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The Launch of THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE — 107 Comments

  1. Was it Bamber or Rennie who would cover his mouth with his fingertips whenever his patroness started talking? That’s the one I like. Loved your book, by the way. I’ve read it twice already!

  2. I have always preferred Malcolm Rennie portrayal of Mr. Collins – actually I have always preferred the 1980 version to the Colin Firth series, vastly superior in every way, and yes Mary should marry Mr. Collins
    (I have added your book to my wish list – can’t wait for my birthday next month to find out which books my husband is going to buy me)

    • I think the casting of the supporting characters in the 1980 version is better than the 1995 version. I also preferred David Rintoul as Darcy and Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzy. However, I won’t say anything against the Firth/Ehle pairing. Not only do think they did an outstanding job, I want to get out of here with my skin intact!

  3. My favorite is Tom Hollander. I must confess that I haven’t seen the 1980 version so I can’t comment on Michael Rennie. Tom Hollander. while small, was very subtle and I could see him as an educated man, but with little sense and considerable conceit. David Bamber as Mr. Collins was over the top and more baffoon than anything. Mr. Collins was not intended to be soooooooo gross.

    • I think Hollander gave the most sympathetic portrayal of Collins of any version. He made the character his own. While I’m not sure Austen’s Collins was like that, Hollander’s performance was enjoyable.

  4. Rennie and Bamber – tough decision between the two of them. I can´t really pick which one of the two is my favourite Mr. Collins – they are equally great and ridiculous! 😀
    But the Tom Hollander was a great Mr.Collins too – loved that he´s so short compared to everyone else.

    Happy launch! I do have your book on my wish-list already since I heard of it´s being published!

  5. I’ve already come across your book in the Kindle store, Jack. Having tried the sample for free, it’s already on my Wish List!

    When it comes to my fabourite Mr C., the 1940 movie was my first introduction to P & P (I was 11 when I first saw it in the 60s and went straight to my school library to borrow the book the next day). Can’t say as I remember Melville Cooper’s portrayal, though. What I do remember is that’s when I fell in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy! I wasn’t that keen on the 1980 version as I thought the acting was a bit wooden at times and Malcom Rennie’s version hasn’t left any impression. David Bamber gave a brilliant performance despite, as you say, being totally miscast. Tom Hollander seemed a bit wishy washy to me and I can’t remember Guy Henry and have only seen Lost in Austen once. I love everything about Bride and Prejudice. Indeed, it was my first P & P variation, which was then followed by Lost in Austen. I must get my DVD of the latter out next time I’m doing the ironing.

    So, as to my favourite Mr Collins? I think it’s a tie between David Bamber and Nitin Ganatra.

    Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are probably my favourite Elizabeth and Will, followed by Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson?

  6. For me, Bamber is the ultimate Collins. 🙂 He’s large and ungainly, looks ridiculous when dancing, scrapes and bows with aplomb… if it looks like a duck… etc.

    Bamber’s portrayal was (IMHO) spot on for Austen’s description of Mr. Collins and I think he showed great acting chops when making himself look like such a bumbling idiot. I loved it!!!

    Amy Z

  7. My favorites are Hollander and Rennie
    Bomber was too yuck for me ( he gave me the shivers)

    Hollander was so successful and realistic in his kiss butt way as well as his calculating behavior with Elizabeth.

    As for the 1980 version, it is one of my least favorite. The acting is so wooden so unnatural . The 1940 version is fun to watch but not true to the book. Love that the ladies always wear ball gowns!

    Congrats on the new book. Definitely on my wish list. Would love to win it!
    I have all your published books so far !

    • The 1940 version was strange. They used left-over Gone With the Wind costumes — it looked more like Georgia than Hertfordshire. They made Collins a librarian instead of a vicar. But Edna May Oliver as Lady Catherine was a hoot! And did either Laurence Olivier or Greer Garson ever give a bad performance?

      • I have this version on a VHS tape on which i copied the movie from a TV airing. Yes, it was so obvious that the costumes were Civil War era. And the whole archery episode! Plus the actors were so much older than the parts called for!

  8. I will say Banner, but it has been awhile since I have seen several of those versions. I may have to fix that. I am in the middle of The Companion of his Future Life and am enjoying it. I like seeing the new relationship between Mary and her older sisters. Thank you for the giveaway.

  9. Bamber’s portrayal was accurate and excellent. He seem to enjoy his role and made the movie memorable. I enjoy your wonderful novels and your post was fascinating and wonderful.

  10. L0L! Oh Jack I can’t wait to read this! I have seen all of the P&P movie adaptations as I made it my mission after seeing the 1995 version with Colin and Jennifer (my favourites). Plus, the only one I don’t own is the first one! As for the my favourite Mr Collins, that is a tough one as each gave a marvelous performance but my favourite(s) would have to be Bamber for his obsequiousness and obliviousness and Nintin Ganatra for his laughter and absurdness but also his joie de vivre! Hmmm…now that I write this he is probably my favourite!! As for the Mr Collins in ‘Lost in Austen’, he was downright creepy….

    Congratulations and I love the cover art to your book!!!

  11. I like Hollander. He has a grave look about him. They are all terrific in their own way though. It makes me want to go and watch them all again. Thanks for writing another great book!

  12. Congratulations on the new release, Jack! Enjoyed the excerpt, I am sure it’s a great read.

    I am torn on this – you are right, it’s not easy! I think both Rennie and Bamber did a really good job at it; I did enjoy Hollander in the 2005 film. I agree he is not as Jane Austen described him physically, but he did a good job of eliciting some sympathy for the character which I don’t think any of the others achieved (nor should they have to either, but just saying). Guy Henry was just… odious in the role (and I didn’t think much of his brothers either!) I don’t recall Mr Collins from the 1940 film but then it is probably 30 years since I’ve seen it, and all I can recall of Ganatra in Bride & Prejudice is that he more comical than odious.

    Like I said – I am torn! I think if I have to define my ‘favourite’ interoperation, I will go with Tom Hollander (I just love him as an actor) even though it’s not the most accurate.

  13. I would have to say my favorite Mr. Collins is Hollander (although Hollander was not the Austen described Collins, he did wonderful in the part-he’s a phenomenal actor!). To me, Rennie seems Bamber on the other hand made my skin crawl-just too gross and WAY off Austen’s description (although it is by far my favorite adaptation).

  14. I like Tom Hollander’s performance. Though not quite as described by Jane Austen. I liked seeing him be out of place such as his curtsey instead of a gentlemans bow before LADY CATHERINE. By the end I felt rather sorry for him.

  15. Congratulations on your latest release, Jack. The premise of the story has piqued my interest as I think Mary and Mr Collins are compatible and have the same temperament. Opposites attract but some people marry a person who share a similar interest like them.

    I would like to say that I like the portrayals of David Bamber, Guy Henry and Nitin Ganatra but I think Nitin’s portrayal is the best. He’s so funny and ridiculous that I always laugh when he appears on screen.

  16. I would have to say that Tom Hollander would have to be y favorite Mr. Collins. The way Collins lears at Elizabeth like he’s a hawk looking at his prey just gives me the shivers…it’s creepy feeling. (Reminds me of a former boy friend wanna be) He doesn’t make eye contact when proposing and seems to be trying to convince himself Elizabeth is the right choice as much if not more than proposing to her. Then when Elizabeth’s mom is trying to convince Mr. Bennet to make Lizzy marry Mr. Collins he can be seen preening in the mirror in the background. Holland made him so ridiculous it brought humor to the self-important, self-righteous, obsequious character.

  17. Tom Hollander is my pick. Not as oily or obsequious as Bamber but still a rather self-important ridiculous little man. I DID think he was a bit small (my apologies Mr. Hollander) for the part, but thought he did it very well. I always enjoy your books Mr. Caldwell, looking forward to this one.

  18. My pick is Tom Hollander. Stephanie L hit the point of his height, but his portrayals in Pirates and Gosford shows his acting range of arrogance and desperation. His portrayal of Mr. Collins is creepy as mentioned above plus add slimy and calculating – grand character for you to twist! The excerpt above convinced me – “the Companion of His Future Life” is on my wish list!

    Good luck with your launch!

  19. First of all, Jack — HUGE congrats on your release!!! The book looks and sounds fabulous 😉 .
    And, when it comes to a favorite Mr. Collins, it’s a tossup between Rennie and Bamber for me. I love Hollander as an actor, but I spent much of that version feeling sorry for him, and I most definitely did *not* feel sorry for the Collins in the novel, LOL. The Garvie/Rintoul film version of P&P was the first one I ever saw, just a couple of years after it was released (and just weeks after I read the novel for the first time), so in a lot of ways, I imprinted on those character portrayals. But I could happily watch just about any version of the movie at any time. I love the insights and subtleties that all the actors (Collins and otherwise) bring to the story!

    • Thanks, Marilyn. I must admit, my favorite version of P&P is that 1980 Rintoul/Garvie version. Not only does everyone look right, they sound right. It’s funny! Andrew Davies took a lot of the humor out of the story in 1995, for the sake of drama.

  20. If we’re talking canon, I’l have to say Malcolm Rennie – you’re right, he looked closest to Jane Austen’s description, although I wish Fay Weldon didn’t go so wildly off-course (what was with the weird hat-contraption that Mr Collins ended up wearing???). On the other hand, if we’re talking about an actually likeable Mr Collins, I’ll have to say Tom Hollander hands down – if it wasn’t for Mr Darcy, I might have rooted for him to get the girl 🙂

  21. Oh my goodness I want to read this! I am NOT a fan of Mr Collins however the thought of reading a story where Lizzy marries him appeals to me 🙂 Just to see what happens! She would have put him in his place one day 1 LOL! Thank you 🙂

      • Oh my gosh I totally read that wrong – actually this makes more sense to me because I always wondered why in the original P&P he never considered Mary as a wife – I always thought she was more like HIM than any of the other girls. I do think Mary can hold her own – I believe she has a great strength of character as is shown in the original book and I think her and Mr Collins will make a great couple! Now I REALLY can’t wait to read it 🙂 Thank you!

  22. I haven’t seen Lost in Austen, and only seen Bride and Prejudice once so can’t make a judgement on those portrayals of Mr Collins. Of the remainder, I thought 95 did a good job of being slimy and objectionable, but it was over the top and he’s wrong physically, as is 2005 Collins, although he was acted closer to how he should have been. I think the closest to Austen’s Mr Collins was probably 1980’s version. However, my personal favourite is the 1940 vintage. He is pompous and self important, but I find him quite funny too, which makes me fond of him despite myself. Plus, he has his own music whenever he comes into the scene! I know the 1940 version had a lot wrong with it, but it was the first version I saw which gives it a special place in my heart, and I felt it kept true to the spirit of the story, even though it wasn’t entirely faithful to period or plot 🙂

  23. I’ve seen the one with Tom Hollander so I’ll pick him. Of course, Mr. Collins is always annoying, no matter who plays him. I believe that I’ve seen Lost in Austen and I got it through an interlibrary loan. Haven’t read any of your books yet but I want to.

  24. Congratulations! I really like the cover of your book.

    To me, Malcolm Rennie always seems close to Austen’s description of Mr. Collins. However, my favorite would have to be Nitin Ganatra — Mr. Kohli was perfectly ridiculous.

  25. I already read your book and really enjoyed it! My favorite Collins is Cooper because I thought he was the closest to the way Austen wrote him. The proposal scene is just hilarious! Glad to have you at Austen Variations, Jack….I love your humor. Are you going to post your P&P from Darcy’s POV here? (Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes…)

  26. Definitely David Bamber except he’s a little too short for the way he’s described in the book, but he certainly is oily and repulsive. I love Tom Hollander as an actor and he’s my second choice.

  27. Oh Jack what a question… Loved the book by the way, I read the kindle version a few weeks ago. I have never seen the 1940 or 1980 versions and after reading all the post comments it seems I will need to correct that. Bamber did a great job of being yucky! I never cared for the Hollander version of Collins, so I would have to say the Bride and Prejudice version would be my favorite Collins.

  28. I forgot to mention that I love the cover. It’s very beautiful and the font of the title and colour scheme used compliments the gorgeous painting. Your designer has done a fabulous job making it stand out from the rest of Austenesque books, Jack.

  29. Rennie is more what I pictured in my head when I read the book. I thought he fit the description of the character well. He seemed harmless and weak-headed. Bamber felt more sinister in some way to me than the character was described but I really enjoyed him and what he did with it. I guess I would say for accuracy, Rennie is my favorite but for sheer feeling, I liked Bamber best.

  30. ive always thought 1995 version was the best portrayal for mr. Collins. I do have to say that I think 2005 version was pleasing to look at though 🙂

    congratulations on new book!

  31. David Bamber was great, but oh so despicable as a match! I truly felt sorry for Charlotte, but he was everything Lady Cat would want. In contrast, Nitin Ganatra was laughable but sympathetic, more comic than ewwwww. So I suppose Nitin would be my favorite modern Collins, and Bamber my favorite Regency Collins. How’s that for waffling for an answre?

  32. I have to admit I haven’t seen all versions of Mr. Collins, so I am not sure I should weigh in. But I have to say I am always riveted by the proposal scene between Tom Hollander-Keira Knightley. She is so extremely mortified and he is so amazingly obtuse! Collins is also more sympathetically portrayed by Hollander, and seems less creepy than other renditions. Of the 4/6 I’ve seen, Guy Henry in Lost in Austen was particularly oily and creepy.

  33. I would be fine with either Malcolm or Nitin because I felt that in both versions they relied on humor and sharing a wink with the audience making Mr. Collins more of an oblivious, but not unkind man. Not the sharpest knife in the draw and certainly full of himself, but not harmful like Wickham either.

    Congratulations on the release of this new book. I love the direction you have taken the story and the excerpt certainly heightened my eagerness to read it. Thanks for your generous giveaway opportunity.

    • The thing with most of Austen’s work is that there is so little true evil in her novels. She relies on humor, particularly the humor of watching proud idiots spout off. For real bad people, fans should read MANSFIELD PARK (Aunt Norris), SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Mrs. Ferras), or LADY SUSAN. Interesting that her worse villains are female.

  34. Will there be any Nook love for those of us who don’t like the Kindle? At least an epub somewhere would not go unpurchased.

    Cooper reminded me a bit of the stoned caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, but he was amusing. I guess Bamber or Ganatra would be my choice. Bamber’s high on the list because his Collins is more memorable than the others to me. Ganatra’s performance is just such fun to watch and he looks like he was really enjoying the role, so I guess that’s my favorite Collins. To be fair to Hollander, I couldn’t get that far in the 2005 version to see his performance — that movie was awful.

    • There will be a NOOK version down the road–stay tuned.

      Try to give the 2005 film another shot. I have my issues with it–I disliked Dame Judi Dench’s interpretation of Lady Catherine–but the director was trying to cram the entire novel into a two-hour film. After watching it a few times, I see he got the feelings of Lizzy and Darcy right. Lizzy is young, and the mistakes she makes is because she is young. The film is funny and the shots are gorgeous. Keira Knightley is a very good actress, and Kelly Reilly is the perfect Caroline Bingley ice-queen.

  35. I will have to go with Bamber. There are several movies there I have not seen, so I’m going to have to remedy that! I just like how bumbling he is. He has synchophatic down perfectly! And I’m sure I’ll have your book relatively soon – I just can’t stop myself!!

  36. Bamber ‘s inimitable interpretation of Collins is the winner for me!
    bumbling and stumbling – his moral sentiments add so much humour to what he believes sacred…
    his reaction to Lydia in mid dress, then his later demeanor when he comes to ‘counsel’ the cousins at Lydia’s elopement –
    Bamber is a definite addition to the movie and to Rev Collins’ repertoire!

  37. The book’s cover is fantastic, it’s really a great job! I love the idea and the excerpt!
    As Mr Collins I love David Bamber, I saw it in other plays and I think that he did his better to pait the caracter in the good way. Above all I love the speaking he used.
    Good luck for your book!

  38. Congrats on the release of your fourth novel Jack! Great excerpt, the story sounds like a lot of fun! I look forward to reading the novel in its entirety very soon. I know it shouldn’t make a difference but most of the books I read are by women. So I thoroughly enjoy your story telling from a mans perspective 🙂
    1980 Pride and Prejudice is the adaptation I first fell in love with and Mr Collins is portrayed more like Jane Austen’s version. He is awkward and clumsy. I love that aqua hat or whatever Charlotte called it. The look on her face in that scene is hilarious.
    My favourite is David Bamber, Andrew Davies adaptation is exceptional. Guy is the creepiest by far!

  39. I’m gonna buck the trend here a bit and declare that the Collins I like best is Maxwell Glick, who portrayed Ricky Collins in the YouTube/Twitter/Facebook re-telling “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”. He wasn’t portly, by Jane Austen’s description, but he was so earnest and enthusiastic about things that he clearly had no clue about. It was the first Collins I had seen at whom I truly enjoyed laughing. Other performances were brilliant, but bored me a little with the long speeches and subservient ways. (Plus I just went “EWWWW” when they tried to “get carried away by [their] feelings”.)

    If you haven’t seen “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” I highly recomend it. The same people are currently in the middle of a “Emma” retelling entitled “Emma Approved”

  40. Owning copies of each movie in one form or another, I have to say that I think Rennie most fits Jane Austen’s descriptions. His scene with the hat on while planting whatever and the looks Charlotte and Elizabeth exchange are priceless! Bamber stands out in my mind, when Collins is mentioned in most conversations, as that is the version of the movie I have watched the most often. But he is so over the top…just his hair, alone, turns me off and then he keeps scraping and bowing to Lady Catherine. Tom Hollander is the best looking of the bunch and I loved his performance in “Wives and Daughters”. Nitin Ganatra’s scene at the table is very funny but, to me, he is not Mr. Collins. I can’t remember Guy Henry’s acting even though I own the DVD (will have to watch again but have Bride & Prejudice playing in the background at present.) So my vote for favorite goes to Rennie as he most portrays Jane’s description of the role.

  41. Oh, BTW: love the cover on the book, also, which is now on my wish list, also. Will definitely get it one way or another. Always thought Collins should have married Mary.

  42. I am late to the party, but I could not pass up on the fun of comparing the Mr. Collinses! I’ve seen all the films except Bride & Prejudice, and I must say that David Bamber was my favorite. He was so…GREASY! And sniveling…and pompous…and had such an affected manner…and was genuinely, undoubtedly stupid. When Elizabeth tricks him into leaving after he comes to the Bennet household to pay his condolences after Lydia had run off, I howled. He fancies himself in love with Charlotte Lucas two minutes after Lizzy’s rejection of his ridiculous marriage proposal. He can’t stop talking about Lady Catherine; he can’t dance; he can’t play whist. Where does it end?? Tom Hollander was good, but he did not come across as the type of totally ridiculous man Lizzy would have rejected; he’s halfway tolerable. Guy Henry was also very good, but choosing voluntarily not to consummate his marriage?? Not believable, even for a man so immersed in Fordyce’s sermons. So there you have it!

    Can’t wait to read your book – I, too, always thought Mary Bennet should have been the one to marry Mr. Collins.

  43. I liked Ganatra actually… he was just so ridiculous you felt sorry for him & liked him (in a sympathetic way) at the same time.

  44. Congratulations on the re-launch of your book! I must admit to have never read an Austen adaptation written by a guy. Of course I’ve never met a guy who has read the book and loved it either, but I’m really looking forward to reading it and seeing if there is a difference between male and female Jane Austen fan writers.

  45. Pingback: The Companion of His Future Life by Jack Caldwell | Gioia Recs…

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