Jane Austen's Emma airs tonight! Plus P&P Question-a-Day 4

I loved some of your answers yesterday. Wet shirt = washing?! That pulls Colin Firth down a peg or two! Some complex answers in there too. I have to say, apart for the eye candy, I do think the scene works so well for other reasons. As Emily puts it, it mirror the changes that have occured from within. The intimacy, the fact that it is startlingly private is in stark contrast to the Meryton assembly. It does give us a different glimpse of Darcy (the "uncivilized" side as South Bay Ladies Tea Guild points out), whom we haven't seen since Netherfield. I read somewhere that it puts both characters at a disadvantage. Elizabeth is very embarrassed at being caught ogling Pemberley, and of course, he's extremely embarrassed to be seen this way by a lady he wants to impress. It's also an unusual scene because he's half undressed (extremely improper) whereas she's fully clothed. The scene has many interesting angles to it.

I'm settling in tonight to watch the first episode of the new production of Emma. I've been looking forward to it since it was announced some time ago, so I hope it won't be a disappointment.

In anticipation of the production, I set out a few weeks ago with my family to visit the tiny village of Chilham, Kent where part of the action was filmed. On the way we passed by Canterbury, which we had visited before. I was very tempted to stop, since it's such a lovely place. But as dark rainclouds were threatening, we decided to press on.

We parked in the parking lot and took the steep lane up the hill and into the village. Although I knew the village would be tiny, I didn't expect it to be so miniature. It consists of four narrow lanes that lead into a square surrounded by black and white Tudor half-timbered houses. On one side is an old 12th century church, and on the other, visible through the gate, the impressive structure of Chilham Castle.

I peered through the wrought iron gates at Chilham Castle (1616) to try and catch a glimpse of the gardens designed by Capability Brown. I eyed the Bed and Breakfast set up within the castle walls, and promised myself I would stay there some time. I strolled through the village, peering into the small shops and snapping away with the camera (which was difficult, as cars blocked the way). There was something picturesque in every corner.

I planned to go on one or two of the walk around the village, on Pilgrims Way (the old way to Canterbury) or North Downs way with their woodlands and views of the river Stour. Not all the way, of course! I was thinking of Chaucer and wondered if any of his characters had walked that way. The village of Old Wives Lees struck a particular cord in that respect.

I was also tempted by the idea of walking though the apple orchards, but it all came to nought. As we passed through the village and entered the old churchyard, it started to drizzle. I stopped to examine an old yew tree carefully protected behind iron rails. I just managed to go into St Mary's, and to sign my name in the guest register. When I emerged, the landscape was awash with rain.

As water poured down in buckets, we took urgent refuge in a teahouse in the village. There, I asked the woman who waited on our table about the production. Clearly, this was a question she was used to. She was more than ready to tell us about it, and explained how the facades were changed to fit in with the film.
"That there was a butcher's shop," she said.
I peered through the rain to look at a shop and tried to imagine it as it would look in the film.
She then whipped out an envelope with all sorts of photos of the actors in costume.
"So was it very exciting so see how the whole thing worked?" I asked her after salivating over them and wondering if it would be horribly tacky to ask if I could buy one or two of them from her.
"It was at the beginning, but I was glad when we got back to normal again."
I can imagine. With the village as small and tranquil as this, the arrival of all the hustle and bustle of crew and cast must have caused quite a disruption.

And now for:

Pride and Prejudice Question 4

Why does Wickham pay so much attention to Elizabeth, and why does he choose her in particular to "confide" to about his past with Mr Darcy?


  1. Hi! First off all, i'm a big Jane Austen fan and just love this idea, your questions are great!

    Very cool about the new production of Emma, great photos.

    As for the question, I think Wickham really likes Elizabeth, and figures he can gain her confidence with his lies. But I think Wickham is so self centered and selfish that he can't truly be honest with anyone, including himself. He's got alot of growing up to do.


  2. Great question - I've often wondered that myself to be honest. I finally came to the conclusion that Wickham does geniunely like Lizzy for herself and that he feels his sob story about Darcy will find a willing audience in a woman who is clearly not a big fan of Darcy herself. Character is overwhelming in Wickham though and even Lizzy cannot change his character flaws whcih is why he still runs off with Lydia in the end.

  3. Monica,
    for us, here in Brazil, remains only sigh, we do not know if or when we will see Emma 2009.
    Lovely images,
    thank you, raquel

  4. I think Wickham does feel an attraction toward Lizzie, but I think at some point he might be pursuing her out of spite for Darcy. There's that whole alpha-male thing going on, plus the past conflict between them.

    Thanks for the entry, and the fun questions!



  5. I vote with Laura as far as the spite angle, but I'm not so sure that he was really interested in Lizzy. I think that Wickham is so enamored of himself that he doesn't have "room" for anyone else.

  6. I think they actually have a nice rapport in the book at the beginning. Wickham obviously likes younger girls, though, having targeted Georgiana before Lydia, so perhaps he zeroed in on Elizabeth for two reasons: 1) if he could win over the smartest woman in the Bennet family, he'd be golden; and 2) by appearing to be interested in Elizabeth, he draws attention away from his real objective: Lydia. As far as confiding in Elizabeth, he probably has heard about Darcy slighting her at the assembly, so doing so gains her sympathy. People like him tend to almost believe their lies, so I'm sure he enjoys having someone else believe him, esp. someone as intelligent as Elizabeth.

  7. I think that Wickham actually liked Elizabeth and he wanted to gain her sympathy by telling the false story about his past with Darcy.


  8. Wickham realizes that Elizabeth is the second oldest in the Bennet family and is not attached as her sister Jane is. Also he probably senses that Darcy has some kind of affection for her and given their history, he would love to get under Darcy's skin and take something away that he desires.

  9. I think that Wickham geniunely liked Elizabeth.

  10. I'm with the others. I don't think Wickham could have known anything about Elizabeth at that point, really, and he certainly couldn't have known anything about Darcy's feelings, so I think it's just that he likes people who like him.

    Elizabeth is pretty forward in that scene, also - he doesn't tell her anything, really, until she start proclaiming her hatred of Darcy to the skies. Given her behaviour in that one scene, he might have misread her as a Lydia-type who'd carry the story to everybody she met.

  11. Wickham obviously likes her and making Darcy look bad brings him up in her eyes. He's a habitual liar and a ladies man. Lizzie is young, pretty and smitten.


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