24 thoughts on “Why Jane Austen Movies Are My Comfort Object

  1. Mine too, Kendra, mine too! I also did not read any Austen until after I’d seen the BBC/A&E miniseries version on my college dorm-room TV, but after that I was hooked. She’s so subtle isn’t she? Her characters are so real: no one is 100% perfect, even the heroine–especially the heroine–and her hero.
    But I do love dressing-up Regency. I know I probably look like a sack of potatoes in my stays and high-waisted gowns, which is why I tend to avoid looking at photos of myself, but as long as I can maintain the illusion created in my head, I’m ok. I also stick with the earlier styles, not the true Romantic/Gothic overly embellished styles, and I think that helps, since they’re more flowing.
    Anyway. All Austen flicks are my comfort brain-food, especially the long miniseries versions.

  2. Ironically, in the last scene of Lizzie Borden, Lizzie in reading to her sister, Emma, from Pride and Prejudice. Even a psycho killer can find comfort in Jane Austen. Now, will someone please explain to me about the movie called “Jane Austen’s Mafia”?

  3. Not to mention the fact that they are full of words written by Jane Austen! You can always tell when the script deviates from her lines, it becomes leaden and unwieldy, unlike her champagne-light prose.
    Also, no love for Mr Collins as a HILARIOUS secondary character?

    1. I too was disappointed that Mr Collins got no mention, I think he may be my favourite, for all Mr Bennett challenges Sir Lucas to produce such a son-in-law as Wickham! lol

    2. I feel like Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility did a good job of adding lines while still capturing the spirit of the original novel. Although in most cases, yes, the original is best.

      1. I thought the Greer Garson P&P did a good job with adding lines too in some of the scenes. There was an early ball scene showing Elizabeth Bennet’s style of banter where she could get away with saying things that were downright rude by saying them in just the right way — I thought they captured that well. We are talking about the character who, in the original, could get away with calling Darcy and Bingley’s sisters cows.

  4. I’m the exact same :) especially if I’m sewing. Out comes Netflix and you can bet I’m watching all 6 hours of P&P. Northanger Abbey usually gets a look-in, and then Austenland for more JJ Feild and “is that what I’m like..?”. They’re fun, witty, sharp as a tack – what’s not to like?

  5. I am on the same page with *everything* you have said. I guess apart from being blasé about the fashion, I do quite like it and enjoy dressing in it. Although I often dislike what’s in the movies/miniseries.

    I do have additional comfort eye food (does that work?): the Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations of North & South (Richard Armitage’s smouldering…..ungggggg), Cranford, and Wives and Daughters.

    And then also the most recent Little Dorrit with Claire Foy and Matthew McFadyen. I love just how LONG it is! I can do so much handsewing while watching it!

  6. Totally agree! I watched the A&E P&P so many times I wore out my original VHS copies. I kinda want to make a regency dress, even with all the problems listed above – they look so comfortable. Does anyone know of a good regency petticoat pattern?

    1. I would recommend Laughing Moon. I much prefer their patterns to Sense & Sensibility and have used LM almost exclusively for my Regency clothes. Which, I’m happy to say are quite colorful and rather comfortable.

  7. I love that you obviously have the exact same taste in Austen movies as me, since you have pictures of all of my favorite adaptations (and none from the ones I hate…2005 P&P, I’m looking at you…).

  8. I agree with you, Kendra, and Carolyn, too…especially with widening the Austen genre to include other Victorian authors like Elizabeth Gaskell, if just to get Richard Armitage in there! Yowza!

    And red*razors, I got a real kick out of Austenland, too, and its fond mockery of the genre and the fans…imagine, a film as fun as that from Stephanie (Twilight) Meyer as a first time producer!

  9. No pictures from my favorite P&P: The miniseries with Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzie and David Rintoul as Darcy? the casting in that absolutely mirrored the images in my head when I first read the book.

    1. Same here. After seeing Garvie’s (truer to the book) Elizabeth Bennet I could no longer cope with all the smirks and dirty looks Ehle brought to the part.

      Sure, it’s super stagey, but the 1980 version is my go-to P&P.

  10. I regularly have Jane Austen film fests. The 1995 version of Persuasion is my favorite. For me, Ciarán Hinds was the perfect Frederick Wentworth. When I saw Persuasion in the movies, the audience sighed with Frederick and Anne kissed.

  11. Simply immersing myself into any historical period acts as my comfort object, however, Austen movies top my list! I would also have to add Downton Abbey.

  12. Jane Austen is the greatest writer in English literature, as far as I’m concerned. I know many who hate her, but I think that’s because people get turned off her when they are forced to read her for school. I read Pride and Prejudice first when I was 15, after listening to some conversations from some people who were reading it for their HSC (final year New South Wales Australian exams). “It’s so boring! All they do is talk about officers and clothes!” And then they turned to discussing boyfriends… and clothes.

    As for adaptations, the 1995 Persuasion is brilliant.

  13. God, i am reading this site and remarking on all these old threads, but I fell like the Bee Girl in the Blind Melon video, like I wandered into some field and found some people like me, haha!!

    I have have put on my DVDs of the BBC 1995 P&P, or Emma, S&S, Northanger Abbey or Persuasion more time than i can count when I am cleaning, painting, or sewing. I just like to listen to them talk. The language is elevated, as in higher English and certainly in no way the manner in which 21st century Americans speak, but it is relatable and understandable, and you don’t have to struggle to get into the story. Austen is a nice middle ground for people who want a good story told in that manner of speaking, but not so high that you have no fucking idea what is going on, like with Shakespeare. Shakespeare is fabulous and has its place, certainly, but it is cerebral and work for me to process in my brain. Austen goes right to the heart and soul and doesn’t feel like work at all.

    It is my comfort zone, too!

  14. I my goodness!!! I found my kind!!! 💘I do the very same thing when sitting behind my sewing machine or behind my ironing board with a huge pile of clean clothes.
    I also have several versions of ‘Jane Eyre’ on dvd….or it’s off to Shakespeare ❤

  15. I can better identify with Austen’s middle- and upper-middle-class characters versus the royals and aristocracy that are usually the lead in most other historical costume movies.

    With the exception of characters like the Bingleys, Frederick Wentworth and his immediate family and friends, most of Austen’s characters are from the upper classes. Including the Bennet family from “Pride and Prejudice”.

    I guess this shows that like many others, I’m a major Austen fan. I’m a fan of most productions, except for two movie versions of “Mansfield Park” and the 1986 version of “Northanger Abbey”.

  16. I feel this article… Jane Austen movies are my go to whenever I get the TV to myself and I have no new shows going or I want known quality. FYI Poesie Perfume made perfumes and teas based off of Pride and Prejudice and some of them are most divine.

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