My God, that voice. “The air is full of spices.”
I was a preteen when I first began reading Jane Austen, and naturally I went for the adaptations soon after. I remember getting a VHS (which makes me practically a dinosaur) of the elegant 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility. When I first read the book, I hated Colonel Brandon, and I thought it a grim fate indeed that Marianne should marry him at the end. Colonel Brandon in his flannel waistcoat was no hero for a young girl, and I rejected him heartily.
And then there was Alan Rickman.
Colonel Brandon: What can I do?
Elinor Dashwood: Colonel, you have done so much already…
Colonel Brandon: Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.
–Sense and Sensibility (1995)
From the moment I watched that adaptation, I thought that perhaps Marianne and Colonel Brandon had more in common than I assumed. He was a romantic hero with a deep voice and commanding aspect, and I was subconsciously drawn to him. He managed to make me care for a character who otherwise seemed boring, dull, doomed to flannel waistcoats. Each time I saw him in a movie, he impressed me, and that voice. What a gift of a voice to bring to the world.
I am not much of a crier, but I have to admit that I shed tears when I heard today that Alan Rickman died at the age of 69. I had not read anywhere that he was ill, so it was a shock for me to lose my first Colonel Brandon. He was a magnificent actor and shall be missed by scores of fans.
Rest in peace, Alan Rickman.