Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anglophile, bibliophile, Janeite...

You can call me all of those things, as my recent purchases completely support these statements! It is no secret on this blog that I have a slight obsession with "Pride & Prejudice" (ok, maybe more than slight), as I've watched the 1995 BBC TV series more times than I can count while in high school, and after the 2005 film came out on DVD, I've watched that at least 10 times. The TV series is truer to the book, but I loved the chemistry in the film more, so I love them both equally.

Lately, I've been obsessed with trying to find a copy of the book that is lifted directly from the original 1813 text, as the current versions that are published now have been revised since sometime around the late 1800s/early 1900s. (The original also happened to have been published in three volumes, but now they are all combined into one book.) Even if it's difficult to read, I want to try, but it seems that no one has bothered to create this version, aside from a collector's miniature set, where the books measure 3"x 2". That's too small to really read from! And frankly, I don't have £7,495 to buy the original; really, a copy would suffice!

Anyhow, on a whim, I purchased an 1895 illustrated copy of the book, and I love it. This is not the first time that I've purchased antiquarian books, as I did that when I was a child at local flea markets (what I did with them, or where they are now, I have no idea), but this is the first time I really pursued a book that I loved. Although this copy isn't in any mint condition, I still love it for all the whimsical illustrations. I can't wait to re-read this book!

In addition, while I was perusing the Regency period on eBay UK, I came across this fashion plate, which is equivalent to their version of fashion magazines back in the day. I love the look of this woman, where she looks back at you with such clarity, and she looks so proper in her day dress, which is similar to what I imagined Elizabeth Bennet might have worn, minus the bonnet and purse (I see her touting a book with her hair in a loose bun, curls unfurling in the wind as she wanders through Derbyshire). I purchased this as well, and plan to frame it and hang as wall art.

Although this was not the most glamorous or romantic period in history, I must say that from both film, TV, and books, it's become romanticized, and I like the simplicity of the times, that it wasn't very gaudy, vulgar, or over-the-top in regards to the way that ppl acted or dressed. Women sewed, read, played music, was all very un-posh, which is why the human mind and connectivity were so important. It is more and more difficult to capture that feeling in this day and age.

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