As Brennan points out
I found over 7000 Jane Austen sites in a recent search. The best I found can be found at:
But just because there's a lot of Austen on video, don't think you can skip reading her. And don't do what some of my students did, read everything about Austen that's on-line, but then never pick up the texts themselves.
"Seeing a movie or television adaptation of any of Jane Austen's works is like hearing a symphony of Mozart played on a harmonica."
(An epistolary novel is a novel created out of a series of letters. Richardson's Pamela is one of the most famous examples. They haven't totally gone out of style, and we still see them today, sometimes in the form of e-mails.)
But the problem with trying to portray the information in a letter on
screen is that it can be boring if not handled very carefully.
Another problem in getting Austen on-screen is the "action" in her books. Much of the action we see is walking over the English countryside. After 5 minutes of this on screen, an audience can be bored. When the characters aren't walking, they are often sitting and talking while taking tea or doing needlework.
You can begin to see the problem.
But if you READ the book, the conversations themselves, and the thoughts themselves, are enough to keep readers interested.
Why read Austen?
One of Austen's strengths as a writer was her amazing sense of observation. She seemed to take in everything around her. What's even better, she could then put it down on paper with a very funny twist.
Jane Austen is funny!
Jabe Austen writes her books with a keen sense of humor, but because she uses dry humor, you have to keep on your toes.
Look at the opening passage from Pride and Prejudice:
However little of
the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood,
this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that
he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their
Jane Austen's House, Clawton, Hampshire
|Jane's early nineteenth-century chinoiserie
work cabinet, decorated with black lacquer and gilt, is fitted with boxes
for storing needles, thread and sundry other times essential for needlewoman.
In the background hangs the colourful patchwork created by Jane and her mother (Watkins 26).