Monday, March 23, 2015

Male on Monday - Austen Heroes

Donna Alward returns to the Pink Heart Society this week with a veritable smorgasbord of heroes...all from Austen adaptations. Buckle up...

One of my favorite things to do during a very long winter (and this has been one of the longest! So much snow!) is to curl up with a blanket, a glass of wine, and a good Jane Austen adaptation. Let’s face it…there’s a lot of swoonworthy watching. So let’s pick some favorites, shall we?
Pride and Prejudice. Now, during a long, snowy, dark, dismal winter you might want to watch the longer miniseries and glory in the delightful Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Or perhaps you’re imagining spring and the image of Matthew MacFadyen strolling across the field with his greatcoat flapping. I call that a win/win. We shan't mention Wickham because, well, he's too much of a scoundrel! 

Persuasion. One of my favourite Austens and Captain Wentworth is one of my favourite heroes, too. When the latest came out with Rupert Penry-Jones as the Captain, I was skeptical – but quickly won over. I haven’t seen the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version…

Emma. Mr. Knightley is a bit smug (sort of like Darcy) but when he realizes it is Emma he loves…oh, there’s nothing like a proud man made humble by the heart. I always rather liked Jeremy Northam in the role. I couldn’t really fall for either Jonny Lee Miller or Mark Strong in the role, though. Also - Mark Strong with hair kind of freaks me out. I love him as a villain! 

Sense and Sensibility. Well, if this isn’t just a cornucopia of choices. Let’s take two versions: the Emma Thompson and the latest one out in 2008. In the first we have Hugh Grant as Edward – lovable but a bit ridiculous (I always see him as Froggy Gone a’Courtin’). Then we have Alan Rickman as the Colonel. To be honest, I love Rickman but it was hard to picture him with the much younger Marianne. That being said, the moment when he says “Give me an occupation or I shall go mad” is damn near perfect. And Greg Wise as Willoughby…oh yes. 

But the 2008 version gives it a run for its money. First of all, we have Dan Stevens as Edward. You know, the guy that played the heir in THAT popular period drama but then LEFT…(Not that I’m bitter or anything). And David Morrissey as Brandon. HOLY HELL YES. You might recognize him as The Governor from The Walking Dead (which freaked me out a bit to be honest). And Dominic Cooper as Willoughby…a different dynamic to the role but sexier IMO. The battle between those versions is pretty darn close. I love both for different reasons.

I should mention Mansfield Park, but it wasn’t a fave of mine in the books and the movie was meh for me too. I just can’t seem to warm up to Jonny Lee Miller, though I do love Frances O’Connor (and love watching her on Mr. Selfridge).

And Northanger Abbey – it’s not a favourite of mine either, though I do like JJ Feild (who reminds me a little of Tom Hiddleston or Michael Fassbender.  Ooooh, can you imagine a movie with the three of them playing brothers???? I particularly liked Feild in the Sally Lockhart movies based on the Pullman books.

I’ve created a poll – so you can tell me who your favourite is!

My favourite Austen movie hero is: free polls

(If you can't get the poll to work, you can use this link)

Donna’s upcoming release is Summer on Lovers' Island, the next book in her Jewell Cove series from St. Martin’s Press:
Lizzie Howard’s life has always been adrenaline-charged. Top of her class at Harvard Med and now a gifted trauma doctor, Lizzie’s medical career has always come before rest, relaxation, and especially romance. But when one careless mistake brings her future to a screeching halt, Lizzie’s only chance at reviving it is to temporarily take over a friend’s practice in Jewell Cove. The sleepy Maine coast leaves her feeling more lost than ever—until she meets widowed doctor Joshua Collins, and her heart starts beating a little bit faster…

Coming home to Jewell Cove was Josh’s salvation after his wife died. Looking for peace among friends and family, he’s grateful to work in the town’s small medical clinic by day and spend his nights trying to forget everything he’s lost. Lizzie’s big-city sensibilities are a brash reminder of the world he’s pushed away, but he can’t deny that together they’ve sparked a flame. Maybe love is the best medicine after all …

Summer on Lovers' Island releases on May 5. You can read the first chapter on her website, and she'd love it if you said hello on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. What a fun post!! Thank you, Donna, for brightening my Monday morning. I agree with almost all your choices but confess I loved Jonny Lee Miller in Emma. That one is by far my favorite adaptation. I also loved Jeremy Northam but not as much as JLM.

    Didn't care for Hugh Grant in Sense & Sensibility. Nothing against HG, I just didn't see him as Edward. And a big fat yes to David Morrissey!

    And Rupert Penry-Jones made me swoon. I enjoyed the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version but not as much as the newer one.

    Never a fan of Mansfield Park. I enjoyed Northanger Abbey but neither of those are on my shelf to be viewed over and over again.

    I like to think of my favorite ones as comfort food for the soul.

  2. See, I absolutely loved Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley - I think he's the perfect mix of bemusement and frustration!