Jane Austen’s novels have inspired readers and movie-goers a like. Her novels have been made into numerous remakes and adaptations keeping her stories alive for future generations. Even though Jane Austen’s six novels were written a long time ago, they are still relevant today.
This affinity in constructions of femininity between then and now is perhaps the underlying reason that in the last few years film and television adaptations of novels by Jane Austen and Henry James have been abundant, displaying an original approach to works of fiction which until now had been adapted in a conventional, purist way. Purist adaptations had concentrated on superficial thematic and character concerns of the novels, ignoring the more complex demands of literary theory, which, since the seventies, has attempted drastically to alter our perception of nineteenth-century fiction. Filmmakers are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that their subjective experience as readers of 'canonical' novels offers them an opportunity for original visual translation, especially at a time when a paucity of original scripts is being reported.
The primary impulse for many writers of Austen fanfic, however, is to illuminate an era that really existed, an era near enough to the present to be understandable but far enough in the past to be somewhat opaque.
The Victorian era hold a certain fascination for society, historians, writers, and Jane Austen fans. Austen was from England and wrote about her home land the way she saw it. Her novels mention places such as Bathe and London, and living in the country. Austen created a mental picture for that time era, allowing people to feel transported back in time.
That Austen's novels are performative is not surprising, for performance marks the composition, form, and content of her work. It is worth remembering that the young Austen often read her works aloud to her family, incorporating performance in her process of composition, and that family theatricals were common in the Austen household. More importantly, performance carries significant ideological weight in Austen's novels, not only in the conventional sense of theatre (as noted above in the example from Mansfield Park), but in social performance, in the enactment and assessment of manners...
...that three contemporary, metafictional versions of Pride and Prejudice--Kate Fenton's Lions and Liquorice (LL) (1995), Melissa Nathan's Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field (PPJF) (2000), and most famously, Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary (BJD)(1996) --provide just such an explanation. These novels present models that traverse the space between Austen's fictions and lived experience, and in the process, they expose the mechanisms that coin and circulate Austen's value. Although Austen was not a postmodernist, her work thrives in a postmodern world, and literary strategies of pastiche and metafiction cultivate her authority as they elucidate it...
it seems ironic that today so many people still feel compelled to enact Austen and her fictions, repeatedly traversing the space between their lived experience and her fiction by generating multiple productions of Austen. The impulse to play Austen's role as author, by writing sequels, completions, and supplementary scenes to her works, can be traced back to the nineteenth century when her nieces attempted to finish The Watsons and Sanditon, and such Austen para-literature has been produced steadily ever since. (1) Theatrical versions of Austen have been on the boards at least since the early twentieth century, and the extended 1990s run of Austen on film and television suggests that the market to watch people perform Austen's fictions is still vibrant (Wright; Troost and Greenfield).
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the book is always better than the movie, but what fun we have watching those movies! Jane Austen’s novels have been adapted for television and film since 1938, confirming the fact that bringing Austen’s novels to the small or large screen is not a recent phenomenon. Whether they are faithful adaptations, homages, reinterpretations or modernizations, we love to watch them all – even if we are not always so fond of the finished product as we had wished to be. We are, however, grateful to the producers, writers, directors, actors, and crew who draw attention to the novels of Jane Austen. If you liked the movie, you’ll love the book!
Clueless, a popular film and TV series, interprets Emma Woodhouse as a scheming twentieth-century high school princess named Cher. Bridget Jones's Diary, a hit both as a novel and a film, reimagines Elizabeth Bennet as a thoroughly modern Londoner looking for love and livelihood. Such counterfeits take into account the changing nature of society while never ignoring Austen's insights into human nature...
Pride and Prejudice
The most popular and most reproduced Jane Austen novel is Pride and Prejudice, written in 1813. As of June 2012, six films have been made in total, the most recent being in 2005. Five television versions have been produced by the BBC, the most popular being the 1995 version starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding and its 2001 film adaptation are also based very loosely on Pride and Prejudice.
Jane Austen's novels have all become films, but they also inspired other novels and movies based on the characters, plot, and life of Jane Austen. The 1990s cult classic, "Clueless" is based on Emma. Other movies have been created based on Jane Austen's life, such as "Becoming Jane" starring Ann Hathaway and James McAvoy.
"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously.... Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811
"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
This timeless and universal theme, as well as many others, is prevalent through out the works of Jane Austen. The feelings of love, friendship, loss, and renewal are what draws people again and again to her novels. I love to re-read each one of them. Although the novels are in many ways period books, these emotions, the way Austen's heroins express them, and the different relationships in each book are relatable even today. I love the novels of Jane Austen, and I also love seeing these books brought to life in movies. This is a short review of each of Austen's books and the movies that have been produced and based on them.
Jane Austen's writings (or their inherent themes) have long held a fascination with the viewing public since the advent of motion pictures, be it through movie or in television form. Since the beginning, screenplay writers, directors and actors have tried to capture the spirit and essence of each Jane Austen work with some visions successfully representing their applicable masterpiece while others falling woefully short. Still others have tried and successfully achieved stories by loosely basing their plots on Austen's own work. Anyway the reader approaches it, there is a comprehensive list of just how much the studios have enjoyed Jane's wittiness as there seems no shortage of Jane Austen, or Jane Austen-like, movies for entertaining the masses.