I read Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters in high school, like many of us did. Jane Eyre was a particular favorite, I recall.
The day after Christmas we were joking about celebrating Boxing Day, which has never been a thing for us, of course, since we aren't British... but that led my train of thought to British literature. I looked at all the e-books that my library offered and decided to reread Pride and Prejudice.
Reread it I did, in quick order, and I could not get the story out of my head. Lizzy and Mr. Darcy were stuck there and I wanted MORE. The natural progression is to watch the movie, right? So I watched the 2005 movie with Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFadyen and HOLY SMOKES I loved everything about it! So I watched it again, and again, and well, again. And I downloaded a couple songs from the soundtrack because I loved all the music, too. The last scene, although it is admittedly a departure from the novel, is my favorite. Watching Darcy cross the field to his love was intense, and the speech he makes to Lizzy is beautiful. "You have bewitched me body and soul and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on." Ahh, my heart!
Then I started watching clips on YouTube (the internet is a spiraling rabbit hole of fun information on all the classics) which led me to the reviews for the 1995 BBC adaptation, so of course I had to watch that too. And of course I loved it. Of course I did. Who doesn't love Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy? Plus it's a six hour mini series that is very close to the novel so you get to see live versions of almost all the scenes in the book. So I watched it again. And, well, again. Yikes. I'm in for a lot of hours of tv at this point. Lest you think I neglected my family, fear not. I totally did. (Thankfully I have an amazing husband. And, by the way, don't bother watching the 1980 adaptation. It was awful.)
It wasn't just the visuals of the films I couldn't get out of my head. I was fully immersed in early 19th century life in Regency-era England. The fashion, the music and dancing, the formalities that have faded away over time. God bless the internet for being a treasure trove of information- tidbits that increase understanding. Life was so different then! I think sometimes that history feels so cold and far in the past, but people loved and laughed and felt all the same emotions we do. I think, too, that it speaks well of Jane Austen that hundreds of years after she wrote the story, it still feels relevant and fresh.
British period dramas get me right in the feels and I love all of them intensely... but this was something I had forgotten until a couple years ago. I was late jumping on the Downton Abbey train but that was such a great series and I was sad when it ended. Now Pride and Prejudice, and a couple days ago I read Sense and Sensibility (I needed a P&P palate cleanser but don't worry, I'm watching it as I write this so my reverie continues unabated.) Watching S&S is next on the list and I've already started rereading Jane Eyre.
Now, if only I could stop thinking my thoughts with a British accent, I'd be all set. I'm on the struggle bus with that. A double decker, bright red struggle bus.