Jane Austen

My wife and I have just finished watching Sense and Sensibility for the umpteenth time. This was the Andrew Davies adaptation, produced by the BBC. This one is three hours long and features Hattie Morahan, Dan Stevens, Janet McTeer and Charity Wakefield. I could go on and on about this story and this particular adaptation of it – which is faithful to the book, beautifully acted and visually sumptuous –yes, I could go on and on, but I’d never do it justice.

Let me just say this. I watch a lot of movies these days – most of them contemporary – and most of the time I walk away disappointed or at least not enraptured. In fact, a lot of the times these days I feel absolutely assaulted and beaten up by “stories” that are not real or convincing at all but are just an expensive repackaging of the spirit of the age.

But watching this – or any other decent adaptation of Austen – is enrapturing. It is satisfying. Deeply satisfying. Jane Austen was a great student of human nature. She knows women and she knows men and nobody does happily ever after nearly as well as Jane Austen.

Her work is nurturing and instructive as well as entertaining. This world would be a better place if she were more widely read and taught and if these fine adaptations which are all available to us now were watched more often.

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