I do absolutely love Jane Austen, but I also enjoy English costume drama in general. If you only limit yourself to Jane Austen, you are missing out on fantastic masterpieces of cinematography. Therefore gentle readers, we are going just beyond the perimeters of Jane Austen today. I have compiled a short list in no particular order of must see movies if you enjoy Jane Austen adaptations.
1. North and South (2004): This may be one of my all time favorite period dramas. This mini-series is based on Elizabeth Gaskell's mid-19th century novel about social and romantic conflict between the industrial north and the rural south of England. Just so you all know, I think the movie is better than the book. I don't say that often gentle readers, so pay attention. It is darker than Jane Austen, but not so dark that you feel like your soul has been stained by watching it. Also, Richard Armitage, ladies and gentlemen. He is quite perfect in all his majestic brooding glory. Go watch it, now.
2. The Young Victoria (2009): Emily Blunt is absolutely radiant as the youthful Queen Victoria in this movie. We get to see how she rises to the throne and her growing relationship with Albert, a minor member of the German nobility. This movie is a combination love story, coming of age story, and political thriller. I could seriously watch this movie over and over again just for the costumes and locations; they are breathtaking. However, my favorite part is the real husband and wife relationship that Victoria and Albert portray; its just wonderful.
3. Jane Eyre (2006): I know, I know. Someone who loves Jane Austen cannot also love Jane Eyre since that would be defecting to the enemy camp. Jane Austen will always be my first and best love. However, Jane Eyre is a truly wonderful Gothic romance, and the 2006 miniseries is the best adaptation of the novel, hands down. This adaptation is deliciously creepy, but manages to avoid the pitfalls of the horror genre. Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens are perfectly cast as Jane and Rochester, and there will never be an equal to their pairing.
I hope you all enjoyed my short list of period dramas! Do you have any other period dramas that should be added to this list? Have you seen any of these productions? What are your thoughts?