How sad was I that the PBS television show, Sanditon, ended with its third season? Very sad. So sad I almost cried.
From an unfinished novel by Jane Austen, the story was a sweet, happy. touching. fairytale. The actors inhabited their roles so fully they transported me into their world instantly in each episode. I couldn’t wait to watch!
But, as Season 3 ended with a beautiful montage-like final scene. I was stricken. Did this mean the end of the series?
Alas, it did.
I do love a good fairytale and in these difficult days, I appreciate them more than ever before. An engrossing romance novel or series can be a sweet escape from news that is so wholly grim and unbelievable that it requires escape.
Yes, of course, the stories are like huge doses of sugar. People can scoff. They are very sweet. But I NEED that sugar now.
Are Austen’s novels fine literature? Well, for her era–the regency era– and for romance novels of that age and style, I would argue yes.
Women’s roles are conforming in Austen’s world–until they are not. She’s always given her female characters a good amount of leeway to step outside the usual role of women in that era. And yet, they are very much of their time. It’s a neat trick. I have no problem with that restricted role in her novels, especially since in the end, the women are usually so much wiser than the men. Usually.
That was then, this is now.
Fact is, I’m more than a bit tired of people judging the values of other eras by the ones we hold today. They simply do not apply. And we can’t make up for it, either.
But mostly, Sanditon was a lovely escape into a world of romantic intrigue, righting some social wrongs along the way, and of course, ending happily. Joyfully.
We simply do not have enough happy endings in our world today, wouldn’t you agree?
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