18 thoughts on “Outsourced Sanditon (2019) Recaps – Episode 4

  1. In Jane Austen’s Sanditon Sir Denham is a comic figure and Miss Denham a routine gold digger, with the excuse that she really needs the money. Miss Lambe is totally unknown to the Parkers who are minor local gentry most unlikely to have west Indian property.
    Mr. Molyneaux is gorgeous, charming and rather ostentatiously moral with his anti slavery stance. Frankly I’d happily marry him! If he were white it would be certain he has clay feet. I was uncertain they’d go there with a black character. As it turned out they did. Good for them.
    And then there’s Stringer, a lovely young man and interesting character but totally un-Austen, who would never venture on characters outside her personal experience which an aspiring young working man surely was. A working man that Charlotte calls on un-chaperoned in his home! No wonder he develops hopes with her behaving so flagrantly.

  2. Yosa, I’ve succumbed. I’ve requested Sandition from my library. It was a momentary weakness and I need absolution. (But I’ll probably watch it just so I can snark at the screen. I definitely need a guilty pleasure that’s healthy).

    Seriously though is this Game of Thrones meets Sandition? The more photos I see and plot twists the writer uses to blaspheme Jane Austen, I am convinced he should not be allowed to adapt another Austen novel.

    My next Austen adaptation choice is Persuasion although the Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds version is brilliant. Still after 15 years is it ready for a new one?

    1. If Sanditon wasn’t pretending to be Austen, nobody would complain of anything but Charlotte’s Sueishness and flagrant disregard for early 19th c. norms. But because they put Jane’s name on it everybody hoped for something rather better than melodrama.

      1. I so agree with you. That being said, I tried to enjoy the rest of the show with the mindset that it’s more like Downton Abbey and not an Austen adaptation. Even through that lens, it still felt too much like a soap opera.

  3. This adaptation has none of the wit and lyrical beauty of Austen.In eighth standard we had a simplified abridged version of Pride and Prejudice.I expected it to be some chick lit,but the characters were so interesting and the comedy so refreshing that one would wonder why some people dare to call Austen’s novels chick lit.Seriously when did period dramas came to be associated with cheap sexual plotlines forced in?Society is becoming liberal but in that era people would avoid acts that could lead them to the guillotine.I don’t find this teenage angst and plotting behind curtains drama relatable,stupid in fact.Forget about relatability when the lead character is a Mary Sue.

  4. Yosa, thank for the photo of the matching Canadian Royal Mounties in your post. So appropriate for your comments! Really I am still laughing!

  5. I’m the dourest, and I don’t care because Andrew Davies had a real chance at something awesome and…whiffed.

    Here is where I assume that Clara Brereton had been majorly sexually abused (even raped). This is where Davies really starts to compare Miss Brereton (raped) and Miss Denham (groomed, but not yet raped). Throughout the rest of the show, he blames the victims and not really the abuser. He makes the victims compete. It’s gross.

    Davies showed Miss Brereton to be desperate and not pro-social at a better life and that rings true. Miss Brereton recognizing abuse within Miss Denhams relationship is also normal, in my experience. Davies could have done so much at this point: Shown the two in denial, shown Mr Slimey to have more of an abuser’s mentality by being more aggressive with Charlotte (whose social class would never have brought his behavior to account).

    The language “prick”, etc., I don’t have too much of a problem with because it’s apparent in Pepys and Fielding. I don’t think that Austen would have used those terms, though. I am sure that she had other coded language to show someone who had been harmed. The Georgian mind was a very different one to the Victorian one!

    Thank you so much for these recaps!

  6. Yes, I agree with everyone else here. The cavalier attitude toward sex, the vulgar language, the insinuations of incest…this just ISN’T Jane Austen. Nothing about this production is elegant, witty, restrained, or sly–all hallmarks of Jane Austen. This production committed many sins, but the BIGGEST sin was completely disregarding (or thumbing its nose at) the spirit of Jane Austen.

  7. I could not bear this, Austen or not. Made me sad as I look so forward to Brit costume drama.

  8. I’m astonished at Andrew Davies. He has adapted classic novels for the screen, with great success, for many years, including the beloved 1995 Pride and Prejudice, and has rarely put a foot wrong. What the hell happened here? I’m so glad I gave my TV away years ago; with dross like this being passed off as Jane Austen, I don’t miss it in the slightest.

  9. The sexual abuse is entirely Davies. In the fragment both Miss Brereton and Miss Denham are financially needy and dependent on Lady Denham’s good will, not a happy situation. Miss Denham rather ostentatiously sucks up to her Aunt disgusting Charlotte. Miss Brereton, whose case seems much more pitiable to Charlotte, acts content with her lot. Sir Edward is a comic character, a male Catherine Morland, who aspires to be a rake like the villains in sensational novels. Clara Brereton is to be his victim. What game Clara is playing is quite uncertain, does she aspire to be Lady Denham? Would such a marriage please or anger Lady Denham? No sexual abuse or incest to be seen.
    Miss Lambe is a total stranger to the Parkers, obviously or there would have been none of the confusion regarding a West Indian family AND a school instead of a small school party including a West Indian heiress. She definitely is not Sidney Parker’s ward.
    Charlotte Heywood seems a rather bland heroine for Austen, but she is well educated and perfectly proper NOT a Wild Child with loosely flowing hair, expert in accounting and architecture and egalitarian in attitude.

    1. I really liked your comment–especially since it points us back to the novel. Thank you.

      Davies really dropped the ball with how he depicted abuse. No one believes that the past was without abuse, and it could have been done better (Fingersmith comes to mind). Davies’s production disrespected both Austen and abuse survivors. He also wasted the storytelling potential from the abuse, so he disrespected talented and thoughtful writers, too. 3 strikes, Andrew Davies.

  10. Have I mentioned that Charlotte’s loose hair makes me crazy? And Georgina’s hatlessness is beginning to affect me the same way.

  11. I’d bet money that Miss Lambe’s light blue overdress-and-habit-shirt combo is channelling Princess Charlotte’s 1816-17 “Russian dress” (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/572238696373529695/ and https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/396668679652635394/), with all the trimming removed.

    So, a complete fantasy, but there are a number of problems with it —

    As far as I can tell the Princess’s outfit was a complete one-off. It is an imitation of the traditional Russian sarafan, made for her to wear with and show off her newly-awarded Star of the Order of St Catherine. It is similar to outfits worn by noble Russian ladies at that time, but has no parallels with anything else I know of from Britain, whether fashion plates, caricatures, portraits or surviving dresses.
    Stripped of all the original’s gold lace, buttons and fringe, and without any alternative detailing replacing that, it looks at best unfinished – even in Madame Recamier’s day, the height of the ‘plain white classical simplicity’ fad, nobody wore anything quite that blunt – and at worst like something run up hastily on a sewing machine for a fancy dress party. Also, silk was absolutely not a socially-correct fabric for informal morning wear in the Regency period – and not a practical fabric for country walks, let alone sitting around in patches of bluebells, in any period!
    The habit-shirt I think is channelling the type of late 18th-century habit-shirt that was literally made to be worn under a riding habit, which had wide shoulders like a man’s shirt. When a Regency man took his coat off, you’d see the shoulder-seams of his shirt at just about that level, showing well below his waistcoat. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/541909767652029068/ The trouble is that that kind of habit-shirt wasn’t meant to be worn under an over-gown.

    Altogether, this is just another case of costumers going “Look, it existed back then! It’s authentic! Yay!” without considering who would have worn it, what other garments it would have been worn with, and on what occasions.

    The Parkers’ beach ride: as Miss Lambe would put it, “dat ain’t no donkey!” Diana Parker’s mount is an Exmoor pony. A fairly unlikely breed to find in Regency Sussex, since Exmoor is in Devon, but there you go. Much more importantly, SHE’S RIDING ASTRIDE!!! – something that no respectable British woman would ever have done from the beginning of the 18th till the very end of the 19th century. (Englishwomen abroad were routinely shocked to find that Continental ladies sometimes did.) Ladies rode sidesaddle, or on a donkey sometimes in a sideways seat like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/182057769482?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=182057769482&targetid=877031938306&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=1006618&poi=&campaignid=9437836064&mkgroupid=94116221165&rlsatarget=pla-877031938306&abcId=1140486&merchantid=101766699&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwNbSgrSu6AIVB4jVCh0V1gx8EAQYASABEgJEkPD_BwE, or pillion behind a man.

    1. I wondered about that astride posture. There’s a drawing of the Duchess of Wellington riding a mule or pony, sitting way back on the crupper and aside.

  12. So many YIKES in this episode, I don’t even know where to begin. It was such a trainwreck I couldn’t look away.

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