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I have read other books that analyse presentations of Austen's novels on film and television, and generally these have been rather academic and fairly heavy going in places. Parrill's book is much easier reading, but I did feel that it was lacking in depth and there were certain inaccuracies in the text - she seems confused over Miss Steele's first name and not aware that someone with the title of Doctor would be a cleric rather than a medic.
Parrill looks at each novel and it's adaptations in turn, and the book is illustrated with black and white stills. Each chapter begins with a synopsis of the novel before moving on to consider the adaptations. I was interested in the structure of earlier adaptations that Parrill has gleaned from the screenplays, but with the more recent and generally available adaptations I feel she spends too much time describing what is happening and not enough time in analysis of the presentation! I also got the feeling that Parrill was partially seduced by the Hollywood gloss, particularly in the case of the Miramax version of Emma as she seemed to like it just because she thought the actors were nice to look at! She is then particularly unjust (in my opinion) to Sylvestra Le Touzel and Doran Godwin as she doesn't think they are pretty enough and is rude enough to accuse Ellen Dryden of being fat! I am somewhat puzzled as to her reaction to the adaptations of the 1970's and 1980's as her main objection to them appeares to be that they remained by and large faithful to the novel text!
This is a pricey book with the text just running to under 200 pages (filmographies, bibliography and index take up a good few pages at the back), so I would consider spending your hard earned cash elsewhere.
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