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It was inevitable that the ITV Jane Austen season wouldn’t go past without comment, right? I’d only read Northanger Abbey once before this month, but I should have known better – Austen gets better the older and more cynical the reader gets (ie, she’s incredibly bitchy and I love it). Anyway, Northanger Abbey is now my favourite Austen novel and Henry Tilney is my favourite Austen hero. Why? Because he’s funny! Mr Darcy, Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth are all well and good, but I can’t imagine being able to talk to any one of them. I was in stitches waiting for the train the other week reading the section where Henry sends up Catherine to her face during the drive to Northanger. So inevitably, last night’s adaptation was slightly disappointing, especially as I can only think of Henry Tilney with blond curly hair and blue eyes so JJ Feild (the poor man’s Jude Law?) wasn’t quite what I had in mind… the adaptation also didn’t do anything about the book’s main flaw; namely: what’s Henry Tilney doing with a silly little girl like Catherine Morland? If anything, he’d be more than a match for Elizabeth Bennet, but then I can’t imagine them being sensible for more than two minutes together.
And now there’s an online ad for Persuasion doing the rounds with Rupert Penry-Jones doing the Austen hero’s Look of Longing™. *gulp* Yeah, I know I said I like the funny, but the Look of Longing™, in the right thesp’s hands, can be quite, um, something.