From Library Journal
In recent years, there have been numerous film and television adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, all critical and/or commercial successes. This scholarly anthology seeks to discover what accounts for the recent explosion of interest in Austen's novels. The 13 essays cover a wide range of topics, including how Hollywood has typically revised the novels' plots and characters for the screen, how modern productions present explicitly feminist themes, and how Hollywood has managed to mold 18th-century ideas to 20th-century expectations. While these are scholarly articles, they are engaging and sure to spark discussion. It should be noted that familiarity with Austen's novels is essential to fully appreciate the essays. Recommended for literary and film studies collections.?Ronald Ratliff, Chapman H.S. Lib., KS
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book has something for both the Austen scholar and the Austen enthusiast. The 13 essays expound on Austen's novels and how they have been adapted for film. The mostly feminist slants pursue themes such as place, voyeurism, class, and "Austen's ironic narrator." Although the different authors, and even the editors, vary on their opinions of the effectiveness of the many film adaptations, they are in agreement that Austen's work is easily accessible to modern-day audiences, but that the screenwriters undermine her strong, independent women and her obvious feminist ideals. Without being a conspicuous militant, Austen was the "velvet hammer" of the feminist movement. Whether from a discussion of the Emma character in Clueless
or of the movies being "gateways" to the novels, Jane Austen in Hollywood
evokes a feeling of nostalgia. If this collection doesn't inspire readers to pick up her books, then at least they will want to rent the movies. Ellie Barta-Moran