Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reader Question #13: Introducing Someone to Jane Austen

Continuing with the questions that Charity from Austenitis sent me, it's time for another Reader Question! Charity asked:
If you had a friend who had never watched a period drama, but was ready to start with a Jane Austen film...which one would you recommend?

I suppose it would depend on the friend in question. There are two Jane Austen films I would recommend as a first period drama, but which one that I would recommend to a friend depends on certain conditions...

If Time Isn't a Concern: Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Of course, five hours would be daunting to the period drama newbie, but I think the story is so well told and so well explained in this version that I would recommend it very quickly. And after all, this was my first Jane Austen adaptation (not counting the Wishbone episode, of course ;-) ). Since it's a miniseries, the story is divided up into sections so you can watch a section at a time without having to sit through all five hours in a row. It's not much different than watching a couple of episodes of a TV show. And, since Pride and Prejudice is usually the Jane Austen book that people are introduced to Jane Austen through, and since this is (in my opinion) the best version out there, I would recommend it.

For Those Wanting to Start with Something Shorter: Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Five hours too daunting? Want to start off with something shorter to see if you would like it? Then I would recommend the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility. Even though this version of Sense and Sensibility isn't as accurate to the story as it could have been, it's still a pretty good starter for a Jane Austen film. The overall tone of the story is in this movie, the acting is good, and you get a pretty solid representation of Jane Austen in about two and a half hours.

Would you recommend these two films to a Period Drama Newbie? What would be your Jane Austen recommendations for someone new to period dramas? Leave a comment!

Thank you, Charity, for sending in your question. If you have a question you would like to submit for me to do a post on, leave a comment. Just follow these guidelines. It can be about anything related to this blog: period dramas, blogging, reviews, etc.  

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Hi!
    I'm a big fan of your blog...
    and I also have a question: Have your ever watched Washington Square by Henry James?
    It might be interesting for you if you like American novels, too.
    If you know it maybe you can recommend a filming.
    And, as I said, I'm not very good in English.
    Miss Woodhouse

    1. Hi Miss Woodhouse,
      I haven't seen Washington Square, but I'll keep an eye out for it. I'm pleased to see that Maggie Smith is in it.

  2. I would probably start with the more recent round of adaptations, for someone who's never watched a costume drama - the '90s production values and somewhat drier scripts can be a barrier to the story, for people who aren't used to them. Northanger Abbey for those crunched for time; S&S for those who aren't.


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