Welcome to a special meeting of Risky Regencies’ Jane Austen Movie Club!

Today we’re discussing the newest adaptation of Persuasion, which aired in the US this past Sunday on PBS, and in the UK last year.

First, here’s some Knowledge to Impress your Friends With: contrary to what some people assume, this Persuasion is not a BBC production. The upcoming new Sense and Sensibility is BBC, but the other three new adaptations (Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park) are ITV.

Or actually, to be quite correct: this Persuasion was produced by Clerkenwell Films and WGBH, and distributed by ITV and PBS. πŸ™‚

Now that that sticky mess is out of the way, please turn off your cell phones and pagers, place your tray tables in their upright position, and tell us what you thought of the new Persuasion!

(By the way, here’s an interview with Sally Hawkins, the new Anne Elliot. A rather ordinary interview, in my opinion, but see what you think.)

To aid discussion, here’s a cast list and some of the other major credits. As I love noticing folks who’ve worked on other historical adaptations, I’ve put some “you’ve seen him in this” tidbits in purple.

Director: Adrian Shergold

Screenplay: Simon Burke

Burke’s screenwriting credits include the 1997 miniseries of Tom Jones and some of the Cadfael series.


Sally Hawkins — Anne Elliot

Hawkins played Mary Shelley in the 2003 TV Byron which starred Jonny Lee Miller.

Anthony Head — Sir Walter Elliot

Julia Davis — Elizabeth Elliot

Amanda Hale — Mary Musgrove

Rupert Penry-Jones — Captain Wentworth

Penry-Jones played St John Rivers in the Samantha Morton/Ciaran Hinds Jane Eyre.

Alice Krige — Lady Russell

Krige played Mary Shelley in 1988’s Haunted Summer, and the beautiful marquesa in Sharpe’s Honour.

Michael Fenton Stevens — Mr. Shepherd

Mary Stockley — Mrs. Clay

Peter Wight — Admiral Croft

Wight played Mr. Gardiner in the 2005 (Keira Knightley) Pride and Prejudice.

Marion Bailey — Mrs. Croft

Jennifer Higham — Louisa Musgrove

Rosamund Stephen — Henrietta Musgrove

Stephen played Miss de Bourgh in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice.

Stella Gonet — Mrs. Musgrove

Sam Hazeldine — Charles Musgrove

Nicholas Farrell — Mr. Musgrove

Farrell played Fenner in Sharpe’s Regiment, Edmund Bertram in the 1983 BBC Mansfield Park, and Henry Thornton in Amazing Grace.

Joseph Mawle — Captain Harville

Finlay Robertson — James Benwick

Tobias Menzies — William Elliot

Maisie Dimbleby — Mrs. Smith

Sarah Buckland — Nurse Rooke

So, what did you think???

All opinions welcome! (Though do be polite!)

And be sure to stop by here on the next two Tuesdays, when we’ll be discussing the new Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park!

Cara King, who reads and writes books, and would sleep on them too if she were a cat