Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jane Austen Old Spice Parody

The Amateur Historian is currently forcing herself through The Mysteries of Uphaldo which is remarkably dull for a novel that Mr. Tilney read in two days with his hair standing on end the whole time, and greatly appreciated this parody. I shall probably earn myself deep enmity for saying I prefer Henry Tilney to the other Austen heroes, but so be it! Let it be the subject of a long discussion in the comments section.


  1. I love Tilney. Wentworth is probably my favorite Austen hero, but Tilney is a close second. Mostly because of his delightful sense of humor (although I've heard some people try and argue that Tilney is going to wind up like Mr Bennett in regretting his choice of a less intelligent and silly wife, and wind up mocking and barely tolerating her--but I think that's nonsense).
    Also, I hated The Mysteries of Udolfo, but that might have been because the only version my library had was this very oddly abridged one, where it would break off in the middle of a chapter, and pick up the action like 100 pages later, so I had no clue what was happening. And then just when I figured out what was going on, it would break again. A little like reading Dead Souls by Gogol.

  2. Agreed- though Catherine does start out rather naive and silly, the book is an education for her as much as for us, the readers. She is learning how to distinguish between what is said and what is, between reality and how it has been described and taught to her and, as Henry observed during the lesson on the picturesque, Catherine is a quick student, particularly as she is willing to admit her ignorance. Likewise, she is extremely good natured, which balances out Henry's witty cynicism and is probably quite refreshing. I think they had a very happy married life together.

    Haha, sounds like quite the experience! I have a full version and it is still rather hard going. It all makes sense, but it's... lots of long descriptions of nature and then the heroine crying and fainting. I don't find it very compelling, which is not to say that it wasn't at the time or that it's not valuable as one of the first novels, particularly one of the first novels written by women. Just, to modern eyes (or at least, my modern eyes), Emily's sensibility is overwrought, her love interest Valancourt is exasperating as he alternatively stalks Emily and then falls into dejected fits of extreme sensibility, and the horror isn't that horrible.