In Defence of the Period Drama
Keira Knightley has been in a great number of period dramas. She was Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, Anna in Anna Karenina, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire in The Duchess…the list goes on.
As a regular actress in period dramas, Knightley has been keen to defend the genre, which is often diminished or mocked as blatant Oscar bait or air-headed fantasy. This is something which has often haunted film adaptations of Jane Austen. Her work is often reduced to only its romantic elements, and the socially satirical side of her work glossed over; as if these two elements cannot exist together.
Knightley has done her best to highlight the merits of the genre however, something she has done brilliantly while promoting her latest film Colette (more on that in a moment).
There’s a negativity around them [period dramas], because predominantly they’re female… The strongest characters I’ve found have been in period roles.
And from a 2014 interview:
When I was younger, I felt like I really was doing something wrong for doing period films. I think I’ve now got to where I can stop apologising for that bit, and go, ‘I love them, I’ve always loved them, I loved doing them.’
We totally agree! If you love period dramas, you shouldn’t have to apologise for loving them.
One to Watch – Colette
The Jane Austen News found this above defence from Keira Knightley because Keira Knightley is promoting her latest film, Colette, which is due to be released in UK cinemas on January 25th. Although Colette will be shown before then at the London Film Festival on October 11th.
As it is another period drama, and one about the struggles of a female author at that, we are, of course, very much looking forward to its release, and we thought you might also like to see the trailer for it.
The Festival Is In Full Swing
The Jane Austen Festival is currently underway in our lovely city. As usual, the festival had to include its traditional Regency Promenade through the streets of Bath, and it was met with delight by both residents and visitors alike.
We know not everyone who would like to is able to make it to the festival, but what we can do is to bring you this video of the promenade in action!
Building Jane Austen’s World with Dr Amy Frost
An exciting last minute addition has been made to the Jane Austen Festival programme.
On Saturday 22nd, from 11:45am – 12:45am, Dr Amy Frost will be exploring the fact and the fiction of Jane Austen’s architectural creations such as Pemberley. Dr Amy Frost is Senior Curator of the Bath Preservation Trust, specialising in eighteenth and early nineteenth century architecture and an expert on the eccentric William Beckford. Also a part-time teaching Fellow at the School of Architecture at the University of Bath, Dr Frost is a knowledgeable Austen aficionado.
What would Pride and Prejudice be without the view of Pemberley? How would the progress of Persuasion change without those steps in Lyme? Buildings, streets and settings are vital characters in the novels of Jane Austen. They reveal to the reader in a couple of sentences, or even just a few words, key insights into not just Austen’s literary world, but into the reality of her life in Georgian England.
The event will take place at The Mission Theatre and tickets are available here, and also on the door thirty minutes before the performance.
(N.B. Tickets purchased for John Mullan’s cancelled talk on Saturday 22nd are valid for BOTH this talk and the re-scheduled Mullan Talk which now takes place on Sunday 23rd from 10:30am – 12:00pm.)
Australians – Time To Grab Some Regency Garb?
If you’re an Austen fan in Australia, especially one based near Sydney, then you might like to know that The Costume Shop, a shop with over 10,000 hire costumes, is closing down after 30 years of business.
We mention this news because the shop’s owners, Kitty Hoh and Wing Chung, are now looking to sell all of their costumes, which includes Regency gowns, breeches, waistcoats, and tailcoats. So if you’re in Australia and looking to expand on your Regency wardrobe this might be just the news for you.
The Costume Shop will be closing permanently, both online and on site, at the end of November 2018.
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