Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice and published it in 1813. It placed her in the pantheon of beloved great authors, and it is a favorite book of mine. I can endlessly read and re-read this romance/drama of polite Regency English society, but it is also entertaining to look at the alternate versions of the book.
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In 1995 BBC and A&E network presented a miniseries of the book starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. The Keepsake Edition of the DVD has a wonderful group of documentary extras explaining dancing and other interesting topics about the production. Even if you own an older copy of the series, I think this version is worthwhile for the beautifully remastered images and the extra features.
A fantastic interactive annotated version of the novel by David Shapard (2014) available for digital download is The Annotated Pride and Prejudice (Interactive Edition) by Jane Austen & David M. Shapard. I’ve never enjoyed reading the novel so much! The annotations explain words and phrases not commonly used today. Many illustrations and paintings of the period are included. And best of all are the video clips of scenes from the novel and documentaries on manners and society.
One of the best modern versions was presented with YouTube and other social media. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries offers the story over 100 episodes with Elizabeth and Charlotte as graduate students and Wickham as a traveling swim team coach (!). There is lots of extra content too, and everything is about 5 minutes long or less! My favorite updates were Mrs. Gardiner as Dr. Gardiner, grad school advisor, and Pemberley as Pemberley Digital, a hip, green company complex in San Francisco.
- Regency period from janeausten.org
- Jane Austen Society of North America
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries DVD set from dftba.com
- The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, UK
- Modern Mrs. Darcy’s favorite Jane Austen film adaptations
Let’s talk story
I love the world of Jane Austen. I can’t remember the first time I read Pride and Prejudice (my well-loved book cost $1.50 and has copyright 1961) but I know I have read it once a year for over 40 years. I’ve read all her novels several times and I love exploring all the adaptations (remember “Clueless”?). What’s your favorite Jane Austen book?