Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When Jane Austen Meets Overzealous Copywriters: Comedy of Not-So-Nice-Manners

It was on sale for something like $5.99—Mansfield Park! It was an older version of one of the movies made from a Jane Austen novel, but it starred Frances O’Connor and Johnny Lee Miller and was filmed on location rather than a soundstage. I was sure it would be good.

When I got it home, I bragged about my find to my daughter and invited her to watch it with me. And then I turned it over.

“Passionate!” it exclaimed in big red letters. And lower down on the case: “The Hot Young Stars Bring Erotic Heat And Stinging Humor!” Passionate? Erotic heat? Good golly-Miss-Crawford, did I get the right thing? Or did I accidentally get some sort of porn? Like Fifty Shades of Sir Gray?

I was more than a little worried about what I was about to watch with my daughter going on between cousins Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram.

Turns out they’d spiced the story up with a little innuendo, a shot of a wet corset coupled with some girl-on-girl unhooking action and some very dark commentary on slavery—something Jane herself undoubtedly wasn’t exposed to and never wrote about. I think there was a kiss, too—the regular, male and female kind. Pass me my smelling salts!

But as least we didn’t see Fanny’s fanny and the cousins didn’t do more than kiss. Is it me? I just can’t help but wonder what this world is coming to when Jane Austen goes semi-porn.

I was going to end with ten Jane Austen Movies-Turned-Porn, but I even grossed out myself. So here are the five I can list here. Let’s just say I hope no one ever makes 

  1. Mansfield Parking
  2. Sense and Sensitive Body Parts
  3. Pride and Porn
  4. Naughty Northanger Abs and More
  5. Emma Does Edinburgh

Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
~Purported last words of Oscar Wilde, writer


  1. That's a clever way to make folks want to read the classics...

    1. Do you think so? I think it's a little like putting SEXUAL REPRODUCTION TAUGHT HERE on the front of a science book. I doubt it will sell science books, and any kid who was fooled enough to open it is probably not destined to become a scientist, anyway.

  2. I am laughing out loud. You are a riot. Your mind never stops with word play. I can only imagine when you flipped that package over and read "Erotic Heat," and now I will share this with my fellow teachers today.

  3. Ha!! I can always count on you, Tammy, for a good laugh out loud! You have the cleverest take on words I've ever read, and I love your list. I may have to go back to the Jane Austen collection I purchased not long ago, books with prim and proper book jackets all done in pastel blues and pinks, to see what I must have missed. I have a feeling I'm not going to find Sense and Sensitive Body Parts, though ;) I do have to say too that I love Johnny Lee Miller, so that film version you mentioned sounds like something I need to watch. Thanks again for the laugh.

    1. Thanks, Theresa! Something you said made me remember I took a picture of it! Wonder what I did with that?

  4. Hahaha! *snort* Hahaha! How did I miss this? Will you consider putting a widget on your sidebar so your fans can sign up to receive an email whenever you post? Pretty please? (Sioux just set up the feature on her blog, so I bet she'll walk you through it.)

  5. Aww...thanks, Lisa. I've tried to find the widget, which means it's probably someplace really obvious, huh?


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