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Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen from the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps (Volume 1) Paperback – February 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Rodi is right - there is a "Jane Austen" that is not the same as Jane Austen, a tamed version that lives in people's minds and is associated primarily with romance, and the impulse to push the real Austen forward at the people who can only gush over her ~*~heroes~*~ and their associated most dramatic moments (or wet shirt scenes. To go off on a tangent, it seems immeasurably hypocritical that nobody these days says anything against Colin Firth in a wet shirt, but all hints of eroticism in newer adaptions get pooh-poohed as pandering). However, he presents himself as the sole voice of reason when there are many people in Jane Austen's fandom, mostly women, who are well aware that she was primarily writing comedies of manners, satires on human behavior. And at the same time, when he rails against romance novels and films
("... and Austen, the supposed progenitor of "Regency romance", the patron saint of "chick lit", the inspiration for who even knows how many craptacular costume dramas with dewy close-ups of heaving bazooms and quivering lips ...")
I detect even more revulsion for the people (again, primarily women) who enjoy them. What is it that makes these costume dramas craptacular? Apparently, nothing except their focus on a dramatic romantic storyline.
I cannot speak for everyone who discusses Austen's place in the ancestry of the romance novel, but it seems to me that there *is* a general understanding out there that she did not single-handedly give birth to the genre.Read more ›
So I was thrilled to come across Mr. Rodi's clear-eyed, bitingly funny, dead-on deconstruction of the image of Jane Austen as a paperback chicklit goddess. Thank you for rescuing me from the mire of heaving bosoms and frantic fantasy! It's refreshing to realise that Jane absolutely skewered her characters even as she pierced our hearts with her brilliance. No one was safe from her barbed wit, even the characters she was most fond of, including Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. Heaven help the ones she was least fond of. Yet she wrote some of the most tender love stories in English literature, without a single passionate kiss or wild proposal.
Within the narrow confines of her life, Jane Austen wrote about marriage because it defined women's lives, but she mined the topic as a bottomless source of commentary on human behavior. At the same time, her devotion to her sister Cassandra formed the basis of her deepest and most moving work. The relationship between Elinor and Marianne is the true love story in 'Sense & Sensibility,' as Mr. Rodi shows in his brilliant scene-by-scene analysis that's as sharp, perceptive and funny as the original. I look forward to his next installment!
Rodi remarks that Jane Austen barely mentions servants in her novels; yet, when she wrote an entire story about a poor relation/servant, he doesn’t notice. Fannie Price is an unwanted child. She is not physically strong or particularly bright; she has minimal education and social experience. Clearly the Bertrams, who have taken her in, do not consider her one of the family. Of course she is passive; she must remain under the radar to survive in the Bertram house. And of course she is terrified when someone notices her, as she does not know how to interact socially. To label her as passive-aggressive makes no sense. Her indication that she would like to visit Sotherton shows only a flicker of curiosity and courage. The better developed and more interesting Crawford characters serve as a contrast to Fannie. Although they are entertaining and exciting and have many advantages, they are basically self-centered troublemakers. Although she is dull, in many ways Fannie has better sense than they do. She certainly does less harm. Austen probably had good reason to cast Fannie as the heroine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Using 21st C slang to punctuate his superficial analyses of S&S, P&P, and Mansfield Park, author thinks he alone can educate "everybody" who believes Jane is the queen of chick-lit... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Kimberly Carson
I laughed a lot at first. He's right that Austen is mordant as opposed to romantic or Romantic. But he ends up doing her wit a great disservice by constantly comparing some of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by MS
This book is well-written, thoughtful, and as bitchy as Austen was herself. I laughed out loud more than once, especially at the review of Mansfield Park, which was the first... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
If you are a fan of Jane Austen then you will probably enjoy this book. Otherwise, don't waste your money. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kat
So much fun. I giggled all the way through this - and learned more about Jane Austen and her writing to boot!Published 11 months ago by Susan Adsett
A very lively take on Austen's first three published novels. I laughed out loud (yes really) multiple times. My only quibble is his take on Fanny Price in Mansfield Park. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mary P. Campbell
A funny and exhaustive analysis of Jane Austen's novels, written by a real Austen connoisseur and lover. I really enjoyed it!👍🏽Published 13 months ago by silvana z.
I debated a long time on whether to give this book four or five stars, but decided on five with a caveat: The five stars applies only to the discussion of “Pride and Prejudice” and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Teresa McCullough
Having never read Austen's oeuvre in school, but only for my own pleasure, it was great fun to be exposed to Robert Rodi's analysis of her works. Read morePublished 15 months ago by C. Fugel