Friday Features: Regency Retold

Welcome to Friday Features, fortnightly posts highlighting a particular aspect of our current projects. And in this inaugural post, we’ll be looking at Regency tales—retold!

Regency profiles

Empire dresses, cravats, cotillions, and well-mannered conversations—what’s not to love about the Regency era? In fact, we are so fond of the distinctive time period during 1811-1820, that we’ve sought to re-create the Regency in our current major project, Regency Love, a dynamic role-playing game that allows you to experience a multi-layered world, rich with characters, places, and, of course, stories.

The related perks aren’t bad, either. One of the best bits about working on the game is the opportunity to immerse in the Regency world, guilt-free, because clearly, all those films and TV series we’re watching are crucial to our research. The popcorn is compulsory, too, because, naturally, we’ll need something to fuel our minds. And even if an adaptation is far removed from the Regency era, well… It’s all about the story-telling, isn’t it?

So here are some of our favourite Regency-related adaptations (compiled while calmly hiding our inner excitement):

  • Pride and Prejudice (BBC, 1995): Yup, you probably saw this from a mile away. And yes, here’s the obligatory mention: Mr Darcy’s wet shirt.
  • Emma (BBC, 2009): Emma is Samantha’s favourite Austen novel, and this adaptation is sumptuous, playful, and vivacious.
  • Persuasion (2007): This is Melody’s favourite adaptation, thanks to Rupert Penry-Jones’s amazing Captain Wentworth and Sally Hawkins’s gentle Anne. The beautiful seaside scenes are worth a mention, too!
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995): A wonderful cast, with Alan Rickman as a lovely and awkward Colonel Brandon.
  • Clueless (1995): Emma, Beverly Hills, fin-de-siècle. Yes, please.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-3): A witty and interactive adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that utilises a variety of social media, and is set firmly in the early twenty-first century.
  • Bright Star (2009): Keats’s poetry in Ben Whishaw’s voice? Epic win. The cinematography is stunning, too.

As you might imagine, the creation of this list involved a great deal of deliberating, pruning, and perhaps even re-watching. The things we do in the name of research, because, after all, it’s all about respecting and loving the Regency!

What are some of your favourite Regency-related adaptations? We’d love to know what you love, so do give us a shout in the comments!

One thought on “Friday Features: Regency Retold

  • As Samantha already knows, I’m a hugeeee fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. But what is there not to love about the BBC adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Emma, or Sense and Sensibility (yayyyy Alan Rickman!)? I saw Bright Star a while ago and really adored it, and this year was the first time I ever saw Clueless (I know, I know), and I thought it was a fun/hilarious modern Emma. (So basically, I guess I should watch Persuasion (2007). I have no idea how I missed that one…)

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