There are SO many adaptations of Jane Austen’s classic novels. From 1990’s BBC mini-series to 2022 Netflix movies, Regency set romances, based on the works of Jane Austen are plentiful.
Whilst the pureist adaptations are brilliant (the 1995 Sense & Sensibility is elite), some of the looser adaptations of Austen’s works are also often clever, insightful and (sometimes) even more true to the original novels’ themes.
Here are our picks for the top 10 *quirky* adaptations of Jane Austen’s books.
P.S caveat we only included adaptations of her books in this list, Austen-themed movies like The Jane Austen Book Club and Austenland are also great, but not included here.
10. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (2016)
Love Austen and horror movies? This adaptation is for you. It’s Pride & Prejudice, but add a zombie invasion.
Watch it on: Netflix
9. Lost in Austen (2008)
A twist on Jane Austen’s classic novel sees disillusioned modern working girl Amanda Price `swap’ her life for Austen’s celebrated heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Trapped in the unfolding fiction, Amanda must try her utmost to fit in among the Bennets, Bingleys and Darcys, but her presence in the characters’ lives sets unforeseen episodes in motion.
Watch it on: Britbox
8. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012)
Remember when vlogs were cool? This YouTube series premiered in 2012, and follows Lizzie Bennet, a vlogger who chats to camera about her life, and the handsome new man, Bing Lee, who just moved into the neighbourhood. With 100 episodes that run for about 5 minutes each this is a quick, but fun, watch!
Watch it on: YouTube
7. Death Comes To Pemberley (2013)
Death Comes to Pemberley, based on a PD James novel of the same name, is a sequel of-sorts to Pride & Prejudice. And a murder mystery. On the eve of the annual Lady Anne ball at the Darcys’ Pemberley home, post-supper festivities are brought to an abrupt halt with the arrival of an unexpected visitor and news of a murder in nearby Pemberley Woods. Sensing something is wrong, Fitzwilliam Darcy, the family’s patriarch, begins to retreat from wife Elizabeth as he tries to protect the household from a scandal.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime
6. Fire Island (2022)
A group of queer best friends gather in the Fire Island Pines for their annual week of love and laughter, but when a sudden change of events jeopardizes their summer in gay paradise, their bonds as a chosen family are pushed to the limit. Pride & Prejudice… but set in 2022 and a summer rom-com. This adaptation is new, but definitely worth a watch!
Watch it on: Disney +
5. Bride & Prejudice (2004)
It’s Pride & Prejudice, but add a healthy dollop of Bollywood magic.
Watch it on: Available to rent on YouTube
4. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones’ Diary takes the plot of Pride & Prejudice to 2000’s London, following the romantic encounters of Bridget. It’s a looser adaptation than some, but a thoroughly great movie all-round.
Watch it on: Stan
3. Sanditon (2019)
Austen’s Sanditon was an unfinished manuscript of only a few chapters following young woman Charlotte Heywood on visit to Sanditon, a fishing village attempting to reinvent itself as a seaside resort. The official manuscript ends with Charlotte’s arrival in Sanditon, so the TV show basically invents the entire plot. Its a fabulous Regency romance mini-series, perfect for fans of Bridgerton.
Watch it on: Binge
2. Love & Friendship (2016)
This adaptation of Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan is full of wit, fabulous costumes and machinations. In the film the scheming (but ever delightful) Lady Susan Vernon takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica — and herself too, naturally.
Watch it on: Stan
1. Clueless (1995)
Amy Heckerling’s 1995 teen movie Clueless is, dare I say, the single best adaptation of Emma. Although the story takes us from Regency era England to 1990’s L.A., the themes and portrayal of the titular ‘Emma’ character (here called Cher) parallel the original novel with aplomb and fun modern twists. Not only that, the film is a stone-cold classic.
And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty.
Watch it on: Paramount +