Thursday, April 12, 2007

5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Pride & Prejudice; Plus Thrifty Movie Trivia

Marriage, money and society are major themes in Jane Austen novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility.

Frugal living is also an important theme in Pride and Prejudice, which was recently made into an excellent movie featuring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

Here are:
My 5 Favorite Frugal Lessons from Pride & Prejudice, followed by money-saving trivia from the 2005 production.

1. Walking is an important and low-cost form of transportation.

Scenario: Elizabeth Bennet wants to visit her sister Jane, who is ill and stranded at a friend's home about three miles away.


"Elizabeth, feeling anxious, was determined to go to her [sister Jane], though the carriage was not to be had; and as she was no horsewoman, walking was her only alternative."
--p.78 Penguin Classics version of Pride and Prejudice.

2. Gambling is an expensive hobby.

Scenario: Elizabeth joins a small gathering in a mansion. A gambling card game (Loo) is introduced as a form of entertainment.


"On entering the drawing-room she found the whole party at
loo, and was immediately invited to join them; but suspecting them to be playing high, she declined...[and] said she would amuse herself...with a book."

3. Reading is an excellent form of entertainment.

Scenario: Several characters spend the evening reading. Miss Bingley is not really a reader, but she makes the following statement in an effort to impress the other readers in the crowd.


"I declare there is no enjoyment like reading! How much
sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!"
p. 100

4. Save money to have the necessary funds to help others who are less fortunate.

Scenario: After marrying Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet becomes a very wealthy woman. But she lives frugally and uses her savings to bailout Lydia, a spendthrift sister who has married a gambler. Lydia frequently requests financial aid from Elizabeth.

"Such relief, however, as it was in her [Elizabeth's] power to afford, by the practice of what might be called economy in her own private expenses, she frequently sent them. p. 394
5. Don't live above your means. Don't spend recklessly.

Scenario. Lydia and Mr. Wickham, a married couple, are big spenders and are forced to constantly look for new housing.

Quote: "They were always moving from place to place in quest of a cheap situation and always spending more than they ought."

Here's what I learned from bits of trivia about the 2005 movie production of the book.

1. Recycle clothes and costumes. New is not better.

The uniforms for the redcoats worn in the parade sequence came from the "Sharpe" TV series. There was no unit in the British Infantry at the time with yellow facings on their collars and turnbacks, however Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe series created a regiment from whole cloth called the "South Essex" which he described as having yellow facings on their collars.The uniforms were created for the Sharpe's TV series, and were pulled from the wardrobe department for this film.

2. Free labor and the power of "Thank You."
'Emma Thompson' did an uncredited and unpaid re-write of the script. She receives a "Special Thanks" credit at the end of the film.
Here's the link to the Jane Austen Society of UK and Jane Austen Society of North America

1 comment:

ssudio said...

There were actually red coats with yellow facings in use during that time period in North America.
So even though they weren't used in Europe at the time, that particular color arrangement was in use at that time. Some of the blue French uniforms were used in the movie Waterloo and recycled for the Sharpe movies.
Interesting entry!