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Sunday, December 13

Jane Austen Movie Throwdown

Mrs. John Dashwood is like the "Grinch" who stole Christmas in Sense and Sensibility. On his deathbed, Mr. Henry Dashwood extracted a promise from his son, John, to take care of his stepmother and half sisters. In a masterful scene that only Jane Austen could write with such biting wit, John's wife, Fanny, persuades John to give them next to nothing. A portion of the couple's remarkable conversation sits below:

[John] "A hundred a year would make them all perfectly comfortable."

His wife hesitated a little, however, in giving her consent to this plan.

"To be sure," said she, "it is better than parting with fifteen hundred pounds at once. But, then, if Mrs. Dashwood should live fifteen years we shall be completely taken in."

"Fifteen years! my dear Fanny; her life cannot be worth half that purchase."

"Certainly not; but if you observe, people always live for ever when there is an annuity to be paid them; and she is very stout and healthy, and hardly forty."

This week we ask you:

Which actress played a Regency Grinch best?
Whose portrayal of Fanny Dashwood is most believable?

Amanda Boxer, Fanny Dashwood 1981

Harriet Walter, Fanny Dashwood 1996

Claire Skinner, Fanny Dashwood 2008 free polls
Best Regency Grinch, Fanny Dashwood
Amanda Boxer, 1981 Harriet Walter, 1996 Claire Skinner, 2008


Charleybrown said...

I ADORE Harriet Walter! I detested Fanny initially since she was so heartless but now I love watching Harriet perfect that role (and others)!

thetruebookaddict said...

Harriet Walter all the way! She played the part well...her Mrs. John Dashwood was a 'you know what' with a capital B!

Meredith said...

I loved Harriet Walter's portrayal! My two favorite scenes are the one in where she disuades her husband to give the Dashwoods any money, and when she finds out about Lucy's secret engagement to her brother. She was excellent!!

Nonna Beach said...

Harriet Walter is the best...the greediest, most nasty and selfish of all the Fanny's I've seen.

Elinor and Marianne are John's half sisters, not his stepsisters LOL

Vic said...

Teaches me not to hastily put a post together when company is here. Of course Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret are John's half sisters, which makes his stinginess even more unforgivable.

prashant said...

I love watching Harriet perfect that role (and others)!

Work from home India

Nonna Beach said...

Yes, even more unforgivable for sure !

nigel said...

Looks like Harriet Walter is the one!

Vic said...

Dear Convenor: This blog is reserved for Jane Austen fans. We cannot start supporting one political thought or religious organization over another, for our readers come from many countries and backgrounds, and they prefer to read about Jane Austen.

Thank you.

foobella said...

You have to be a smart cookie to connive as good as that woman does. And I have to imagine that even back in Jane Austen's day, authors took bits and pieces of storylines from real life, so I would like to think to myself that this was a conversation Jane overheard. Wouldn't that be funny? It's so good. I'm going to have read that book again.

Hungarican Chick said...

Harriet Walter's Mrs. Dashwood was wonderfully detestable.