Gentle readers, Recently I had the pleasure of watching Cold Comfort Farm, a film adaptation of the comic 1932 novel by Stella Gibbons. In 1995, Kate Beckinsale played the delightful Flora Poste, the girl who likes to organize things and tidy up. Kate also portrayed Emma Woodhouse at this time, before she turned Hollywood glam and began to play a vampire.
I find all of Cold Comfort Farm enchanting, but as a Jane Austen fan I naturally gravitated towards the conversation between Flora and her friend Mary Smiling (played by Joanna Lumley), who tells her young, recently orphaned friend that with an income of only 100 pounds per year she must find employment.
Flora, who lived a life of luxury and was gently bred, counters with the thought that she would like to become a novelist much in the mold of Jane Austen. All she really needs is a few more years of observing life and she could write a novel as good as Persuasion. After accepting the invitation to live with distant relatives – the Starkadders who have always lived at Cold Comfort Farm – Flora begins to write her novel on the train.
With ‘gems’ like these, do you think she will ever realize her dream of becoming the 20th century answer to Jane Austen?
“It was winter, the grimmest day of the darkest hour of the year…”
“The golden orb had almost disappeared behind the interlacing fingers of the hawthorne…”
“The man’s huge body, rude as a wind-tortured thorn, was printed dark against the flame of sand that..that throbbed..that throbbed on the tip of …”
One of my favorite quotes from the film is by Ada Doom (Sheila Burrell), who’s often repeated phrase – “I saw something nasty in the woodshed” – casts a pall over the entire Starkadder clan and is the theme of the movie. Can you remember other pearls of wisdom from this fine film/novel?