Jane Austen Anniversary Poll


On July 18, 1817, Jane Austen died. To celebrate one of our very favorite authors, let’s see how you all feel about the modern film and TV adaptions of her novels.








Alright, now tell us in the comments, why did you pick your favorite Jane Austen film/TV adaptions?


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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

22 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Great poll. I really had to think about the selections in some cases: I barely remember Northanger Abbey of the 1980s, but I did remember that it was really good and kinda sent up the Gothick novels of the period. Jane would be proud bc that’s what she intended. The Amanda Root Persuasion was the other that gave me fond memories. Ciarain Hinds. Need one say more.
    What about another on 2ND favourite adaptation. Jane deserves it.

  2. Fran in NYC

    The 1980 Pride & Prejudice was very good but the 1995 one was really memorable. I like it when an adaptation takes its time to tell the story. I didn’t vote on Northanger Abbey because I didn’t pay any attention to any of them. Not my favorite Austen novel. I didn’t see any of the Mansfield Parks; the iffy reviews kept me away. None of them seemed to deal fairly with Fanny. I loved the 1995 Persuasion! Never saw the later one but I don’t care! I like Sally Hawkins but she’s no Amanda Root in this role. You can’t beat Ciaran Hinds either!

  3. MoHub

    Clueless needed to be included in the Emma adaptations. The Austenites among us immediately recognized the story. Also, I’d have appreciate a “None of the above” option for Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey.

  4. Charity

    My choices:

    Emma Thompson S&S. I won’t lie, I think Hugh Grant is terrible as Edward (I love him in modern things, but he felt stiff / uncomfortable here) but the hilarity / the deadpan humor / the droll everything / the emotional overreactions, etc., is just SO PRICELESS in this version. (I love the newer miniseries as well, but I just didn’t like the Brandon they picked.)

    Keira Knightley P&P. I know this is an unpopular choice, and I love the longer series as well — but when I want a quick Lizzie/Darcy fix (instead of a 6 hour one) I go for this. Less screen time means Mrs. Bennett has less time to make me want to murder her. ;) But hands down, I prefer Colin Firth as Darcy. MacFayden doesn’t do it for me.

    Paltrow’s Emma. That was my first introduction to Jane Austen and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I love how likable she is despite being catty, and I just adore Jeremy Northam’s Mr. Knightley. He makes him much less harsh / abrasive than the other adaptations — he’s charming and kind even when he’s being harsh. Yes, please.

    No opinion on the rest; I hated all the Mansfield Park adaptations and have never liked Persuasion, sadly. I’ve tried and it just feels… blah.

    • Charity

      PS: I should also mention that I absolutely LOVED Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Oh my word, I have never laughed so hard in a movie theater in my life. Matt Smith’s Mr. Collins just about killed me, in all the best ways. He’s my favorite Collins. Ever.

  5. Megan

    What I love about the 2009 Emma was the additional context for Frank and Jane Fairfax. The creators filled in some information which would have been more implicitly evident to contemporary readers than they are to a modern audience.

  6. drush76

    I couldn’t vote on which adaptation of “PERSUASION” was better. Also, you forgot one last nomineee – the 1971 adaptation that starred Ann Firbank and Bryan Marshall.

  7. Sarah Walsh

    You didn’t include the best Emma of them all, the 1979 BBC. I know it’s stiff, I know it’s dated, I know Harriet is insufferably saccharine, but it’s THE best Knightley-Emma relationship, hands down. With the other pairings, they’re both so pretty (and close in age) that it’s like, well, no surprises here. But in 1979, their blossoming affection for each other is actually not a foregone conclusion, because he actually looks 13 years older!

  8. Bonnie

    The 1995 Persuasion is my favourite Jane Austen adaptation of all time, followed by the 2005 Pride and Prejudice.

  9. Kate D

    Northanger Abbey is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I love both movie versions, but JJ Feild is perfect as Henry and I love Felicity Jones’ expressions in her Gothic imaginings!

    The Frances Connor Mansfield Park completely changes the character of Fanny from the book, but it makes for a fun movie!

    Romola Garai gave such an entertaining and youthful portrayal of Emma! Her eye rolls and flopping onto the couch… She is just a delight!

    I may have favorites, but I love all the adaptations listed in this poll. A cup of tea and a Jane Austen movie and I’m in paradise. When I saw Austenland I fell off the couch from laughing too hard.

  10. drush76

    You also forgot the 1971 version of “Sense and Sensibility” with Joanna David and Ciaran Madden, along with the 1972 version of “Emma” with Doran Godwin and John Carson.

  11. Vanessa

    But what about the 1940 Pride & Prejudice with Greer Garson & Laurence Olivier?

    I slogged through all of the early 80s adaptations one weekend a few years ago. I don’t know why.

  12. David Murphy

    A very precise writer but deliberately over-rated by our politically correct society where etiquette is widely regarded as more important than socialbjustice. I am not sure whether most admirers of Austen are aware of her analysis at a deeper level human hypocrisy and immorality.

    • Kendra

      Hmmm, I’d say most people admire her writing precisely BECAUSE she captures the hypocrisy of her society so well.

  13. LE

    I loved certain parts of Lost in Austen. And as much as I love the Felicity Jones version of Northanger Abbey, the Wishbone version with Amy Acker holds a special cute place in my heart.

  14. Warwickian

    While I enjoy the 1995 P&P it, like most of the others, miss what I consider to be an important and salient point. In the book when Elizabeth visits Pemberley with her aunt and uncle there is a moment when she looks out the window and thinks, “And of this place, “thought she, “I might have been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted…I might have rejoiced in them as my own, and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt.–But no,”–recollecting herself,–that could never be: my uncle and aunt would have been lost from me: I should not have been allowed to invite them.” The only version to include this scene is the 1980 P&P with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintole. All the others leave one with the sense that Elizabeth is a bit of a gold digger. The 1995 version uses, “And of this place…I might have been mistress.” Perhaps to others this is silly and picky but to me it gives insight into Elizabeth’s character.

  15. Warwickian

    On the subject of the Keira Knightly P&P I must vent about the costumes. I’m sure someone has written something before and I just haven’t seen it, but I cannot hold back. If I am not mistaken women, once they were out in society, wore hats outside. They were thought to be undressed without one. Yet Keira traipses about everywhere without either gloves or a hat and her hair hanging limply down her back. Just not done. Her clothes are exceedingly dull and shapeless. She looks more like a servant. Matthew doesn’t fair any better. He too never once wears a hat or gloves although men at this level of society were also expected to don both when they went out. Given his class and station in life he dresses in ill fitting clothes more appropriate for a country squire then a gentleman of the upper classes. Finally I can’t leave without commenting on their hair. What a general mess, but maybe if they wore their hats it wouldn’t be so bad. A man of Darcy’s station would have had a well cut head of hair in the latest style not the shaggy dog look that he lopes through the film with. Thank you for letting me vent.


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