Jane Austen in popular culture

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Jane Austen's "power" in Hollywood cinema parodied in Entertainment Weekly.

The author Jane Austen, as well as her works, have been represented in popular culture in a variety of forms.

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose social commentary and masterly use of both free indirect speech and irony eventually made her one of the most influential and honoured novelists in English literature. In popular culture, Austen's novels and her personal life have been adapted into film, television, and theatre, with adaptations varying greatly in their faithfulness to the original.

As a character[edit]

Film and television[edit]

In 2007, Anne Hathaway starred as Austen in Becoming Jane.[1] Based on the biography Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Hunter Spence,[2] the film centred on Jane Austen's early life, her development as an author, and the posited romantic relationship with Thomas Langlois Lefroy (James McAvoy).[1]

Miss Austen Regrets, a television movie starring Olivia Williams as Jane Austen, was released in the same year. Based on Austen's surviving letters, the semi-biographical television movie focused on the last few years of Jane Austen's life as she looked back on her life and loves and helped her favourite niece, Fanny Knight (Imogen Poots), find a husband.

Theater[edit]

JANE, the musical debuted in June 2006 in the West Midlands, England. It is a West-End style musical theatre production based on the life of Jane Austen. The musical, directed by Geetika Lizardi, focuses on Austen as a modern heroine, a woman who chose art and integrity over the security of a loveless marriage.

Literature[edit]

Jane Austen features as an amateur sleuth in Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen series of historical mystery novels.

Video Games[edit]

Jane Austen is revealed as the narrator of 2013's Saints Row IV in a bonus cutscene, and the game's antagonist reads the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice on an in-game radio station.

Sense and Sensibility[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Elinor Dashwood Marianne Dashwood Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1971 Sense and Sensibility
Television Miniseries
Joanna David Ciaran Madden David Giles Denis Constanduros
1981 Sense and Sensibility
Television Miniseries
Irene Richard Tracey Childs Rodney Bennett Alexander Baron
1995 Sense and Sensibility
Feature Film
Emma Thompson Kate Winslet Ang Lee Emma Thompson [3]
2008 Sense and Sensibility
Television Miniseries
Hattie Morahan Charity Wakefield John Alexander Andrew Davies [4]

Looser adaptations[edit]

Other references[edit]

Pride and Prejudice[edit]

This section lists film, theatre, and television adaptations only.
For literary adaptations, see: List of literary adaptations of Pride and Prejudice.

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Elizabeth Bennet Fitzwilliam Darcy Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1938 Pride and Prejudice Curigwen Lewis Andrew Osborn Michael Barry
1940 Pride and Prejudice
Feature film
Greer Garson Laurence Olivier Robert Z. Leonard Aldous Huxley
Helen Jerome
Jane Murfin
1952 Pride and Prejudice
Television miniseries
Daphne Slater Peter Cushing Campbell Logan Cedric Wallis
1957 Orgoglio e pregiudizio
Television miniseries
Virna Lisi Franco Volpi Daniele D'Anza Edoardo Anton An adaptation in Italian.
1958 Pride and Prejudice
Television miniseries
Jane Downs Alan Badel Cedric Wallis
1961 De vier dochters Bennet
Television miniseries
Lies Franken Ramses Shaffy Cedric Wallis
Lo van Hensbergen
An adaptation in Dutch.
1967 Pride and Prejudice
Television miniseries
Celia Bannerman Lewis Fiander Joan Craft Nemone Lethbridge
1980 Pride and Prejudice
Television miniseries
Elizabeth Garvie David Rintoul Cyril Coke Fay Weldon
1995 Pride and Prejudice
Television miniseries
Jennifer Ehle Colin Firth Simon Langton Andrew Davies
2005 Pride & Prejudice
Feature film
Keira Knightley Matthew Macfadyen Joe Wright Deborah Moggach

Looser adaptations[edit]

Other references[edit]

  • In the episode "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" of Futurama, Fry follows the leader of the brainspawn into several books, including Pride and Prejudice, where Fry is in attendance at a ball where the brain is introduced as the most eligible bachelor.

Theater[edit]

  • Pride and Prejudice (1935), a Broadway play, and the basis for the 1940 film
  • First Impressions (1959), Broadway musical version of Pride and Prejudice
  • Pride and Prejudice, a straight play version by Jon Jory
  • Pride and Prejudice (1995), a musical by Bernard J. Taylor
  • Pride and Prejudice (forthcoming, 2013), Simon Reade's stage adaptation to be performed at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Mansfield Park[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Fanny Price Edmund Bertram Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1983 Mansfield Park
Television miniseries
Sylvestra Le Touzel Nicholas Farrell David Giles Kenneth Taylor
1999 Mansfield Park
Feature Film
Frances O'Connor Jonny Lee Miller Patricia Rozema Patricia Rozema
2007 Mansfield Park
Television miniseries
Billie Piper Blake Ritson Iain B. MacDonald Maggie Wadey

Looser adaptations[edit]

  • Metropolitan (1990), directed by Whit Stillman, was a loose adaptation[citation needed] set in modern day Manhattan and Long Island. (Jane Austen is also mentioned throughout the film.)
  • From Mansfield With Love (2014), a YouTube Vlog adaptation of Mansfield Park by Foot in the Door Theatre. Starting in November 2014.

Theater[edit]

Emma[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Emma Woodhouse George Knightley Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1948 Emma
Feature film
Judy Campbell Ralph Michael Michael Barry Judy Campbell
1960 Emma
Television miniseries
Diana Fairfax Paul Daneman Campbell Logan Vincent Tilsley
1972 Emma
Television miniseries
Doran Godwin John Carson John Glenister Denis Constanduros
1996 Emma
Feature film
Gwyneth Paltrow Jeremy Northam Douglas McGrath Douglas McGrath
1996 Emma
Television miniseries
Kate Beckinsale Mark Strong Diarmuid Lawrence Andrew Davies
2009 Emma
Television miniseries
Romola Garai Jonny Lee Miller Jim O'Hanlon Sandy Welch

Looser adaptations[edit]

  • Clueless (1995), a modernisation of the novel set in a Beverly Hills high school. The film was directed by Amy Heckerling and stars Alicia Silverstone.
  • Clueless (1996), a TV show based on the 1995 film.
  • "Aisha" (2010) is a Hindi-language film set in Delhi that is a modernisation of Emma and is based on Clueless. The film was directed by Rajshree Ojha and stars Sonam Kapoor.
  • Emma Approved (2013–), a YouTube adaptation in which Emma Woodhouse (Joanna Sotomura) is a matchmaker who documents her ventures into the matchmaking business with her assistant Harriet Smith (Dayeanne Hutton) and confidant Alex Knightley (Brent Bailey).

Northanger Abbey[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Catherine Morland Henry Tilney Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1986 Northanger Abbey
Television Film
Katharine Schlesinger Peter Firth Giles Foster Maggie Wadey
2007 Northanger Abbey
Television Film
Felicity Jones J. J. Feild Jon Jones Andrew Davies

Persuasion[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Adaptation Anne Elliot Capt. Frederick Wentworth Director Screenwriter Reference Notes
1960 Persuasion
Television Miniseries
Daphne Slater Paul Daneman Campbell Logan Barbara Burnham
Michael Voysey
1971 Persuasion
Television Miniseries
Ann Firbank Bryan Marshall Howard Baker Julian Mitchell
1995 Persuasion
Television Film
Amanda Root Ciarán Hinds Roger Michell Nick Dear Originally a Television movie, it was released in US theatres by Sony Pictures Classics.
2007 Persuasion
Television Film
Sally Hawkins Rupert Penry-Jones Adrian Shergold Simon Burke

Sanditon[edit]

Film[edit]

Looser adaptations[edit]

  • Welcome To Sanditon (2013), starring Allison Paige, is a modernisation of the unfinished novel that is set in the fictitious town of Sanditon, California. The web series is a spin-off of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries created by Hank Green and Bernie Su.

Other references[edit]

  • The 1980 film Jane Austen in Manhattan is about rival stage companies who wish to produce the only complete Austen play, the fictional Sir Charles Grandison, which had been recently discovered.[12]
  • In the radio sitcom Old Harry's Game, Jane Austen is a minor recurring character who is in Hell. In it, Austen is discovered to have been incredibly violent, rude and foul-mouthed personally. As a result, she is one of the few people in Hell that Satan is frightened of and whom other sinners such as Hitler look up to.
  • In the science fiction book series Remnants, a subculture group called "Janes" emulate the mannerisms and ideals of the characters in Jane Austen's novels.
  • In the British TV series Blackadder the Third, Mr. E. Blackadder explains he gave himself a female pseudonym when writing a book. Insisting that every other male author is doing it, Blackadder explains that Jane Austen is really a burly Yorkshireman with a heavy beard. In addition to this, in a deliberate nod to the third series being set in the Regency period, each episode had a title loosely punning Sense and Sensibility, e.g. "Sense and Senility", "Ink and Incapability".
  • The 2005 book Kafka's Soup, a literary pastiche in the form of a cookbook, contains a recipe for tarragon eggs à la Jane Austen.[13]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Macdonald, Gina and Andrew Macdonald, eds. Jane Austen on Screen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-521-79325-4.
  • Pucci, Suzanne Rodin and James Thompson, eds. Jane Austen and Co.: Remaking the Past in Contemporary Culture. Buffalo: State University of New York Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7914-5615-6.
  • Troost, Linda and Sayre Greenfield, eds. Jane Austen in Hollywood. 2nd ed. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8131-9006-8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Becoming Jane – The Official DVD Website" (Press release). Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Masterpiece Classic – Jane Austen Selected Resources – Books/Biographies" (Press release). Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Lee, Ang, dir. Sense and Sensibility. Adap. Emma Thompson. Perf. Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant. Columbia Pictures, 1995. DVD.
  4. ^ Alexander, John, dir. Sense and Sensibility. Adap. Andrew Davies. Perf. David Morrissey, Janet McTeer, Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, Dominic Cooper, Mark Williams, Claire Skinner, Anna Madeley, Daisy Haggard. BBC, 2008. DVD.
  5. ^ Pride and Prejudice (2003) at the Internet Movie Database.
  6. ^ See Jennifer M. Woolston's "'It's not a put-down, Miss Bennet; it's a category': Andrew Black's Chick Lit Pride and Prejudice," Persuasions Online 28.1 (Winter 2007).Jasna.org
  7. ^ Burstein, Nathan (6 November 2008). "Mr. Darcy's Israeli Makeover". The Forward. 
  8. ^ lizziebennet.com
  9. ^ http://www.youtube.com/user/lizziebennet
  10. ^ Quirke, Kieron (16 August 2011). "Mansfield Park, Arcola Theatre – Review". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Stebbing, Eve (24 September 2012). "Mansfield Park, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - Review". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  12. ^ BBC News. 2004. Rare Austen manuscript unveiled
  13. ^ C J Schüler (13 November 2005). "Kafka's Soup by Mark Crick". The Independent. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Jane Austen's Fight Club
  15. ^ Staskiewicz, Keith (30 July 2010). "I am Jane's pinching corset: We talk to the creator of 'Jane Austen's Fight Club'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 August 2010.