All Things Jane Austen

“All Jane Austen, all the time. It’s the perfect antidote to life!” – The Jane Austen Book Club

My love for Jane Austen started after I saw The Jane Austen Book Club. This film persuaded me to take up my own personal “Jane Austen Challenge” and read all six novels. Collegiettes, if you are familiar with the various film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels, I urge you to take it a step further and read the novel Pride and Prejudice. While I love watching the film adaptations, reading the actual work of fiction is very rewarding. Jane Austen really is a classic example of an exceptional writer. Jane Austen wrote what she knew about courtship and human nature and incorporated timeless themes into her novels. These novels were published over 200 years ago. However, the stories of these heroines still hold a special place in people’s hearts today. Today we have numerous period adaptations of Jane Austen’s work along with modern updated versions and contemporary films about what it means to be a “Janeite.” So for my fellow Collegiettes who love Jane as much as I do or are just interested in learning more about all things Jane Austen, I suggest starting with these films.

1. Austenland (2013)

Courtesy: IMDb

Austenland is by far my favorite example of a contemporary film about the culture of being a Janeite. It stars actress Keri Russell, who plays Jane Hayes and is obsessed with all things having to do with Jane Austen and the character of Mr. Darcy. She decides to spend her life savings on a “true Austen experience” by going to a Jane Austen theme park in order to experience what life must have been like for the heroines in Austen’s novels. The film is absolutely hilarious and makes me wish that something like this actually exists.

2. The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

 

Courtesy: Amazon

The Jane Austen Book Club is about six people who form a book club dedicated to reading all six Jane Austen novels. Each of them discover elements from these novels that resemble their own personal relationships. One character even goes on to state that these novels can be considered a rule book for life. Each character confronts a dilemma where they ask “what would Jane do?” This film is the reason I got hooked into the whole Jane Austen culture. I saw these characters receive important life lessons by reading each novel and thought I should do more than just simply watch the film adaptations.

3. Lost in Austen (2008)

Courtesy: IMDb

Lost in Austen is a television mini-series that is centered around a modern day Janeite, Amanda Price, who time travels into her favorite novel Pride and Prejudice. Amanda swaps places with the heroine of the novel, Elizabeth Bennet. The series unfolds with Amanda trying to make things happen like they happen in the novel, but events unfold and cause the novel to go in different directions Amanda didn’t think were possible. The series is worth watching because it’s entertaining to see how a modern-day woman tries to fit in during the Regency Era.

Even though the novels take place during the Regency Era, readers can identify how deeply universal these novels are. Our society may not have the same customs and manners of the Regency Era, but the characters in each of these novels are relevant today. Jane Austen created characters that were smart, witty and ironic at times. But above all each heroine wanted to find happiness. 200 years later, it’s safe to say not much has changed when it comes to one’s pursuit of happiness.