Remembering Jane Austen

Today marks 200 years since the untimely death of much-loved author Jane Austen. Yet despite being penned over two centuries ago, her works are still loved and remembered.

To celebrate the life, work and times of Jane Austen we are listing some of our all-time favourite adaptions of the classics novels. Although die-hard fanatics may declare that this is very un-Austen of us, we think that her original works are not only masterpieces in themselves but have given inspiration to some truly entertaining works of fiction.

If we’ve missed your favourite Austen adaption, leave us a comment below!

Pride and Prejudice (1995 – BBC TV Miniseries)

imageWhat’s it about? Retelling the story of lively and rebellious Elizabeth (Jennifer Ehle), one of five unmarried daughters living in the countryside of 19th century England, in a world where an advantageous marriage is a woman’s sole occupation. Who can forget Colin Firth as the brooding and proud Mr Darcy?

Top quote: “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.”

Get your copy here

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

What’s it about? Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

  • lose 7 pounds
  • stop smoking
  • develop Inner Poise

Bridget_Jones_Diary_thumbnail_V3-approved_640x360_366640195547Based on the novel by Helen Fielding, this Pride and Prejudice adaptation hits the mark with self-aware Bridget as she attempts to navigate the adult world of love, work and alcohol.

Top quote: “December 25, weight 140 pounds plus 42 mince pies. Alcohol units, oh, thousands. BUGGER OFF!”

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Emma (1996)

emma.29422What’s it about? Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit – matchmaking. Set in rural 1800s England, things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.

Top quote: “I rode through the rain! I’d – I’d ride through worse than that if I could just hear your voice telling me that I might, at least, have some chance to win you.”

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Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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What’s it about? Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are left to try and find happiness in the tightly structured society of 18th century England.

Starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.

Top quote: “Can he love her? Can the soul be really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn – to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinervere or Heloise…”

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Northanger Abbey (2007)

NORTHANGERAbbeyCatherineWhat’s it about? When Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones) is given the opportunity to stay with the childless Allen family in Bath, and is hoping for an adventure of the type she has been reading in novels. Soon introduced to society, her penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings. Catherine soon learns that status, class and money are all equally important when it comes to matters of the heart.

Top quote: “Now I must give you one smirk, then we can be rational again.”

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Lost in Austen (2008 – TV Program)

lost-in-austen-original3What’s it about? A thoroughly modern heroine threatens to ruin one of the world’s greatest literary love stories in this ingenious reinvention of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Bored bank worker Amanda Price literally becomes lost in her favourite Austen book, after she finds a strange portal in her bathroom and swaps places with its heroine Elizabeth Bennet. As she gets to know the Bennet family and encounters the famous Mr Darcy, how can she keep this celebrated romance on track?

Top quote: “I’m not hung up about Darcy. I do not sit at home with the pause button on Colin Firth in clingy pants, okay? I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and language and the courtesy. It’s become part of who I am and what I want. I’m saying that I have standards.”

Get your copy here

Other Notable Mentions…

Clueless (1995)

movieposterWhat’s it about? This is easily one of the greatest Jane Austen adaptations to hit our screens. Clueless tells the story of a rich high school student’s attempt to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.

Top quote: “Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.”

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012 – YouTube series)

Lizzie_Bennet_Diaries.jpegWhat’s it about? Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a YouTube series! The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was so good it became the first YouTube series to win a Primetime Emmy.

Reimagining Austen’s classic around a fictional vlog filmed in the bedroom of a 24 year-old grad student, living at home and burdened with a mountain of student debt. The story is told in a series of super-short diary styled videos.

Top quote: “Even if she smiles too much. I dislike smiling. It contorts the face.”

You can watch it here.

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