Revisiting favorites | Pride and Prejudice librarian, Feb. 18, 2014

Continuing along my “Summer of Nostalgia” blog tour and revisiting past favorites on this blog… next up is a post from February 2014, “Pride and Prejudice and librarians,” in which I analyze the character of Mr. Collins in the 1940 remake of Pride and Prejudice. The character of Mr. Collins was changed from a clergyman in the book to a private librarian to Lady Catherine de Burgh in the film, so I delve into researching possible reasons why this change came about.

I’ll pause while you browse the original post😉

Screenshot of 'Pride and Prejudice and librarians' post

Screenshot of ‘Pride and Prejudice and librarians’ post

Why this post?

Is it weird to admit that sometimes, I really enjoy rereading posts I have written? That’s the entire reason for this “Summer of Nostalgia” blog tour, but still… maybe it’s odd to admit this in public and on the internet. Oh well, too late now!

But once again, I really do enjoy rereading this post, probably mostly because I love Jane Austen! I am a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, after all. (Seriously. That’s a thing. There’s even a huge Annual General Meeting every year to celebrate and analyze all things Austen.)

I also enjoy this post because I got to detail research avenues I took to try and piece together clues about why the profession of Mr. Collins was changed from a clergyman to a librarian. And I think I came up with some likely theories, including the influence of screwball comedies and adhering to the Hays Code of censorship during that time period.

And once again, I got to go off on a tangent with this post and a minor librarian character. (His profession is mentioned only once, at the beginning, and there are no scenes set in Lady Catherine’s private library.) I can do a lot with a little! 🙂

New thoughts?

Rereading this post made me remember that I still need to get a copy of Helen Jerome’s 1934 dramatization of the play entitled Pride and Prejudice: A Sentimental Comedy in Three Acts, in order to close the loop on whether or not Collins’s profession is changed in the play this film is based on.

I also was struck by the significance of Collins’s own personal introduction of himself, in which he introduces himself as a librarian.

Screenshot of 'Pride and Prejudice and librarians' post

Screenshot of ‘Pride and Prejudice and librarians’ post

I don’t think this is the first time I’ve come across an introduction of a reel librarian character in which that onscreen introduction almost feels like an apology for the librarian profession. Like the character is saying, “Oh don’t mind me, I’m just a librarian.” How many other reel librarians have introduced themselves, and their librarian profession, as a way of apology? What does this signify to the audience, if we are seen onscreen as seemingly embarrassed by our own profession?

It has stirred a possible future post idea… but perhaps it would be like opening Pandora’s box? 😉

I’ll be back next week to revisit another Reel Librarians favorite! Have I come across any of your favorites during this “Summer of Nostalgia” blog tour? Please leave a comment and let me know!


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