A Jane Austen Rewatch Project for the 200th Anniversary of Her Passing

Books & Mags, Movies & TV

Exactly 200 years ago today, July 18, 1817, my favorite (deceased) author Jane Austen died. In honor of the bicentennial, Husband and I rewatched all of the screen adaptations that we could easily get our hands on.

JASNA Truth Universally Acknowledged Book Always Better

Screencap from the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) web page.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that the book is always better than the movie, but what fun it can be to watch those movies!”

In addition to the versions we own, which are delightfully many…

Jane Austen Rewatch Owned Adaptations

…I hunted down three versions through the local library:

Jane Austen Rewatch Adaptations from Library

All in all, we saw 17 adaptations. In the weeks to come, I’ll post some mini-reviews. I’ll treat them in clusters based on the original Austen work; in other words, every adaptation of Emma we saw is discussed in one post, etc.

And here is the publication / written in order of Austen’s major finished works:

The links lead to my mini reviews.

We wanted to stick with versions of Austen’s novels instead of just anything Austen-related. That meant that the biopic-ish Miss Austen Regrets (2008, with the excellent Olivia Williams as Jane Austen), the fun Death Comes to Pemberley (2013) and Austenland (2013), for example, were out.

Unfortunately, I still missed a few. For example, there’s apparently a Welcome to Sanditon (a modern version of the unfinished novel Sanditon from 2013) that I haven’t seen at all. This time I also skipped a Pride and Prejudice version from 1980 that had some great moments, if memory serves. Ohwell – more to watch another time! 🙂

Please feel free to follow along and comment on your favorites!

12 thoughts on “A Jane Austen Rewatch Project for the 200th Anniversary of Her Passing

  1. I have nearly all the Jane Austen adaptions, (the ones easily found anyway). Which adaptions did you think were best overall and which did you think worst?

    Personally, I found the mansfield park ones were the most disappointing overall, not one quite captured the book. On the other hand, I thought all the sense and sensibility ones really good.

    (Also, because I have to ask, favourite Jane Austen book?)

    1. My favorite novel is Sense & Sensibility. And yours? I think Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey could use a new adaptation; they seem pretty consistently to get the short straw.

      1. Agreed, Persuasion is also wonderful. The older I get, the more I appreciate Anne being older than the other Austen heroines.

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