Music Monday- A Postcard to Henry Purcell

Frequently while writing, I will listen to the soundtrack of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I adore it! I also recently bought the sheet music to the soundtrack so I can muddle my way through some passages with my own inventive sense of rhythm. Maybe one day I’ll take formal piano classes.

A few years ago while editing Letters from the Heart, a beta had commented that she thought Elizabeth and Jane would refer to men only as Mr. __. I spent a great deal of time looking through Pride and Prejudice to discover that Elizabeth and Jane frequently dropped the Mr. once they knew a gentleman well–the same way that Kitty and Lydia did. In consulting other Austen books and works of the time, I became convinced there was not an impropriety in doing so when not speaking to his face. Hence, it was different than Caroline Bingley calling Elizabeth by the pet name Eliza. I imagine it’s the way we might call the leader of a country by his or her surname amongst our friends but if we ever encountered the person we would use a formal address.

I also discovered something most interesting. Elizabeth’s usage of Darcy vs. Mr. Darcy reminded me of a dance. They would seem to understand one another a little better and she called him Darcy in conversation to others. Then, they would have another misunderstanding and suddenly he was MR. Darcy again. There was such a push-pull effect about it.

Around this time I was falling in love with the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and I think the song during the Netherfield ball, A Postcard to Henry Purcell, along with the choreography of the dance, perfectly captures the back and forth that is Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship.

Henry Purcell was a baroque composer and lived 1659-1695. The piece on the soundtrack is a nod at his style of composing. And yes, I know baroque would have been terribly out of fashion by the Regency period. However, all adaptations make this error. The only one I have seen which does not is the 2009 Emma. Instead, it includes an original number of “Jenny’s Market.”

Despite it not being period correct, I think the music serves the film brilliantly in this scene and applaud Dario Marianelli for his fantastic score.

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