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Miss Austen Regrets (2008)

In the later years of her life, as she's approaching the age of forty, the novelist Jane Austen helps her niece find a husband.

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In the later years of her life, as she's approaching the age of forty, the novelist Jane Austen helps her niece find a husband.

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Biography | Drama

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3 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Io, Jane Austen  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The beige dress with paisley bodice worn by a guest at Fanny's wedding is the same costume Sabina Franklyn (Jane Bennet) wears at Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice (1980), Rachel Fielding (Mrs. Benson) wears in Princess Caraboo (1994), Julie Cox (Annabella Milbanke) wears to read Byron's poetry book in Byron (2003), and Freema Agyeman (Tattycoram) wears on the Marseilles wharf in Little Dorrit (2008). The same costume is also worn by an extra on the Marseilles wharf in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). See more »

Quotes

Fanny Austen-Knight: You like Mr. Haden!
Jane Austen: He has very good teeth.
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Connections

Version of Becoming Jane (2007) See more »

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Drowsy Maggie
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

Now that's better . . .
28 April 2008 | by (Rural Kent, UK) – See all my reviews

As one of the many Austen fans still smarting from the vacuously boring Becoming Jane, I was nervous about this. As if sensing this apprehension, Miss Austen Regrets set off at a gallop. One and a half minutes in and we are already over the worst hurdles. We have a talented, intelligent lead - an innovative, sparkily humorous script - tactful and assured direction. Phew!

All memory of the toxically banal Ann Hathaway as the younger Jane evaporated as the lovely Olivia Williams settled into the part - so successfully that the sideswipe the writer takes at the earlier production 20 minutes in seems inappropriately vengeful.

Without hitting the exact spot, this was very, very much better.

It played on safer ground. It portrays Austen between the publication of Mansfield Park and Emma, just starting on the first draft of Persuasion and surrounds her with characters with credible lives of their own. It does an excellent job of demonstrating just how fragile was the life of even a woman successful and famous enough to be a guest of the Prince Regent. Only by marriage rather than as a result of her work can Jane support her family in their modest style of life. Questions over her brother's estate threaten the house she lives in but can never own. This insecurity is what Miss Austen really regrets.

All the minor performances are what you'd expect from top-drawer BBC period drama and Olivia Williams and Imogen Poots are excellent in the two central roles of aunt who hasn't given up flirting and the niece about to become engaged who is still learning the ropes. The whole production portrays an interesting life, full of love, frustration, struggle and uncertainty about life's choices, and does something like justice to one of the greatest authors of literature and her most intimate concerns.

So, if you've seen neither of the two recent dramas about Jane Austen's life and you're prone to kicking the cat when angered, make absolutely certain that you see this one first.


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