Slight delay on this post – completely my fault I forgot to post it.
Continuing from my previous countdown, here are my final and top adaption/sequels:
5) Death comes to Pemberley
The PD James murder mystery novel inspired by Austen’s characters, and later the tv adaption of PD James book, is a sort of sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Here we find all the characters a few years later and life has carried on for the Darcy’s and Bingley’s. Mr and Mrs Darcy are living seemingly quite happily, but Wickham and Lydia soon show up and even within the happiest of marriages, cracks might start to appear especially when one Wickham is sentenced to murder.
Whilst it does try to keep the feeling of Austen, it is definitely unique in its storytelling. I love a good murder mystery, and cross it with my favourite book, it was always going to be a hit for me. If you’re a fan of Austen, PD James or murder mystery – you might enjoy this.
4) Bride and Prejudice
Who would’ve known transplanting 1700’s Austen’s story of prejudices, vanity and silliness to modern India would work? But it sort of does, in an homage to Austen sort of way. It isn’t a very true to words version of Pride and Prejudice but I love the upbeat singing, dancing and frivolity of it all. It is a wonderful film to see if you haven’t seen a Bollywood production before, as it is familiar enough to follow, it is predominantly English, so no language barriers and the singing and dancing interludes are fun to watch.
This book is high on my list for purely personal reasons. I have always loved books and have spent many hours perusing book shops. I read Pride and Prejudice whilst still quite young, I was an early and eager reader, so wanted to read anything and everything. Once finished, I wanted to know more. I did eventually read other Austen novels, but at that moment, I was desperate to find out what next? Would the love Elizabeth and Mr Darcy shared be enough to help them get past all their foibles and issues? My biggest issue back then, was no internet, no google, we had the library. Libraries and librarians are amazing places, still are. Google is awesome but you cannot beat the knowledge of a librarian. Anyway, I digress. So I wanted to see if there was anything I could read that came after, did Austen write notes for a sequel? Did she continue it in her other stories? Alas, she didn’t but my librarian suggested Emma Tenant’s Pemberley: a sort of sequel.
It may not be the best writing ever, and the story somewhat falters and irks me in some ways, but it will always be the first time I really got into something so much, that I wanted to find out more. I wanted to discover more about this unique love story, about these characters. This obsessive, quirk of my personality has pretty much stood the test of time, as my friends will tell you, when I get into something, I really get into it. There are worst things, I could be obsessed with, than books, programmes and music though, so I like to think of it as a positive.
So it is for this reason, it is high on my list of adaptions. Emma Tenant is relatively accurate with her language and she sort of gets the character but there are some parts of the story which don’t ring true and it’s not an amazing sequel, but it opened up my world of looking into other variants of things I already love.
2) mini series Pride and Prejudice (1980)
I am not old enough to have watched this version first time around, which is why I think I place it second. I think if I had watched it first, this might well be my favourite version. But being an ’86 baby, the 1995 P&P was my first foray into the mini series/period drama world. And I like everyone fell in love with Firth’s Darcy and Jennifer Ehles turn as Elizabeth was pretty darn good.
I have always loved Austen since I very first read P&P all those years ago, and whilst at university, and having a bit of spare money and time. I found this older version of P&P and had to give it a go. I love it. I really do. It stays quite faithful to the original story, the characters are believable and the costumes are beautiful. I didn’t fall in love with Mr Darcy in this version though, so there’s a small negative but in all honesty, the main reason I love Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. And I like her in this version so I am good. I love her funny wit, intelligence and general character, she will never grow old. Characters like Lizzie Bennet will inspire for generations as the times may change but the idea of standing up for oneself, doing things for yourself and making your own decisions will forever ring true.
1) BBC mini series Pride and Prejudice (1995)
I think for my entire generation, Pride and Prejudice probably started as a favourite due to this version. It introduced a whole new generation to the beauty of regency costume, Austen’s wonderful characters, Elizabeth’s wit and Mr Darcy’s charm.
Although, it may not be the favourite for everyone. I love it. As I previously mentioned, as much as I like the love story between the leads, and the Bingley’s, it is Elizabeth that carries the story for me and Jennifer Ehle makes this version for me. Her facial features, smirks and charm really sell Lizzie for me. I don’t think I will ever see another Elizabeth performed as well as by Ehle.
Some honorary mentions (for various reasons) didn’t make it onto this list. The good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I know Zombies are big at the minute, with the whole walking dead thing, and I appreciate wanting to bring P&P into a modern world by relating it to something in the media right now, but in honesty I don’t get it. I haven’t completed the book, as I got a bit fed up and I haven’t ever given the movie a chance, so I am not going to slate I as I have no right as I haven’t managed to complete either form of it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. But I know some people who love it, so if you fancy it give it a go, and come back and try to sell it to me!
Pride and Prejudice (1940’s film)
I love watching a classic film. From Blue Lamp with my dad, to Its a wonderful life or white Christmas at Christmas time. This version of Pride and Prejudice is not one of those classics that I fell I instantly fell in love with. I think once you have seen a modern version you fell in love with, its hard to see other versions in the same light. But after a few years I rewatched this, and it has a certain level of charm and beauty to it. Not enough for it to make my list but it’s worth a watch just to see Lawrence Olivier play Mr Darcy in a way, that I imagine would have pleaded Jane herself.
I have never really been able to see how this relates to Jane Austen at all, other than Colin Firth playing a Darcy again, I feel this is where the similarities end. I’m not saying it’s a bad film but I don’t understand why so many Austen fans are such n=huge fans of this series. Something must be lost on me.
And now for some adaptions I haven’t read and would like to:
Prom and Prejudice
I hope you enjoyed my countdown, tell me what your favourite Austen is ? Did you enjoy Pride and Prejudice? What adaptions did you enjoy?