My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pride and Prejudice -- Lizzie, Mr. Darcy, the English Countryside and the Music

I must admit that I am a latecomer to the classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen and published in 1813.  I only discovered it after seeing the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Mathew McFadyen.  I enjoyed it immensely, but again, it wasn't until even later that I was completely smitten with the story of the Bennet girls, their pushy mother, their understanding and kind father, and of course, Elizabeth Bennet.  Lizzie, as she is often referred to in the film, is witty and feisty.  She meets the always mysterious and dashing Mr. Darcy, who has made women's hearts skip a beat for 200 years now.  It's no wonder that women the world over find him to be their romantic ideal...always brooding, unattainable, handsome, absurdly wealthy, and of course, English (which above all else, is what matters most in my book (smile).)

If you have seen the 2005 film, then maybe you are also familiar with the soundtrack.  Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Dario Marianelli composed most of the score, and for me, it is the most romantic and beautiful music from any film of the last 20 years.  The opening scene features Elizabeth walking through a green pasture on a lovely sunny day, all the while reading a novel.  As she walks, the music plays sweetly. She approaches her home, with farm animals running everywhere, people working outdoors, her family buzzing around inside, laughing all the while.  Lizzie enters the large country house to the sound of her sister playing the piano.  The scene flows perfectly with the musical score and to me, is what makes this scene so gorgeous.

Throughout the film, the score is paired perfectly with each scene.  I now find myself listening to the soundtrack almost daily, and watching the film almost as much.  As I do chores, pay bills, work, or whatever I find myself doing during the day, I often have the DVD of the film playing in the background to keep me company.  I never tire of this beautiful tale of love between a common girl and an extremely wealthy man.  Director Joe Wright has captured what makes England so enchanting to Anglophiles such as I...hills and land so green it seems hard to imagine that it is real.  Beautiful meadows, jagged cliffs, and architecture that makes my mouth water.  One scene in particular, in which Lizzie argues with Mr. Darcy during a rainstorm, is one of my favorites.  Another scene close to my heart  is when Lizzie is traveling and her companions wish to stop at Mr. Darcy's house for a glimpse inside, and yet they are speechless when the coach pulls in front of the grand estate, for they are not prepared for his vast wealth.  My favorite English country home, Chatsworth, which has belonged to the Duke of Devonshire for centuries, stands in for Mr. Darcy's home.  The house is seen by Lizzie for the first time as her coach emerges from a wooded trail.  Of all the places I hope to see in England, Chatsworth is at the top of my list.

If you haven't had a chance to catch this 2005 version of this classic novel, I encourage you to see it.  Then, you must check out the BBC version starring Colin Firth, after which time you will be well qualified to argue with any woman about which Mr. Darcy, Colin or Matthew, is your favorite.  I am a fan of Colin Firth, but I must admit that Mathew's portrayal grabbed my heart.  And I have always adored Ms. Knightley.  I also recommend another film in which she starred as the Duchess of Devonshire, "The Duchess."  I can hardly wait to see her latest film, Anna Karenina..she's always wonderful in her parts in period films.

So again, if you haven't seen the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, please do.  I don't think you will regret it! And then get yourself the soundtrack.  But be careful...both are highly addictive. My dear friend Karen and her daughter Hannah, share in my love for this film and the soundtrack, and have selected songs from the soundtrack to be played at Hannah's wedding in February 2013.  Girls after my heart!!!

As for me, I am now in search of a Pride and Prejudice 12 step program. Enjoy

The opening scene, in which Elizabeth strolls through a pasture while reading 

Elizabeth Bennet, as portrayed by Keira Knightley

Mr. Darcy, as portrayed by the handsome
Matthew McFadyen

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth dance together.  She decides that she cannot tolerate him, but deep down in her heart, she knows differently.  He is already in love with her, but won't admit it for quite some time
Lizzie's sisters and mother gather beside a massive
 tree near their home

Lizzie and her sisters, along with her parents, portrayed by Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn, gather on a balcony at a dance in a nearby mansion, where Lizzie sees Mr. Darcy again after a very tense first meeting

Stunning scene, in which Elizabeth gazes from a high cliff while thinking
of her love for Mr . Darcy
The impossibly beautiful Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for hundreds of years, stood in for Mr. Darcy's home in the film.  This photograph is from the scene in which Elizabeth and her travel companions see Mr. Darcy's home for the first time.  Chatsworth is considered by many to be England's most beautiful country estate.  There are many interesting books available about Chatsworth...I think I have them all.
Stourhead Gardens, featured so beautifully in the scene in which Elizabeth, during a rainstorm, informs Mr. Darcy that she will never find him attractive and has no interest in him.  We already know that she is in total denial.
Publicity shot from the film

Composer Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who wrote part of the soundtrack
to the 2005 film version

Composer Dario Marianelli, who also composed a great deal of the music
 for the film

Listen here for "On Top of the World" which plays as Lizzie stands at the cliffs,
thinking of Mr. Darcy.  It is utter perfection.  Copy and past into your web browser.  Link Courtesy of  "Gurkiball" on

All Photos Courtesy of Working Title Films

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