Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Netherfield Ball

We're currently studying Pride and Prejudice with V form as part of their comparative module, and everyone is alerted to a well-timed programme on BBC2 on Friday night (9pm to 10.30pm). In Friday's Guardian, John Mullan had a piece on this programme.

As he points out, a ball is "the ultimate occasion for a heady kind of courtship – a trying out of partners that is exciting, flirtatious and downright erotic". Mullan's book What Matters in Jane Austen? (now in paperback) is excellent (certainly far better than the patronising cover and subtitle 'Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved'). Dedicated to the great critic Tony Tanner, who also wrote on Austen, it has many of Tanner's qualities, perceptively following ideas through the novels, such as names, money, intimacy, the lower classes and lots more. Highly recommended.

Below, the ball from the 1995 BBC version.

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