My Top 10 Pride and Prejudice (numbers 5 – 1)

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.

3) Pemberley

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.

Bridget Jones

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

Longbourn

Epic Fail

I hope you enjoyed my countdown, tell me what your favourite Austen is ? Did you enjoy Pride and Prejudice? What adaptions did you enjoy?

Who doesn’t love a good story telling session?

As National Story Telling week draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my children telling me their very one made up stories.

If you follow me on any of my social media’s, my apologies you will have seen this already but both stories are just too good not to share on here.

My children have inherited my love of reading, which I am hugely grateful for, but they both also have wide imaginations, again much like myself. Monkey especially borders on overactive imagination which I can also relate too. So when I told them about national story telling week, and how it’s important to tell people the stories we have in our heads, don’t keep them to yourself, share them with others. Let friends and family hear your stories, feel the excitement you feel when you imagine a new world or escape on an adventure. They couldn’t wait to give story telling a go.

So without further ado… monkey and poppets story-time….

(I send my apologies, monkey cannot sit still even to tell a story. The differences in my two children are immense but amazing, I love seeing how the pair of them are so similar but so different. Anyway, on with the stories…)

I do hope you enjoyed hearing about the bee and the mermaid that both just wanted to live out their dreams. Obviously, the children were both feeling positive vibes, and I guess they do listen when I tell them to just try their hardest and try to reach for their goals and never give up. It’s nice to hear stories with such a positive theme to them. I was very happy with their stories and happy they both gave it ago. I hope you enjoyed listening to them as much as I did. They would love to hear your opinions, so please comment below.

My Top 10 Pride and Prejudice (numbers 10 – 6) adaptions

It is Sunday evening, the kids are in bed, it is my time to relax and unwind. I might take some time to write my blog as I am doing now, I might read some books, have a bath or just watch a bit of tv.

This evening, I am going to continue in my celebration of literature but veering away for one briefest moment to talk about adaptions. Ah yes, I hear you cry but how is this related to literature. Well. I think a good film or tv adaption can still tell a good story, and it may tell a story to someone whom might not ever had the chance to read a book, and sometimes it may encourage people to read the original book/script/poem that inspired those adaptions. As much as I love a good book, and you all should know by now, I really do. I am also not ashamed to admit I do like a good bit of tv too. And this counts for my favourites too, often I like the book better and I wouldn’t choose the tv/film over the book but I do still enjoy them, and on very rare occasions I quite fall in love with it even more so, because of the film or tv series. Pride and Prejudice is one of those such things. The more books I read, (sequels, based on, spinoffs), or tv mini series or films I see, the more I fall in love with the characters and love the original even more.

So for now, here is my run down of my top adaptions/spins off/ sequels; lets say “Pride and Prejudice” adjacent list:

10) Austenland

This British-American romantic comedy based on a novel by Shanon Hale is a funny, slapstick parody of Pride and Prejudice. I am not sure it is meant to be but that’s how it comes across. From Jennifer ‘Stiflers mum’ Coolidge’s funny turn as a very stereotypical American lady to the haughty Mr Darcy character, it is all a lot of fun and laughs, very bright and comedic. Possibly not the best adaption to ever grace the screens but still worth a watch.

The film is centred around a thirty something American, Jane Austen obsessed lady, favourite being the bbc mini series starring Colin Firth, it seems as though she confuses reality with imagination, and is expecting her own love life to be similar to a novel, but hasn’t really thought through how life would actually be like in an Austen novel.

After another failed relationship and her house starting to resemble an Austen novel. In an attempt to get her to sort her life out, her friend suggests she try one last thing to get herself a Mr Darcy and then she must quit with the obsession. She spends all her savings on a trip to Austenland: A Jane Austen themed holiday resort in England.

The guests have paid for varying packages but all should get an escape from 21st century modern living and transported back to regency era England. All the guests are given pseudonyms, regency dress and attend various different activities. Our main character befriends a wide variety of people, and it soon becomes apparent the cheapest option, which she could afford does not give her the same luxuries as everyone else. But she is determined to make the most of it, as one of the guarantees at the end of the holiday is romance at the ball.

The resorts wealthier guests, on the platinum package are all rather silly and overact and swan around, well, flounce around making up words half of the time, but it’s silliness is rather funny, and all part of the general feel of the film. Without giving much away, there is a Darcy and a Wickham character lots of cute little tippets of Austen thrown in, so it gives just enough Austen to be on this list, but is still rather silly.

Overall, it is not a classic and will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a fun, easy watch, with little bites of Austen, this could be for you.

9) Pride and Prejudice (2005 – Directed by Joe Wright)

I can hear you all silently judging me for putting this quite low on my list, but as an Austen fan and a lover of the mini series, this film didn’t really do it for me. It’s not awful, and it has so,e wonderful scenery and I love some of the filmography of it, but as far as adaptions go, I personally don’t believe it is the best. I love Kiera Knightley, I think she’s really good in some things, but she didn’t sell the admirable, complexity of her character for me. She was just a bit, well, meh! 😕 But in that same regard Mathew MacFadyen didn’t really give me amazing Mr Darcy feels either, although there were moments where I definitely could have fallen in love with him, I think! 😀

I loved the music, and landscape and the general sweeping of scenes, but something in this version is just, a little flat for me. Overall, it is a wonderful story and I think it was going to be successful as it comes from a great source, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and have and will rewatch it, but again not my favourite.

8) The Jane Austen book club

Taken from an adaption of the book of the same name, it is not a direct Pride and a Prejudice adaption but has many characters resembling certain characteristics in P&P and is a close enough link to allow myself to include it, as I actually quite enjoyed the book and film.

It is not at all an accurate adaption of any of Austen’s book, but as we get to know the characters, we get to see which is their favourite book, why they like it and often how their relationships resemble a modern take on the relationships featured in Austen’s novels. This is the reason I love this “adaption”, some people will say an Austen novel will provide nothing for a modern generation of lovers, but I beg to differ. We all have essences of traits that many of the leads in the Austen’s novels have. I think taken in exact context of a Regency time, you are correct, none of us could take it to heart. We don’t have dowry’s upon us, and women don’t have to marry to survive in life, however we do sometimes need to overcome our own pride and vanity, like Elizabeth and Darcy, or make promises when are young and don’t know any better that we will struggle to keep as grown ups, a la Edward Ferrars. And who hasn’t tried to set up friends, or put our noses in other people’s business without appreciating whether they want it or not, much like the heroine of Emma.

For me, this book/film isn’t a literary/cinematic masterpiece, but it does bring Austen into a more modern context without, the comedic, sometimes silliness other books/films have included.

7) Lost in Austen

I am never quite sure how I feel about this adaption. Catch me on some days and I love the modern girl stuck in another time aspect, and it would appear higher on my list. Other days, It doesn’t do it for and it ends up further down my list of favourite adaptions.

Lost in Austen is about a modern Austen lover who finds she has a link via her bathroom to the world of her favourite novel Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet wanders in and decides to stay. Amanda decides to live out her fantasy in the novel for a bit but when characters start acting up and changing the story, Amanda has to decide what she is going to do to fix it.

I do really love the idea of taking a modern character and a regency character and swapping them out, to live in the opposite worlds. It was a genius idea, and the casting was on the whole really good. I like that once the main character of Elizabeth abandoned the story, the other characters all became very different and the story took some very different turns. So I can’t quite put my finger on why sometimes, it doesn’t work for me. I think, and this is my most shallowest part of me coming out – I wasn’t a fan of Elliot Cowan as Mr Darcy. I am a huge fan of Austen and mostly in part because I fall in love with her characters and as with most people, Mr Darcy holds a special place in my heart, and unfortunately in this adaption, I didn’t! I think it might be as simple as that.

6) Lizzie Bennet diaries

What can I say about this adaption? I loved it, not just because it’s an adaption of one of my favourite books, but because it really hit its target audience. From initial idea to delivery, and social media engagement during its run, it really established a niche for storytelling to a modern generation. When blogging/blogging/social media is at its highest, it was remarkable to use this to provide a classic for a younger generation.

This adaption is a web series centred around a young university student Lizzie Bennet, her sisters Jane and Lydia and best friend Charlotte. There is of course, a Bing Lee and. a Darcy and all your other favourites. Each webisode is 2-8 minutes long, and most action happens off screen, we just hear all about it through these vlogging monologues/dialogues between Lizzie and her pals.

Lizzie is a mass communications student, living at home with her parents and shy Jane and party-going Lydia. Bing Lee is a wealthy medical student, with even wealthier friend in William Darcy. Childhood friend Ricky Collins provides the catalyst of Mr Collins and after Lizzie turns down his proposal for business partner, takes Charlotte as his business partner instead. Lizzie vlog starts as a thesis for her degree, but it son becomes a huge part of her life and everything gets recorded, thus causing some drama and creating opportunities. The big question, will it stay true to the novel is adapted from and all end happily?

If you can stomach the short episodes, and having to hear about a lot of the action it is worth a watch, I think if you’re from the ‘you tube’ generation, it is definitely worth a watch and hopefully will inspire you to give the book a go, if your a huge fan of the original and more period drama versions, perhaps give this one a miss. I really enjoyed it.

It is now Wednesday evening and I am half way through my run down for my favourite Pride and Prejudice adaptions. Have I included one of your favourites yet? Or are you still waiting to see if you’d will appear on my list?

What did you think of the ones I have suggested so far? Have you seen them all? Let me know in the comments section what you think?