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5 Reasons Why You Should Watch (or Rewatch) BBC’s 2016 War and Peace

Between January and February 2016, the BBC aired a new adaptation of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy's epic tome, War & Peace. Split into six episodes of around an hour, it was scripted by period drama veteran Andrew Davies (of 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries fame) and picked up 25% of the TV audience share in its first hour. Television critics raved about it, but it received a more mixed reaction among Tolstoy experts and social media users. Much was made…

A Late Arrival’s Thoughts on Outlander Episode 1

As a television show that aired in 2014, I understand that I'm a very late arrival to the period drama Outlander. Yet despite being a British-American production filmed in Scotland, the show has only been aired on television channels in the US, Canada and Australia, whilst British audiences have only been able to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription. Part of this was due to the reluctance of British broadcasters to show the adult content of the show, and it's…

The Best Quotes From Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility Diaries

When it comes to Jane Austen adaptations, few are as beloved as 1995's Sense and Sensibility. Starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, the film garnered seven Academy Award nominations, with Emma Thompson taking home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay from her role as screenwriter, as well as playing the lead character. It stayed true to the wit and romance of Austen's original text, whilst giving us eternal heartthrobs in the form of Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. What less…

10 Beautiful Period Drama Costumes From Television and Film : The Gown Edition

One of the many delights of brilliant period dramas come from the costumes. They can simply be sumptuous, but the majority of the time costumes also send a message about the character's state of mind, and of how they're trying to portray themselves in their environment. The most iconic costumes are undoubtedly the gowns, and we've picked a top 10 from period dramas over the years. Check out the gallery and the descriptions below - do you agree with our choices?…

A Valentine’s Special – The 10 Most Romantic Lines From Period Dramas

It's Valentine's Day, and what better day to look at the most romantic lines in period dramas? I've counted down my top 10 quotes, utterly subjective and unlikely to match anyone else's list should they make it. In terms of the films or television episodes I've referenced, I'm aware that some will be quotes from the original literature or have been repeated many times over in other adaptations. These are just the adaptations where I most enjoyed the quote! So…

Top 10 Period Drama Dance Scenes

All the best period dramas have their dramatic dance scenes. Why? Well, they're usually breathtakingly romantic for a start, usually with flowing gowns and beautifully orchestrated music. However, they're also usually the perfect tool for a pivotal scene for the central couple, whether they're dealing with jealousy or realising their true feelings. It's also worth noting that for many traditional period dramas, particularly those set pre-1850s, this is the closest we get to a romantically passionate scene. For some, the slightest touch…

The Official Ranking of Jane Austen’s Scoundrels

So we've looked at the heroines and we've ranked the heroes, but what about Jane Austen's villainous scoundrels? There's one in every novel, providing the perfect distraction for the leading lady, usually by throwing a few spanners in the works. Readers and viewers of the screen adaptations love to hate them: they're the bad boy foil to the dreamboat hero. That's why I've introduced a slightly new feature to this list - instead of a 'lesson learned' point (because lets…

The Official Ranking of Jane Austen’s Heroes

After our definitive ranking of the heroines, it's time to look at Jane Austen's heroes. They're a far trickier bunch, since Austen approached her narratives from the female point of view and we see the men through their perspective. Not only that, but they're given less character development too. This isn't a big problem, but it has led to the heroes being frequently defined instead by their portrayals in screen adaptations, which offer far more opportunities for a detailed take.…

The Official Ranking of Jane Austen’s Heroines

Jane Austen writes some fabulous characters, from bold heroines to romantic heroes and sneaky scoundrels. To celebrate Jane Austen month, we're publishing three lists, ranking her most iconic figures from her six full novels. Let's start with the heroines - the characters we spend the most time with, sharing their joys and trials as they negotiate Austen's social landscape. Lizzie Bennet, Pride and Prejudice Who else? Let's be real here, Lizzie is the girl we all want to be. She's…