Friday 5 September 2008

Lost in Austen, and Good News

The Good News first - the lovely, lovely people at Magdalen decided to award me the Senior MacKinnon Scholarship, which will pay for fees and maintenance for my Masters. Hurrah! Thanks everyone for your prayers and best wishes. Being scrupulous, I must point out that, though a 'scholarship', I think my pecuniary situation was of greater import than my intellectual.

Onto Lost in Austen - again, I'm afraid
non-UK readers might have to avert their eyes, as I'm going to talk about an ITV programme. Fun reading, perhaps though, for the Janeites amongst us. Lost in Austen sees 21st Century gal (and Austen addict) Amanda Price accidentally change places with Elizabeth Bennet. Yes, that Elizabeth Bennet. And, as you may imagine, hilarity ensues. Episode One, after the exchange took place, focused on Amanda's life with the Bennet sisters - explaining her modern clothing as 'otter hunting gear', trying to make sure Jane eyes up Bingley, and then kissing said 6000-a-year-man behind the dancehall.

It's all rather silly and it's all very fun. Plenty for Pride and Prejudice aficionados to get their teeth into - though by 'aficionado', I should say 'anyone who's seen the 1995 BBC version'. Indeed, Colin Firth even gets a mention. I've seen the latest Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) described as rather dishy, but to me he looked permanently as though about to sneeze. Everyone else plays their role admirably, though they know that they're supposed to be background.

Lost in Austen has a connection with my Enid Blyton post, actually - Amanda is played by Jemima Rooper, who was George in the Famous Five series I watched as a child, and it's nice to know she's on the up and up.

I tend to get my claws out for Austen adaptations, but this is a different sort of venture - it's consciously fun and frivolous and full of in-jokes. Can't wait til next time - or seeing what Lizzie will think of our 21st Century world.


  1. Congrats on getting the scholarship. That must be a huge relief and I'm so happy it worked out for you!

    As for Lost in Austen--I wonder if it will ever make it across the Atlantic--it sounds interesting. A show like this would never float on regular American TV I think, but luckily there is PBS over here!

  2. Congratulations!

    I avoided watching Lost In Austen. But I'll have to rethink that decision - it sounds hilarious.

  3. Huge congrats for getting the support grant. The Uni paymeisters must know that there will be a vacant chair for you to fill in the future!!

    Ref The Bennetts et al. I must be the only person in the galaxy that doesn't like Jane Austen!! Sorry Simon. You'll still speak to me won't you?

    Love Colin Firth tho'. Catch up with him in Mumma Mia. Swoon.....

  4. Huge congratulations on getting the Senior MacKinnon Scholarship - that must be such a weight off your mind!

    I didn't see Lost in Austen this week but, based on your praise, will attempt to find a repeat before next.

  5. Hurrah!
    I'm so pleased for you, Simon.

  6. Congratulations! I'm so delighted you got your funding. Now you can go ahead and enjoy the course properly.

  7. Great news about the funding -- good for Magdalen. I also saw Lost in Austen and I'm afraid thought it a bit silly. But fun, yes -- I expect I'll keep watching it.

  8. Never fear, non-UK readers. Some kind English person has uploaded this to youtube:

  9. Simon......I'm so pleased for you. What a relief. Hope you really enjoy it all.


  10. The word you're looking for is aficionado.
    And I thought the first episode was boring, but that's just me.

  11. Thanks Sibylle! My spelling does go to pot when I type.

  12. Simon - you have beaten me to it. I have just posted about Lost in Austen and have even used the same photo, so will now hunt for another one!! I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was great fun though some critics I have read, disagree with me.

    Delighted to hear about the scholarship Simon and well done you, I cannot think of a more deserving recipient

  13. Congratulations on your scholarship!
    To my surprise, I enjoyed Lost In Austen and shall keep watching.

  14. Hey,

    have you seen this? I think this is an awesome way to promote - Pandora Prescription

  15. Congratulations on your scholarship Simon. Things have a way of working out. Chris starts his job with TFL tomorrow.
    Deb Wroe

  16. Congratulations. And thanks for pointing out where I'd seen Jemima Rooper before. By coincidence my children unearthed an ancient video of the TV Famous Five series in the last week of the school hols and my youngest was enjoying it for the first time around. I was convinced I'd seen Amanda before somewhere. Like many others, I sat down to watch this expecting to hate it but it was so well done, so silly and clever without being over-pleased with itself that I enjoyed it enormously.

  17. Hurrah for Magdalen giving you funding - my old college so I feel partly repsonsible...hmm.
    It's a pity John Fuller isn't there any more (I think?), he is quite a character. Look for the poem Valentine on the internet by him.
    The Florio Society is fun if are able to cobble poetry together.

  18. Hi Pip,
    Florio Society - I was in it, sporadically, during my time at Magdalen. John Fuller still in attendance! They almost always scheduled it at the same time as Christian Union, so I only made a handful of meetings over three years, but it was good fun.


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