1950’s – Where is Betty?

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I skipped the 1960’s, as I do not believe there is a cover worthy of analyzing.  This cover from the 1970’s is oh so much better to dig my teeth into.  Even though the cartoon aspect goes with the typical covers of the time, this cover leaves a lot to my imagination.  Who is this gorgeous woman standing front-and-center having two men staring at her?  What about the other woman to the right?  Finally the clothing drawn on them is actually period.  I think the man on horseback is Darcy arriving as Elizabeth is the woman in the center speaking to Mr. Wickham.  This is the only thing that would make sense, as Mr. Bingley seems to always be with Darcy.  Finally the book is starting to get a little color to its face.

1970’s

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I skipped the 1960’s, as I do not believe there is a cover worthy of analyzing.  This cover from the 1970’s is oh so much better to dig my teeth into.  Even though the cartoon aspect goes with the typical covers of the time, this cover leaves a lot to my imagination.  Who is this gorgeous woman standing front-and-center having two men staring at her?  What about the other woman to the right?  Finally the clothing drawn on them is actually period.  I think the man on horseback is Darcy arriving as Elizabeth is the woman in the center speaking to Mr. Wickham.  This is the only thing that would make sense, as Mr. Bingley seems to always be with Darcy.  Finally the book is starting to get a little color to its face.

1980’s Adaption

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Yes! Another film adaption!  Back in the day when I had a Netflix account I watched this version 1980’s.  I enjoyed it.  Even though the filming was not the greatest, I always appreciate BBC’s production to any classic.  The producers kept the narrative closer to the original.  As for the actors, I think David Rintoul did a great job as Darcy.  He did a fabulous job making his character more believable.  As for Elizabeth, Elizabeth Garvie (how fitting they have the same name) did a fabulous job.  Her age is similar to the book so that helps in the believability.  Overall the adaption was pretty good considering the time and low budget.

1995 – Colin Firth!!!

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Ahhh Colin Firth.  You make my heart sing.  As hideous as you are with sideburns, your dress fits the time period so perfectly.  The 1995 television series captures everything I love about P&P.  I do believe Firth is the BEST Darcy and here is why.  I guess my reason for not loving his adaption is because he’s so old.  He plays Darcy so perfectly it makes me jump into the book.  Along with the extended time to capture every little detail, Firth grasps everything Darcy.  From the way he walks, to the way he speaks to the ladies, it is a lot as if Firth read every single line about Darcy and pieced them together to form this immaculate character.  I will admit I fought hard to not like Firth as Darcy.  I lean more towards the 2005 version purely for the music, but we will get into that one later.  Every movie Firth is in makes me want to play his voice over and over.  If you need a little Colin Firth to brighten your day, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hasKmDr1yrA.  As for Elizabeth, Jennifer Ehle just doesn’t stand up to my vision of Elizabeth.  Her character is not as strong as I believed her stature would be.  Even her voice is low and serves me no joy in listening to her.  As for the adaption as a whole, the scenery is depicted beautifully.  The costumes are gorgeous, the background realistic, and even down to the silverware and pictures on the walls.  What a great way to get the public amped up for P&P. 

2000

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Let me go back to the covers.  As fantastic as the covers over the past centuries are, why did the Norton Critical Edition choose to use such a basic painting of a landscape?  The clouds make for the depressing days surrounding most of English sky.  I guess the whole issue I am having with this cover is the fact that it provides no questioning or eye-catching urge.  If I walked into a bookstore I would never pick this book off of the shelf.  The ugly green sage color still does nothing for the book.  This is purely an academic directed cover.  I felt the same way when I say the John Milton Paradise Lost cover (picture below).  Yes it provides a pretty picture but I am left bored and not wanting to read the books.  In P&P the whole issue lies within the class, male verse female, and of course love.  The cover above barley even hits on class to begin with.  The next cover is a little bit better.

 

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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paradise-lost-john-milton/1100018657?ean=9780393924282

 

2002

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Penguin Classic keeps putting out relatively okay covers.  They put out the one from 1938 with the woodcarvings.  I like this cover because just by glancing at it I know it will involve women and their possible boring lives of that time.  Little do people know the book is filled with much more!  Although this is painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence Moore not painted of the Bennett sisters (obvious because Jane does not have blonde hair and Jane should be on the cover), this cover is great! As the novel primarily centers on the conversations among the women, and never the thoughts of Darcy and Bingley it is only fitting that the men are not shown.  Yes the girls thoughts and drama are a direct cause of the men but the men are not the directly center in the conversation.  For example, when Elizabeth first meets Mr. Darcy the whole plot twist is when she over hears him speaking about her.  The scene is carried about by the Lizzie’s prejudice against Darcy because he will not dance with her.  The guests then think Darcy as an egotistical, horrible male all brought on because of this one exchange.  See, the book is entirely about the women and this cover does it justice.  Finally we are getting somewhere.

2003 – Terrible

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For my personal sake and love of this modern take on the story, I had to include the 2003 version.  Just looking at the cover this is obviously not the original.  I watched it on television and as cheesy and undefined as the characters were I wanted to know more about the original.  First, Elizabeth needs to have brunette hair.  Jane should be blonde.  The only thing this version did halfway right is keep Darcy with the correct hair color.  Save yourself the time and pick up the book.  Or rather use the most recent version if you want a more modern adaption.  The lack of chemistry in the acting leaves me at dismay.  Terrible recreation.