Masterpiece Theatre's production of Miss Austen Regrets

I had an amazing weekend. Though I didn't make much progress on my Hill applications (so shameful!), I did submit my PC application (yay!). Plus, I got to reconnect with a high school classmate and attend a memorable "adult sleepover"/girls' night out. And, of course, I got to watch the latest installment in Masterpiece Theatre's The Complete Jane Austen Series, Miss Austen Regrets.

I enjoyed Miss Austen Regrets. I apologize for repeating what has been said so many times before in this blog, but the performances, settings, and costumes were solid. For additional reviews, check out these LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle articles.

I know little about the life and times of Jane Austen, and I guess there is more speculation than fact about her life given that many of her letters, which might have provided a great portrait of her, were burned by her sister. Yet, what struck me the about the story was the proposition that though Austen never did marry and therefore, never had fulfillment in terms of a consummate/romantic love--like so many of her heroines did--she had fulfillment of the pen and of her imagination. One particular speculation was touched upon in the movie was that Austen sacrificed love and money for freedom and art. It is interesting to think what might have become of Austen if she did marry--would she have had leisure for writing and a husband who encouraged/allowed such an undertaking?

I suppose that ultimately Austen's short-yet-full life reminds me of the importance of choices. Making the right ones and learning lessons from the ones that don't turn out right. As is put forth in the movie (as in Persuasion), no one really knows how life will turn out. You just have to make decisions based on what feels right at the time and be willing to make sacrifices for what you truly want, need, love and believe in. Austen, by default or pure choice, opted for her art and thankfully because of her choice, millions of readers have been uplifted and entertained.

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