Five Jane Austen Things

It only took me five years to get to it, but I finally watched the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. In a nutshell, if you like or can take the vlog format, you might enjoy this modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It even won an Emmy Award! If you haven’t checked out a vlog before, it’s a video log; like the video equivalent of a blog, which is typically someone talking to the camera.

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Contents – Skip to:
Lizzie Bennet Diaries – playlist links
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
Emma paperback version with watercolor cover
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl
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1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD)

The vlog construction of the series was… eh, tolerable enough. I don’t really watch vlogs; I’m more of a visual and reading type of person. But, if you’re like me and can get over this first hurdle (say, the first 10-15 episodes), you’ll likely be on your way to finishing this series in less than a week.

It’s a clever setup, though. Lizzie is a grad student in Mass Communications, and the vlog is part of her graduate work. If you find the web series is not your cup of tea at all, jump to number two for an alternate suggestion.

SLIGHT PACING SPOILER — it takes a while to meet any of the guys, and you’ll need mucho patience to even ‘see’ Darcy for the first time. I skipped ahead. Sorry, but I couldn’t invest in this unless I knew what I’m getting with Darcy, essential part of the P&P formula.

The modern take on the plot was well done, I thought. I liked how they gave a more expanded role to Charlotte, and I appreciated the diversity in the cast. The sisterhood and friendship were emphasized more in this version.

The vlog format conveniently explains why it takes so long to meet the guys in person. Lizzie films her vlogs in her bedroom. Bing Lee (not a typo, they made Bingley into Bing Lee for this version), Wickham, and Darcy are not gonna be in her room near the beginning.

Important notes:

  • The ‘main’ series is 100 episodes, which is the playlist I started watching first. You can buy these main 100 episodes of LBD on Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes.
  • But, there is ALSO a 160 episode playlist which includes more connected content like Lydia’s vlogs, Maria, Charlotte’s sister (not on the main show), more Gigi (Georgiana), and Lizzie Bennet vlog Question and Answer segments.

So, if you’re not a Pride and Prejudice book reader, you’ll get the fuller picture by watching the 160 episode playlist. If you remember or know the plot, you should get by fine by watching only the 100 episode playlist.

I’ve watched the 100 playlist, plus the Q and A videos, and Gigi’s Domino series (which dovetails into the main series, giving another point of view that isn’t Lizzie’s on one plot thread). There are two blooper reels, be sure to check them out. Also, it’s fun that there’s even a Collins and Collins channel; that’s world building thoroughness right there.

If you want to see the original transmedia part of the production, the character social media accounts on twitter, tumblr, et cetera are still there. And then, from Pemberley Digital there’s also the web series Welcome to Sanditon  (featuring Gigi, who visits Sanditon) and Emma Approved.  I need a break, so I plan to watch these later.

The LBD Links

160 videos – full Lizzie Bennet Diaries playlist

100 videos – main Lizzie Bennet Diaries playlist

8 videos – Collins and Collins channel
If you only watch one, pick the one which advises you on How to Accept an Award. 😛

2 Blooper Reels in the Extras playlist

Since it’s the five year anniversary of LBD, there’s an official re-run happening, starting on Monday June 5, 2017, if you want to follow along. #LBD5Year

Also SUPER interesting, Ashley Clements, who played Lizzie, wrote a LBD wedding screenplay. Cue #Dizzie speculation.

Emma by Jane Austen, watercolor cover; and Lizzie Bennet Diaries displayed on a phone

 

2. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

If you tried but really disliked the vlog format of LBD, you could read this book version instead, to get the modern story. (I might have opted to start with the book, If I knew this existed before I watched the web series.) It’s presented as Lizzie’s paper diary, and has some details that aren’t included in the video series. I found a copy to borrow from the library. There’s also a Lydia book, too.

Amazon

Kobo

 

3. Watercolor Jane Austen Covers from 2012

For a recent online order, I needed to add a filler item to make the free shipping threshold. I came across a partial series of Austen covers published by Sterling / Splinter the same year LBD came out, and immediately wanted that version of Sense and Sensibility. Gorgeous, I love the turquoise color.

But sadly, it’s not available new. So, I settled for Emma  instead. Justification: I can crack open this copy after I watch Emma Approved.  The paper is nice. None of this thin, almost translucent stuff. Holding it in my hands gives me joy. Apparently, this set of covers was actually aimed at teenagers, haha.

Emma paperback buy links:

Amazon

Book Depository (free shipping internationally, with no minimum spend.)

Printable Read List page and orange yellow watercolor cover of Emma by Jane Austen

*Psst, if you want that free Read / Book List printable PDF, it’s at this post.

For reference, Sara Singh did the beautiful watercolor covers. It’s easiest to use the ISBN when searching for a book that has so many editions.

Emma, published by Splinter Press, ISBN 9781454901334
Available new at time of posting.

Pride and Prejudice, published by Splinter Press, ISBN 9781402785306
Available used online at inflated price, check used book sources.

Sense and Sensibility, published by Splinter Press, ISBN 9781402785313
Available used. Check Powell’s Books and used book sources.

 

4. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn

Time travel + Jane Austen + pretty cover = yeah, you got my attention. Overdrive has it, so I borrowed it from my local Overdrive library.

I’m liking it so far, but be warned there isn’t actually much on the time travel aspect.

Amazon

Kobo

 

5. Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl

Since I’m on a bit of an Austen run, I should read this. I’ve had a copy sitting on my shelf and To Read list for a while. It’s young adult historical fiction, featuring Jane.

Amazon

Kobo

 

And… that’s my five Jane Austen things.

~~~~~
Contents – Skip to:
Lizzie Bennet Diaries – playlist links
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
Emma paperback version with watercolor cover
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl
~~~~~

— Were you lucky enough to catch this off-Broadway version of Sense and Sensibility? (SO jealous if yes.) What’s your fave Austen adaptation to watch? —

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