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Welcome to another installment of the Jane Austen Movie Club, exclusively here at Risky Regencies! Here we meet to dissect, discuss, and generally over-analyze adaptations of Jane Austen’s work…and more.

Today we have a first: that is, our first selection which isn’t actually an Austen adaptation…but a story about Austen herself.

Yes, today we’re discussing the 2008 BBC/WGBH television production MISS AUSTEN REGRETS, a fictionalized semi-biographical story about Jane Austen, and whether she ever regretted not marrying Mr. This or Mr. That.

The relevant credits, with “you also saw her in such-and-such” notes (in green), are:

DIRECTOR: Jeremy Lovering

SCREENPLAY: Gwyneth Hughes


Olivia Williams — Jane Austen

Olivia Williams played Jane Fairfax in the 1996 BBC version of Emma.

Greta Scacchi — Cassandra Austen

Greta Scacchi played Mrs. Weston, also in the 1996 Emma.

Hugh Bonneville — Rev. Brook Bridges

Hugh Bonneville played the Prince Regent in the recent Purefoy version of Brummell, and Mr. Rushworth in the 1999 movie of Mansfield Park.

Phyllida Law — Mrs. Austen

Law is the third member of this cast to also appear in the 1996 Emma: she played Mrs. Bates. She also happens to be the mother of Emma Thompson, who scripted and starred in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility.

Adrian Edmondson — Henry Austen

Jack Huston — Doctor Charles Haden

Imogen Poots — Fanny Austen-Knight

Samuel Roukin — Harris Bigg

Pip Torrens — Edward Austen-Knight

Pip Torrens played the Netherfield butler in the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice. (And Bingo Little in the Fry & Laurie Jeeves and Wooster.)

Tom Hiddleston — Mr. John Plumptre

Jason Watkins — Rev. Clarke

Sally Tatum — Anna Lefroy

Sylvie Herbert — Mme. Bigeon

(Here is Jane…and her very useful brother…)

So…what did you think?

All opinions welcome!

Cara King, whose cat would have appeared in the 1996 Emma except that he was busy conquering the world that day

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Welcome to another “meeting” of the Jane Austen Movie Club! This is where like-minded folk gather to discuss, debate, and dissect every adaptation of Jane Austen that we can get our hands on.

Today we’re talking about the new adaptation of Mansfield Park.

To aid the discussion, here are the major credits, with a few notes on some of the people involved.

DIRECTOR: Iain B. MacDonald

SCREENPLAY: Maggie Wadey

Maggie Wadey wrote the screenplay for the 1986 (creepy Tilney) adaptation of Northanger Abbey! She also wrote the 1991 Adam Bede and the 1995 Buccaneers.


Douglas Hodge — Sir Thomas Bertram

Maggie O’Neill — Mrs. Norris

Jemma Redgrave — Lady Bertram

In case anyone was wondering exactly what the relationships are, Jemma Redgrave is the daughter of Corin Redgrave (who played Sir Walter Elliot in the 1995 Persuasion), the niece of Lynn Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave, and cousin to Natasha and Joely Richardson.

Billie Piper — Fanny Price

Billie Piper, of course, is famous for Doctor Who. She also played Sally Lockhart in the adaptation of the Victorian-set Philip Pullman novel The Ruby in the Smoke, and its sequel, The Shadow in the North (which also featured Northanger Abbey‘s J J Feild).

Blake Ritson — Edmund Bertram

Does Blake Ritson look familiar? He played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Catherine Steadman — Julia Bertram

James D’Arcy — Tom Bertram

James D’Arcy is certainly a familiar face — he was First Lieutenant Tom Pullings in Master and Commander, Blifil in the 1997 Tom Jones, and Nicholas Nickleby in the 2001 adaptation of the same name.

Michelle Ryan — Maria Bertram

Michelle Ryan, in case you didn’t recognize her face from a million adverts and billboards, is the new Bionic Woman.

Rory Kinnear — Rushworth

Joseph Morgan — William Price

Joseph Morgan has played a sailor before — though his previous character had a less happy outcome. His William Warley, captain of the mizzen-top, didn’t end well in Master and Commander.

Hayley Atwell — Mary Crawford

Hayley Atwell played alongside Billie Piper in The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North.

Joseph Beattie — Henry Crawford

So…what did you think???

All comments welcome!

Cara King, who will give a puppy from Pug’s next litter to whoever can say what country dances they were doing

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Welcome to another special “meeting” of the Risky Regencies Jane Austen Movie Club!

Today we’re discussing the newest version of Northanger Abbey, which aired this Sunday in the US, and last spring in the UK.

We discussed the new Persuasion last Tuesday — and if you missed the discussion, it’s not too late to stop by and add a comment! Opinions on it were mixed, but with few raves, and a fair amount of disappointment (particularly about the run and the kiss at the end).

I suspect, however, that opinions on Northanger Abbey may be a bit different! Can’t wait to hear what you all thought of it…

Here are a few pieces of information I found interesting:

This Northanger Abbey was filmed entirely in Ireland.

And, not surprisingly, a lot of the cast are Irish actors doing English accents.

The screenplay is by Andrew Davies, who also scripted the upcoming BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, which will air in the US on March 30 and April 6.

Davies is, of course, the screenwriter for the 1995 Pride and Prejudice (the one with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) and the 1996 Emma (which starred Kate Beckinsale), both of which will be shown on PBS as part of their “Complete Jane Austen.” He also did the screenplays for Bridget Jones’s Diary, the 1994 Middlemarch, the 1998 miniseries of Vanity Fair, the 2002 Daniel Deronda, and the 2005 Bleak House.

According to, Northanger Abbey was played by Lismore Castle, in County Waterford, Ireland.

To aid discussion, here are some of the major credits:


Catherine Morland: Felicity Jones

The Voice of Jane Austen: Geraldine James

Mrs. Morland: Julia Dearden

Mr. Morland: Gerry O’Brien

James Morland: Hugh O’Connor

Mr. Allen: Desmond Barrit

Mrs. Allen: Sylvestra Le Touzel

Sylvestra Le Touzel is a Jane Austen veteran, having played Fanny Price in the 1983 BBC miniseries of Mansfield Park. She was also seen as Marianne Thornton in 2006’s Amazing Grace.

Henry Tilney: JJ Feild

John Thorpe: William Beck

Mrs. Thorpe: Bernadette McKenna

Eleanor Tilney: Catherine Walker

General Tilney: Liam Cunningham

Capt. Frederick Tilney: Mark Dymond

Isabella Thorpe: Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan is no stranger to Austen either, having played Kitty Bennet in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice. She was also young Ada in the 2005 miniseries of Bleak House.

SCREENPLAY: Andrew Davies


So….what did you think???

All opinions welcome!

Cara King, who danced Catherine & Tilney’s dance last Saturday at the annual Jane Austen Ball!

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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. 🙂

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

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Welcome to the Jane Austen Movie Club! On the first Tuesday of each month, we at Risky Regencies discuss a different Jane Austen adaptation.

This month: the 1986 BBC version of Northanger Abbey!

As I mentioned last month during our Jane Austen Novel discussions, Northanger Abbey is one of my favorite Austens. The wit, the liveliness, the Bath background — I love to read it again and again.

(That is, I love to read the first half of the novel. Sometimes I stop there. Sometimes I go on. I do like the second half, but for me, it comes nowhere near the exuberantly silly Bath bits.)

So… Have you ever seen this adaptation?

If so, what did you think?

To aid the discussion, here’s the cast (etc) info on the movie, courtesy imdb, plus a few interesting cast tidbits (in green):

DIRECTOR: Giles Foster

SCREENPLAY: Maggie Wadey


Katharine Schlesinger … Catherine Morland

Peter Firth … Henry Tilney

Peter Firth played Joseph Andrews in 1977 — I’d love to see that!

Robert Hardy … General Tilney

Robert Hardy played Sir John Middleton in the Ang Lee Sense & Sensibility, and more recently has portrayed Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter movies.

Googie Withers … Mrs. Allen

Geoffrey Chater … Mr. Allen

Cassie Stuart … Isabella Thorpe

Jonathan Coy … John Thorpe

Jonathan Coy played the Prince of Wales in the Richard E. Grant versions of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and was also in one of the Gruffudd Horatio Hornblowers.

Ingrid Lacey … Eleanor Tilney

Greg Hicks … Frederick Tilney

Philip Bird … James Morland

Elvi Hale … Mrs. Thorpe

Helen Fraser … Mrs. Morland

David Rolfe … Mr. Morland

So…good, bad, or ugly? Did you like it, or did you not?

Two notes: first, I will be out most of today; I’m seeing the Rose Parade this morning (first time ever!), and in the evening I’ll be attending a going away dinner for my mother, who’s setting off on a round-the-world cruise. But I’ll check in whenever I get a moment!

Note 2: In the US, PBS will start showing the new Jane Austen adaptations this month. And on the Tuesday following each of these new Austens, we’ll have an extra Jane Austen Movie Club here, to talk about it! So the January schedule will be:

Persuasion: airs January 13; discussion January 15
Northanger Abbey: airs January 20; discussion January 22
Mansfield Park: airs January 27; discussion January 29

So… What did you think of the 1986 Northanger Abbey?

Cara King, who thinks this will be a very exciting January

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