The Cinematic Jane Austen

Essays on the Filmic Sensibility of the Novels


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About the Book

Jane Austen’s novels are loved because they possess a comedic power that is often conveyed through the singular voice of the narrators. Film adaptations, however, have often been unsatisfactory because they lack or awkwardly render features, particularly the voice of the narrators. This work argues for a fresh approach that begins with a reading of the novels that emphasizes their auditory and visual dimensions. Building on their examination of Austen’s inherently cinematic features, the authors then develop productive new readings of the films. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

David Monaghan is a professor of English at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ariane Hudelet is an associate professor at Université de Paris 7 and lives in Paris, France.

John Wiltshire is professor emeritus of English at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He lives in Eltham, Australia. Learn more about the book at the authors’ website,

Bibliographic Details

David Monaghan , Ariane Hudelet and John Wiltshire

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3506-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5322-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction. Jane Austen, Adaptation and the Cinematic Novel: Theoretical Considerations
David Monaghan      5

1. Jane Austen: Sight and Sound
John Wiltshire      17
2. By Candlelight: Jane Austen, Technology and the Heritage Film
John Wiltshire      38
3. Beyond Words, Beyond Images: Jane Austen and the Art of Mise-en-Scène
Ariane Hudelet      57
4. Deciphering Appearances in Jane Austen’s Novels and Films
Ariane Hudelet      76
5. Mr. Darcy’s Smile
John Wiltshire      94
6. Reinventing Fanny Price: Patricia Rozema’s Thoroughly Modern
Mansfield Park      111
David Monaghan
7. “A Cheerful Confidence in Futurity”: The Movement Motif in Austen’s Novel and Dear/Michell’s Film Adaptation of Persuasion      129
David Monaghan
8. The Construction of a Myth: The “Cinematic Jane Austen” as a Cross-Cultural Icon
Ariane Hudelet      148
9. Afterword: On Fidelity
John Wiltshire      160

Chapter Notes      171
Bibliography      185
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Very smart, very sophisticated, and very useful book”—Journal of Popular Culture
  • “There is much of value in this book”—JASNA News