regency lady reading a book

Films based on Jane Austen books (and Austen inspired books)

Like many others I’m a Jane Austen fan. I think it was my 6th form years when I read Austen’s novels, and wrote my long essay for A level English literature on the role of women in her books. My love of her books was probably helped by the well received BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. Since then, there have been a lot of Austen inspired films over the years, many of these being based on the books written first. Some good and some terrible (in particular the most recent Netflick’s Persuasion featuring Dakota Johnson is getting a slating).

Read my list of Shakespeare inspired movies

Which have been your favourite Jane Austen adaptations and themed films?

films and books inspired by jane austen novels

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Films based Jane Austen books

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) – film based on a book club that discussed the Austen novels, with the characters then finding their lives mirroring the themes in the books.

Becoming Jane (2007) – a biographical romantic drama based on the life of Jane Austen and her love for Thomas Langlois Lafroy.

Austenland (2013) – the story of a 30 something woman obsessed with the novel Pride and Prejudice, who visits a British theme ‘park’ that recreates the Austen era.

Love and Friendship (2016) – period comedy film based on Austen’s Lady Susan novel. The film follows the exploits of the widowed Lady Susan’s in trying to secure wealthy husbands for herself and her daughter.

Based on Emma

Clueless (1995) – teen coming of age story, with a Beverly Hills setting with the popular rich student Cher turning matchmaker, giving a newcomer a makeover.

Based on Sense and Sensibility

Material Girls (2006) – American teen comedy movie in a modern day LA setting with wealthy sisters becoming penniless due to a family company scandal.

From Prada to Nada (2011) – Latino version of the story

Inspired by Pride and Prejudice

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) – based on the newspaper diary columns and book, 32 year old Bridget decides she must take charge of her life, working out which of 2 men should be in it. This even included a character called Mark Darcy played by Colin Firth who played him in the BBC adaptation back in 1995.

Bride and Prejudice (2004) – Bollywood musical version of the story.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – a comedy horror film parody version.

Pride and Prejudice (2003) – modern version set in Utah, with Elizabeth Bennett a student.

Unleashing Mr Darcy (2016) – based on the book of the same name, inspired by Pride and Prejudice, a Hallmark classic romance of the 2 characters brushing each other up the wrong way, but ending up together.

TV adaptations

Death comes to Pemberley (2013, tv) – based on the pastiche / fan fiction murder mystery novel by PD James, set 6 years after the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.

Sanditon (2019) – adapted from Austen’s unfinished novel to mixed reviews.

Books inspired by Jane Austen

Including the books made into films above:

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James – fictional take on how Austen had a love affair that encouraged her to finish Sense and Sensibility.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler – after a broken engagement, a modern LA girl wakes up in Regency England

The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn – time travelling scholars go back to Austen’s 1815 to find and steal a missing novel but make friends with Jane meaning it’s hard to change the past.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo – professor travels to England to find herself through Austen’s letters after her marriage and career fall to pieces, and hopes to redefine her life.

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby – set in England 1840, Jane’s sister Cassandra Austen lives alone, and is quietly working to preserve her sister’s reputation

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale – second book folloing Austenland, as another young lady ends up taking a trip to the theme land.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – this sees the village where Jane lived her last days, with villages struggling with private sorrows and turning to the works of Austen for comfort. The villages pull together to save the Austen property in the village.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi – modern day Brooklyn, and Zuri Benitez isn’t happy about the wealthy Darcy family moving in across the street, then one of the Darcy sons manages to work his way closer in her life.

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg – high school Academy setting with Lizzie Bennet, a scholar who’s not interested in designer dresses and the prom, and her best friend Jane is, now that Charles Bingley is back in town.

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfled – set in Cincinnati, Lizzie is a magazine editor wth Darcy an up himself brain surgeon, with Bingley the star of a reality show Eligible.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick – what if graduate student Lizzie Bennet was recording her life reflections on Youtube and becomes an internet star with her sisters.

Unequal Affections: A Pride and Prejudice Retelling by Lara S Ormiston – focuses on what might have happened if Elizabeth had accepted Dary’s first proposal.

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White – retelling of Pride and Prejudice in the fantasy work of dragons, warrior women and hobgoblins.

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal – Pride and Prejudice modern version set in Pakistan, using hints to the original book within the plot. This also explores themes of identity and colonialism within the romcom genre.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price – 16 year old Lizzie Bennet wants to become a solicitor and sees an opportunity to prove herself by solving a society murder case.

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay – estranged sisters are brought back together following Elizabeth leaving home years before to follow her restaurant dream.

The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow – a telling of what could have happened to Mary Bennet, the ugly duckling sister, and how she finds fulfillment in her life.

Longbourn by Jo Baker – find out about what happens below stairs with the servants and staff in Darcy’s home.

His Good Opinion: A Mr Darcy Novel by Nancy Kelley – telling of Darcy’s story from his point of view.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange, provides an understanding of Darcy’s feelings and behaviour about his relationship’s development with Elizabeth Bennett, from his point of view. This is part of a 9 book series.

regency lady reading a book

Jane of Austin: novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge – based on Sense and Sensibility, a fun book easy reading, with 2 adult sisters broke, fleeing their old home to set up a new tea shop in Texas.

Dear Mr Knightley by Katherine Reay – from childhood in the care system, to having a benefactor sending her to university, leading to Samantha learning to find her voice.

Suspense and Sensibility: Or First Impressions Revisted by Carris Bebris – a Mr and Mrs Darcy mystery. Still newlyweds, the Darcies want to enjoy Pemberly together, until they’re taking on finding a suitable suitor for Elizabeth’s younger sister Kitty, and come across a mysterious situation. 1 of 7 in the series.

Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith – Emma returns home from university, aiming to start her own design business, while playing matchmaker in her spare time.

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid – based on a homeschooled teen who loves vampire fantasies, finds herself with new friends in Northanger Abbey, and has to learn about living reality rather than fantasy.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev – loose retelling of Persuasian, a chef is desperate to save her family’s restaurant so agrees to star on a reality cooking tv show. She then reconnects with her first love who’s now a football star, giving them a second chance at love.

Persuading Annie by Melissa Nathan – Annie Markham is facing up to hard truths after being a soft pushover for years, one of which is that men are totally unreliable.

Jane Austen in Scarsday: Or Love, Death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen – Anne is a guidance counselor at high school. Years before she was persuaded by her wealthy family to give up the love of her life.

Among the Janeites: a journey through the world of Jane Austen fandom by Deborah Yaffe – a deepdive into the subculture of Jane Austen fans, discussion of character traits in the books, and the history and intricacies of fan fiction.

What matters in Jane Austen?: 20 Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan – find out about the quirks and intricacies of Austen’s fiction.

Which Jane Austen inspired books have you read? Which is your favourite Austen based film?

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One Comment

  1. I hadn’t appreciated quite how many Jane Austen-inspired films and books there were, wow! My heart belongs to the original TV series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehele though, they had such fab chemistry 🙂

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