Friday, January 27, 2012
The New Austen
I missed writing yesterday -- too busy watching the entire first season of "Downton Abbey"! Everyone at work was talking about it (staff and customers alike) and I wanted to give the show a try. Six episodes later, I'm caught up on the first season and eager to see the next two.
The show reminds me of something Jane Austen would have produced, in that it focuses on rules and manners and the limitations for women. But because it takes place in the early 20th century, not 18th century, we see the seeds of change. Unlike an Austen novel, we spend as much time with the maids and footmen as we do the family being served. I've seen and read "Pride and Prejudice" countless times, as Austen is so clever in her dialogue and descriptions and astute in her observations. Watching each installment of "Downton Abbey" is like watching a new adaptation of an Austen novel (set 80 years later), where we don't know what's going to happen.