Sanditon on Masterpiece – What do we think?

Another Splendid Tea Party!

On Saturday, January 25, the Jane Austen Society of North America Florida Southwest Region met at Shadow Wood Preserve in South Fort Myers. Member Bonnie Seiler organized a fabulous tea party including scones, trifle, and other goodies, all served on lovely vintage china. The meeting was well attended, with 16 members and three guests.

Sanditon Under Review

The topic of the day was Andrew Davies’s version of Sanditon currently showing on PBS. Regional Coordinator Jerry Vetowich asked questions to direct the discussion:
• Do the actors that were cast agree with your vision of the characters?
• Does the production capture the essence of what Jane Austen wrote?
• What is your response in terms of likes/dislikes, excitement/disappointment?
• How has Andrew Davies incorporated elements of other Jane Austen works? – e.g., Lady Denham’s “very disturbed” line echoing Lady Catherine in Pride and Prejudice.
While many different opinions were expressed, the general consensus seemed to be that although the film is not particularly Austenesque, it is fun nevertheless, and they will watch all the way to the end!

Toasts And Weddings: Who Should Marry Whom?

Attendees then split into three groups for an “ice breaker” activity. Each team was asked to compose a toast celebrating the marriage of a couple of their choice. Two chose to continue the Sanditon theme.

One group married Charlotte Heywood to Young Stringer, with a disparaging toast by Sir Edward Denham as he declares the groom was “the best to be expected since she was not of the quality that a relative of Lady Denham would find interesting.”

The second team gave Lady Denham the opportunity to toast the marriage she so desired between Sir Edward and Georgiana Lambe. Lady Denham felicitates not only the bride and groom but also “the army of solicitors who crafted the just and honorable settlements that unite his title to her fortune with all the considerable codicils governing his rights and her duties.”

The third group looked to Persuasion and created the surprising pairing of Mr. William Elliott and Anne Elliott’s dear school friend, Mrs. Smith, who “has apparently become a woman of means.” As you may imagine, Sir Walter’s toast was both acerbic and ingratiating. “A copious application of Gawain’s Lotion has restored her bloom and brought her to Mr. Elliot’s attention, along with her change in circumstance.”

Our best wishes to all the happy couples! Who will Andrew Davies choose for Charlotte?