up my huge volume of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters and as usual, found it hard to put down during my free time.  It’s early for me; usually I grab that during the heat of summer when I can sit back and read with a glass of iced tea at my disposal, or a bowl of ice cream.  However:

  1. It feels like summer.
  2. Charlotte wrote an amusing post that reminded me of it.
  3. Haus Meister was away on an overnight meeting so I streamed an episode of the movie on Netflix.

All in all, it was time.

When I went away to college (the year the BBC made the W&D movie, incidentally), Jane Austen held sway as my favorite author.  The Brontes couldn’t sway her (Heathcliff gets on my nerves, sorry), and no one else could come close.  While at college, I was introduced to Tolkien, now a household name, but even so Austen still had my allegiance.  When I graduated, I was only the second English major in the college’s then-25-year history to write a thesis on Austen’s works (though I wager there’s been about 102 more in the last ten years. ;)).

Then, in 2004 a friend loaned me her W&D movie and in 2005 my sister gave me North and South (the DVD) for my birthday.  Suddenly Austen had a rival–how was it I’d never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell before??  While as I’ve also said before, the book North & South is for once, in my opinion, not as good as the movie (and that’s not all on account of Richard Armitage either), Wives and Daughters is every bit as good as the book–if the book isn’t a smidge better because they had to condense for the episode times.  Cranford is another book I read cover to cover, then flipped back and started again.  I also liked that one better as a book, probably because the screenwriters decided to combine three plots (Charlotte wrote on that one, too). My sister then gave me The Cranford Chronicles, which is the three books the movies were based upon, and still it was a good read (My Lady Ludlow dragged a bit for me, as did Mary Barton but there it is).

Part of me wishes I could have known of Mrs. Gaskell’s books when I was in college.  I could have written a paper comparing Mrs. Gibson in Wives & Daughters vs. Aunt Norris in Mansfield Park–who of them is more annoying?  I’m still trying to decide on that one.

And there’s my random topic for today.

One thought on “Summer Reading starts for me

  1. I can’t wait to get my copy of W&D in my Easter basket. It will be my first time reading it and this post has me all excited. N&S was an awful book, but it shows that not all movie adaptations butcher the plot–sometimes they improve it.:)

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