Wow. That is all I can say. (Kidding, kidding... when have I ever been at a loss for a great deal of words??) This was my very first attempt at hosting a blog party, and I must say that all of you made it a smashing success. I loved reading all your posts and reviews and answers to the tag questions and especially your birthday cards. It is going to be very difficult to pick a winner. This may be partially due to the fact that I am just the teensiest bit indecisive. (Do tell!) But my sister the Anne-girl is quite the opposite; she, in fact, is very decisive and will be a tremendous help in picking three winners. (Because I've decided to award first, second and third place. Just so ya know.)
And since the party draws to a close today, it's about time that I answered my own tag questions, don't you think?
1 - What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
I read Pride and Prejudice in June of 2009, at my mom's prompting. I was at that age (14) when I was feeling too old to be reading a lot of the juvenile fiction at the library, yet wasn't ready (or eager) to start browsing the adult section. One day my mom announced, "I think you're old enough to start Jane Austen," and off we went to Borders to purchase my Modern Library of Classics edition. (This one.) I read it in less than a week, fell in love on the first page and never looked back. Since then I have read all six of Jane Austen's major works and am midway through The Watsons, but it's Pride and Prejudice that owns my heart.
2 - Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why? (Everybody posts about their favorites... I want to know what's at the bottom of your list!)
Mansfield Park, probably. I do love it, but it just didn't quite captivate me the way her other works did. I've only read it once, though, so maybe it deserves a little more attention.
3 - Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
That would be a tie between Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins and Henry Tilney.
4 - Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?
Too many to count, but probably my favorite villainess would be Caroline Bingley. But when I say "love to hate", I mean that I intensely dislike her but the story wouldn't be the same without her. I enjoy reading about her, just so that I can say, "Ugh, Miss Bingley again!" But I don't loathe and despise her the way I do Mr. Wickham or Willoughby.
5 - What's your favorite JA quote?
(Can I list my top ten? Of course I can, it's my tag! But I won't.) It would probably be the famous opening sentence from Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Funny story: I had heard of this line long before I read P&P, and before I read the book I completely misunderstood the line. I thought it mean that a single man is in possession of a large fortune BECAUSE he has no wife; e.g., there is no one to spend all his money for him and that if he had a wife his fortune would diminish greatly.
Then I read the book and saw the light. :)
6 - If you were to "start" someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Pride and Prejudice. (Do I sense a theme here?) It's light, bright and witty. The characters captivate you from the first page and the story moves along swiftly. Emma, also, is light and witty, but it's so long that it might be daunting to a first timer. I am also very, very fond of Sense and Sensibility, but I think its more slow-moving story is less appealing to a new Janeite than P&P.
7 - What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?
Pride and Prejudice 1995. (Sowwee.) It just... is. It captures the spirit of the novel better than any other movie adaptation of any book I've ever seen (except maybe Anne of Green Gables). I love it to pieces.
I do apologize, however, for the predictability of my answers! I didn't realize I was so P&P obsessed. Usually I tend to prefer an author's lesser-known works (my favorite Charles Dickens novel is Little Dorrit) but with Jane Austen I can't help but love her most famous novel. There's a reason it's so well-known, y'all.
8 - If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA's novels, which would it be and why?
Mansfield Park. See here for a more elaborate description. The only adaptation that I saw was the 1983 BBC miniseries, and I was rather disappointed. No, scratch that. I was most severely displeased and it was not to be borne.
9 - Which JA character do you most identify with?
Toss-up between Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood. Actually, I'd say I'm really more like Elinor, but I want to be like Lizzy. :)
10 - If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
"Why didn't you finish The Watsons?" Or perhaps, "Did Mr. Darcy intend to have Elizabeth overhear his tolerable-but-not-handsome-enough remark?" (Something I've always wondered.)
11 - Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA's books? What is it and why?
Proposals, hands down. Most unsatisfactory in most cases. Jane, you disappoint your readers... especially in Northanger Abbey. I was looking forward to Henry Tilney's proposal so much!
12 - If you could have lunch with one of JA's characters today, who would it be and why?
Probably Mr. Bennet, possibly Emma Woodhouse. Mr. Bennet is so full of dry humor, and Emma would be such fun to talk with!
13 - (optional) Why is Miss Dashwood so fond of asking "why"?
Because my real name is Curious George. Now you know.