Now Playing

Jane Austen vs Emily Bronte: The Queens of English Literature Debate
with Dominic West
(Filmed at the Royal Geographic Society on February 26, 2014)
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Films for Bookworms

The only thing better than browsing books is browsing books... 
and then watching a film about books!

Now Showing for June: 

Jane Austen vs Emily Bronte: 
The Queens of English Literature Debate
Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

I have something a little different this month.  Rather than presenting a documentary, I wanted to share this recording of a marvelous night of literary discussion and friendly debate.

Who is better: Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?  To help you decide who should be crowned queen of all English letters, the madcap literati at Intelligence Squared lined up passionate advocates to make a case for each author.  Dominic West, Sam West and other actors perform readings to illustrate the arguments.  It's fun, fancy, and a wonderful reminder of why both novelists have endured long past their heyday in Georgian England.

Are you Team Jane: partial to irony that lurks beneath genteel manners?  Or are you Team Emily: passionate, uninhibited, tossing away misguided propriety in favor of supernatural, savage love? 

(I have a confession:  I'm unabashedly partial to Bronte.  Wuthering Heights has been a favorite novel since I devoured it when I was 13, burning passionately for Niles, the new boy in my school who had recently moved to Austin from the UK. He was every bit a Heathcliff prototype hunching over his desk in a worn leather motorcycle jacket, a shock of dark hair falling over his eyes as he furiously wrote poetry in a spiral notebook...)

Check back every month for a new film pick!
(I have other great bookish videos here.)

Psst: I couldn't resist.