Best Jane Austen Adaptations

I’m a few weeks late on my Top 10 Tuesday post for the page to screen freebie prompt.

I love movie adaptations because they allow us to see our favorite books in a new way. I must admit, there are a few movie adaptations that I really have issues with (The Hobbit trilogy for a relatively short book and Prince Caspian [where did they come up with that script?]) but those are exceptions not the rule. Overall, I am able to separate the two and appreciate them both. I love the Harry Potter books and the movies as separate entities. I love adaptations of classics. And, of course, I love many adaptations of Jane Austen novels.

So today I am sharing my favorite adaptations for each of her 6 major novels. There are many good adaptations out there; it was hard to narrow these down! Some take liberties with the details (Kiera Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennett telling Mr Darcy his hands are cold when they happen upon each other in the fields in the early morning? I hate that line. I just can’t get over it!) Some are loosely based on the novels (Bride and Prejudice–so fun!) But I always feel nostalgic about watching a Jane Austen movie. There is something so relaxing about watching a great love story on screen snuggled under a favorite blanket eating yummy chocolate 😉

Here are my favorite Jane Austen adaptations! Enjoy!

Pride and Prejudice: BBC 1995 miniseries starring Colin Firth // There is a reason everyone has at least heard of this adaptation (and if you hadn’t yet, you have now, right? 😉 ) I love this miniseries that is so true to the book and includes nearly every detail from the original text. The acting is fantastic. The staging is great. And I (like everyone else) love Colin Firth as Dr Darcy. Yes it’s long. But it’s worth every minute.

Sense and Sensibility: 1995 film starring Emma Thompson // The absolute best part about this movie is the acting. This cast is fantastic! Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman star in this lovely adaptation of one of my recent favorite Austen novels. This one is quite true to the book but is also movie length so you can watch it entirely more easily in one sitting. Love this movie!

Persuasion: 1995 film starring Amanda Root // Okay 1995 was a seriously good year for Jane Austen adaptations! I have loved this adaptation of Persuasion for years. I think it captures the emotions and personalities of the story so well. This novel is the last novel Austen finished and is not as well known as some of the others. But I love the way the story builds to the climactic ending in this film. A favorite!

Emma: 2009 miniseries starring Romola Garai // Emma is the hardest novel to pick only one adaptation for. There are so many fun ones–1996 with Gwyneth Paltrow is particularly good! But when I saw this 4 part miniseries for the first time a few years ago, I was very impressed! They include more details from the book as they have 4 episodes. And I love Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley with Michael Gambon as Mr Woodhouse. This is a lovely adaptation.

Mansfield Park: 1999 film starring Frances O’Connor // I admit this is the only Mansfield Park adaptation I’ve seen and it’s been years since I read the book. But I remember this one being true to the book–which is a bit darker, a bit more weighty than some of her other novels. This isn’t my favorite Austen book or movie. I’m far more likely to turn on Pride and Prejudice or Emma. But the acting is well done. Worth watching to complete your Austen film experience!

Northanger Abbey: 2007 film starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild // Thanks to Catherine @ Based on the Book for this Northanger Abbey recommendation. I hadn’t seen an adaptation of this novel in years when I finished rereading the novel at the start of this year. This film is so fun! It plays on the irony in the book about Gothic literature with great music and dramatic scenery. The acting is fun and the characters are simple–just like in the book. It’s a fun adaptation!

What are some of your favorite Jane Austen adaptations?

31 thoughts on “Best Jane Austen Adaptations

  1. squeakybear

    Going back a few years now.

    TV adaptations

    1983 MP. Sylvestra le Touzel as Fanny Price. I loved her in it, but she is one of my favourite actresses

    1980 P & P. Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzie. My personal view is that this is one of the best Lizzies ever. I do appreciate that this series probably looks a bit dated now. David Rintoul was excellent as Darcy. His looks and interpretation bear a striking resemblance to Colin Firth (that should probably be the other way round!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the classic recommendations!! I definitely need to check out that MP–just finished my reread last week and would love to see it on screen again. And I’m intrigued by that P&P adaptation. I haven’t seen any pre Colin Firth 😉 Thanks again!


  2. squeakybear

    Sense and Sensibility 1995 is one of my favourites. Alan Rickman was divine as Col Brandon. The only slightly negative thing was, despite the first class script and acting, Emma Thompson was too old for Elinor. In spite of that, it was very good

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  3. Pingback: May Wrap-Up and June TBR – greenish bookshelf

    1. squeakybear

      Must read them! My A level English teacher (in the 1960s) always told us that Jane Austen was the best and most faultless writer in the English language

      Liked by 2 people

  4. These are all my favourites too! Except Mansfield park – I couldn’t get past the first half hour because Fanny was so different to her book character, which is a shame because other than that I really liked the casting and the look. Glad you liked Northanger Abbey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. squeakybear

      Not too many adaptations of MP. I think the worst one was Billie Piper. I have nothing against her as an actress but she was totally wrong for Fanny

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are all so wonderful! I’ve seen the Mansfield Park movie, years ago — as I recall, it departs from the book pretty substantially, doesn’t it? (Maybe I should watch again.) I love this version of Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion too! I’m definitely not a fan of the Keira Knightley P&P (although I love Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett). I adore Bride & Prejudice! (I also love Pride & Prejudice & Zombies… so my tastes are a little odd.) I think Love & Friendship (based on Lady Susan) was wonderful too. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa!

      You know, I couldn’t say how much MP differs from the book–its been years on reading and seeing it.

      Haha it’s so fun to hear which adaptations you enjoy–especially as we have several similar favorites! I have heard good things about Love and Friendship–I still need to see it!


  6. My favourite is probably the Northanger Abbey adaptation you mentioned, I absolutely love it! Have you tried watching the 2007 (I think) movie adaptation for Persuasion? I actually prefer that one to the 1995 version, but that’s just personal preference 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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