My strange Jane Austen hierarchy.

Emma {Found at Wonderland Creek}

Having grown up steeped in Jane Austen adaptations, I've naturally had a lot of time to think about which ones are my favorites. ;-P  But the odd thing is, the spaces for my favorite movie, my favorite book, and my favorite story in general are all occupied by different stories!  I don't know why that is, but since we all love Jane Austen, I figured it'd be fun to whip up a post about my Austenian feelings. :D

✾ Favorite Movie ✾

This is no secret:  It's the 2008 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.  I adore it.  I think it's fantabulous.

austenchanted: “ Sense and Sensibility (2008) ”

Sense and Sensibility

Sense & Sensibility directed by John Alexander (TV Mini-Series, BBC, 2008) #janeausten #fanart

I mean.  Do these pictures not speak for themselves?

The basic storyline of Sense and Sensibility is not my #1 favorite (although it's definitely one of my favorites), but, cosmetically speaking, this movie most definitely is.  It's one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, and the glorious thing is that the underlying components are able to stand up so aptly to their cinematic features. 

The towering, bubbling, variable scenery is combined with a beautiful and intentional pace of storytelling.  The Dashwood girls' geographical surroundings change, which in turn becomes a mirror for the changes the girls themselves are undergoing.  The whitewashed, low-slung cottage by the seashore gradually becomes a refuge instead of an exile.  The changeable landscape is almost a cathartic symbol for the girls' evolving mental and emotional experiences.  

And then, of course, there are the characters.  And the acting.  

The cast has such a wonderful chemistry and makes a dynamic group.  I love watching the little dramas of the story play out across their silent glances and delighted giggles and patient smiles and, in one memorable instance, melting glares. 

Suffice it to say that I love this iteration so, so much more than the '95 version.  "But on this point, it will be as well to be silent."

✾ Favorite Book ✾

At the moment ⎼ although further rereads are in order and we must bear in mind that I have not yet read Mansfield Park  ⎼ I think this honor goes to Pride and Prejudice.  

Pride and prejudice: great example of an INTJ and an INFP. I drop pages lost in the book, you find and restore them.

It's short, sparkling, and soothingly familiar.  It's playful and entertaining, and since the storyline is not one that's exceptionally deep or emotional (for me), and since practically every line is written deeply into my consciousness due to myriad watches of the 1995 adaptation during my formative years, it doesn't require much expenditure of emotional or mental energy to enjoy it, if that makes sense.  It's stimulating and witty, but I don't need to engage my soul to appreciate it.  You know what I mean?

Anyhow, it's fun and I like it. 

✾ Favorite Story ✾

And this ⎼ this, I do believe, is Persuasion. 


It's difficult to explain what I mean by this.  

I think, as sappy as it is, what draws me so to this story is the fact that it revolves around the possibility of second chances ⎼ specifically in romantic relationships.  It's such a hopeful story, but not exuberantly so.  It's quiet and measured and, as I believe many have argued, the most contemplative of all of Austen's works.  

You don't get much in the way of good characters or family reinforcement, as you do in several of her other stories.  Anne has lived, for many years, among rather dreadful relatives; and until the arrival of the Crofts and the reentry of Wentworth, she's had very little true companionship.  (Lady Russell, I believe, tries her best and does truly want what's best for Anne, but her flaws in judgment and character are a little glaring. *cough*)

Yet, although she's experienced grave disappointment and lasting pain, Anne doesn't sink under it.  She's not putting on a falsely cheerful front, but she has her moments of happiness nonetheless.  She's able to rally and look forward to the future, at least in some way.

And, eventually, Anne does find "variation in society."  She finds people who value her as they ought, with whom she can enjoy mutually beneficial friendship.  Though many do not appreciate her, there are those who do.  

When Captain Wentworth comes back into the picture and their relationship is given a second lease on life, the hopeful timbre of the story is realized.  And I can't help it:  I find it ever so romantic and oh, so encouraging. ♥

Do you have any "Austenian feelings" to share with the class? ;)


  1. This post is beautiful and it makes me so happy. <333

    I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said about both "favorite movie" and "favorite story." Persuasion is probably the best second-chances story I've ever read: cuz it's so SUBTLE about it, you know? It's not beating you over the head with the idea of 'these characters deserve a second chance at love & must have it at all costs!!!' It just brings them to that point very naturally, and organically, and gently; and never fails to leave me with a huge gooey grin on my face. :D

    1. *beams* Thank you. <333

      YES. It's a subtle story, which is more than can be said for many. I like that word you used, "organic." That's a good word for this story. Very organic, very gentle, very subtly compelling. :)

  2. I haven't seen the 2008 Sense and Sensibility, but based on your glowing review, I am 100% checking it out. It looks beautiful!!!

    I'm a sucker for Pride and Prejudice. And even Pride and Prejudice + Zombies. XD


      Haha, I haven't ever seen P&P&Z, and I don't think it'd be my thing because #zombies, BUT I did snag a copy of Android Karenina (the alternative to Anna Karenina), and I'm looking forward to trying that at some point. ;D

  3. Same for favourite book and favourite story, but my favourite screen version has got to be the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice! Book wise I think Mansfield Park comes a close second for me though - no-one ever understands why, but I love it :)

    1. Colin Firth P&P is, like, an institution in our house. It's my mom's and my oldest sister's favorite, and I love it, too. (Though not nearly as much as they do, ha. ;)) Ooh, interesting! I've actually heard that it's a really good book, but different from her others. I'm interested to see what I think of it whenever I get around to it. :)

  4. I love the '95 movie Sense and Sensibility, but I REALLY, REALLY want to see the 2008 because I know that Dan Stevens could be an wonderful Edward. :)

    Ah, yes, Pride & Prejudice. I love it to itsy-bitsy pieces. <33333 Unless it is the 2005 movie, THEN NO, but the book and '95 mini series just make me so happy.

    I haven't actually read Persuasion. I have seen bits of the 2007 (Is that the year?) mini series, and liked it. I think that one of the next books that I read will be that. :)

    1. Ooh, I think you'd enjoy the '08 version! Dan Stevens is wonderful as Edward. :)

      :D :D Haha, I love the 2005 version as well, but most of my family is of the opinion that it is an inferior, while still occasionally enjoyable, version. ;-P

      Interestingly, I didn't actually think the book version of Persuasion was all that wonderful, but a lot of people do, so definitely give it a try. :) (Yes, there is a 2007 movie version!)

  5. I was so excited when I saw what your newest post was about!!! I love Jane Austen's stories SO MUCH. <3

    YES, Sense & Sensibility 2008 is so beautiful for all of the reasons you gave! Two years ago it was definitely my favorite adaptation too, although since then Emma 2009 has held that special place and I don't think that will change anytime soon. It is so colorful and charming and and happy. ;-)

    I completely, 100% agree with all of your thoughts on Persuasion!!! It is my favorite story AND book. <3

    Oh yes, I feel exactly the same way about book Pride & Prejudice!!! It is so familiar, comfortable, amusing, and happy. "Sparkling" is such a good word to describe it!

    And on the topic of Jane Austen, did you know that Masterpiece PBS has adapted an 8-part series of her unfinished novel, Sanditon? Here's more about it:

    ALSO, did you know that another Emma movie is being made??? Filming finished on June 7, with Anya Taylor Joy in the title role. I'm pretty excited about it! The rest of the cast is listed here:

    Catie <3

    1. Yay!!! :D I love chatting with friends about Austen. <3

      Oh, I'm glad you love the 2008 version, too! Ah, yes, the 2009 Emma is a great one. :)

      Awww! <33

      It is, isn't it? Familiar and comforting.

      I hadn't heard about either of those! Sandition looks very promising indeed. I'm always up for a good new-to-me period drama! And the cast for the Emma one looks great, but I suppose I'm not as excited about that one just 'cause I feel like they've already successfully adapted Emma a couple different times . . . but I'll for sure check it out whenever it comes out, haha. :D Thanks for letting me know about both of those!

    2. I completely agree about Sanditon—I am so curious and excited about it!!!

      Yes, I was very suprised that of all her works, someone decided to make another Emma. It IS one of my favorites, so I'm not complaining...but Mansfield Park, for instance, desperately needs a really good adaptation!!! :-P

    3. Yes! And that longer trailer came out just a few days ago! :D

      Haha, exactly. Like, I don't think I'll ever complain about a new adaptation, whichever work it's for, but . . . why that one?? ;D ;D

  6. I have disparate favorites too! Like, the Gwenyth Paltrow Emma is my favorite Austen movie, but Persuasion is my favorite Austen book.

    1. Ooh, neat! I don't think I knew that Gwyneth Paltrow Emma was your favorite Austen movie! We like that one, too. :)

  7. Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book to read too!! The wit and heart and story have always won me over. <3 And I think Northanger Abbey actually comes in as a close second! The main character is so sweet and innocent, and has the cutest romantic interactions. :D Great post!

    1. Northanger Abbey is a fun one! Thank you!

  8. The 2008 Sense and Sensibility is a favorite of mine, too! I love the soundtrack from the 1995 version, but this adaptation is just beautiful. I think my favorite part about it is Hattie Morahan's portrayal of Elinor. It's so, so good!
    Ah yes, Pride and Prejudice is just perfection. It's been a few years since I've reread it, so maybe I should pick it up again this summer. ;)

    1. Huzzah! Ooh, I'll have to pay more attention to the soundtrack of the '95 whenever I next watch it. Yes, isn't the 2008 wonderful? And Hattie Morahan is a total queen.

      I think I saw on GR that you've started P&P again? How are you liking it? :)

    2. Yes, I am rereading Pride and Prejudice again and I'm LOVING every minute of it. It's like revisiting an old friend, you know?

    3. Yay! Yes, I do know. That's how I feel when we re-watch the movie. ;)

  9. Oh my word.... I HAVE BEEN IN A JANE AUSTEN MOOD. THIS POST CAME AT A PERFECT TIME. I recently re-read Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, and now I very much want to watch all my favorite (and only watch-able) adaptations again (the 2009 Emma, 2008 S&S, 2005 P&P).

    I think Emma is my favorite movie, book, and story (Mr. Knightley forever!!!! <33), and Sense and Sensibility is tied for first place in all three categories, and Pride and Prejudice comes in second place in all three. Persuasion was a good book and I enjoyed it, but I don't think it was Jane Austen's best and Captain Wentworth was either wonderful for his constancy or downright irritating for his stubbornness throughout.

    Northanger Abbey is my least favorite of Jane Austen's work. Ugh. XP Have you read it?

    1. Aaaahhh, isn't it fun when that happens??! (Ooh, those are such good choices!!)

      Yeah, I didn't actually think Persuasion was Austen's best book, either; I just think it's my favorite of her stories, if that makes sense? Haha, I love Capt. Wentworth, but I understand why he could rub people the wrong way now and then.

      Well, come to think of it, either Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park are probably my least favorites, too, but I don't really dislike either of them; it's just that I like the others more. I haven't read MP yet, but yes, I have read NA. :) I liked it pretty well, but it's been a while since I've read it so I don't know how I'd feel about it if I were to re-read it. I do like the movie. What do you dislike about it, particularly?

    2. I completely agree with your opinion on Persuasion, although I wouldn't say that it's my absolute favorite story. I think Emma takes the prize for that. :D

      The only thing I really disliked about NA was the creepiness of the Thorpes and Northanger Abbey itself. All of the other Jane Austen stories are not creepy in the least, so NA definitely surprised me in that way. The main reason I read it was because it's Richard Armitage's favorite of Jane Austen's books, and while I can't say that I agree, I would read it again. :D

    3. Yay! :D

      I feel. It IS a kind of odd one, for J.A. I mean, since she was purposefully parodying all the Gothic fiction of that time period, I get it, but it doesn't really have the same aesthetic of the others, does it? (Aww, is it really? That's fun to know. :D)

  10. I believe I read all of Austen's books about 35 years ago, but I have only re-read the big 3--P&P, Emma, and S&S--enough to remember them. Emma has a special place in my heart, as does Clueless. I haven't seen the 2008 &S, so I would say the 1995 adaptation is my favorite. But now I want to see the more recent one! Very fun post.

    1. I like that way of grouping those ones--as "the big 3." I like that, indeed. Ah, Clueless was a fun movie!

      You should definitely try the 2008 S&S! I mean, everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but . . . I'd highly recommend it. ;)

      Thanks! Thanks for commenting, too. :)

  11. Unfortunately, I've never actually been into Jane Austen, so I comment either way...however, I've nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award!

    1. Ah, well! Hehe. :) Thanks for the nomination!!

  12. I must have missed this post while on vacation. Sorry, long comment coming.

    That is a good point on favorite story and favorite book. I think those apply to me too. Pride and Prejudice is just so much happier. But there is such gorgeousness in Persuasion, particularly in everything involving that wondrous letter. And having read the start of Sandition, I'm wondering if she had finished it, it might have been in my top favs, at least, I'm sure the "hero" would've been. No amateur finishing can ever be anything but sacriledge.

    And my favorite characters, and favorite character adaptations don't line up with favorite books and movies necessarily.

    I prefer Elinor and Edward in the 2008, but Marianne and Willoughby in the 1995. Colonal Brandon is awful in both. He is only 35 and Mr. Knightley is a bit older, yet they never make any of the Mr. Knightley's terrible old, gross, and creepy (well, usually). I think that is part of the reason, I have trouble liking Colonel Brandon, period. After I watched Little Dorrit, I decided that Matthew McFayden's perfect JA character would be Colonel Brandon, now that is a Colonel Brandon I would like.

    I prefer the Mark Strong Mr. Knightley, not sure if he is most accurate, just I've always preferred him as more of my type. But now, I have to say I prefer the 2009 film overall (maybe my fav JA film), there is just such hilarity in it, such beautiful scenery, costuming, music. But that Emma is the absolute worst portrayal. Kate Beckinsale is the most accurate.

    I could go on, how I like some people in Mansfield Park at first, then want to strangle SOME people as I go on. How I like aspects of Northanger Abbey but want to die of second-hand embarrassment, in the book alone. I watch the movie cringing (they made it SO dirty) and hiding under a blanket.

    1. Don't ever apologize for long comments on older posts! ;D

      Exactly! They have very different emotional undertones, those two stories. I know exactly nothing about Sanditon, aside from what was revealed in the trailer for the new adaptation, but I'm interested to see what I think of that.

      You know, that's a good point, that Mr. Knightley is the same age/older, but they never make him LOOK significantly older. (Maybe they're trying to show how Marianne perceives him? I dunno.) But I LOVE Col. Brandon in the 2008. We shall have to agree to disagree. ;) Ooh, Matthew MacFadyen could make a great Brandon, too!

      I think the Kate Beckinsale version is my favorite adaptation overall. I'm glad you like Mark Strong in the role as well; he seems to be pretty unpopular, and I get why, but I like him.

      Haha, probably an appropriate reaction. ;) Okay but for real, about the NA movie!! I enjoy it now and then, but they really do hype up the innuendo!

  13. I've been meaning to comment on this for AGES!!

    So! *rubs hands happily*

    I'm actually currently reading Persuasion for the first time, so I can't really comment about that because I'm not very familiar with the story (obviously), and the only other story I'm not familiar with is Mansfield Park (and Sanditon). But for all the others I have read the book/seen several movie adaptions. I'm a big lover of a lot of the film adaptions! My favourite of S&S would probably be '08, but I definitely don't dislike the '95 version. My favourite P&P is probably '95, but I DO still enjoy the '05 version. And I'm a '09 Emma fan forever and always. As for the books, my favourite was actually Emma.
    I'm not entirely sure why, but I think that is also my favourite movie and story overall, also. (Although I do have a big soft spot for P&P and S&S.)

    There was always something about the Emma storyline that grabbed me; I can relate to Emma a lot more than I would like to admit, and when I was reading the book, I felt like it was written for ME. Also the movie is like an old friend. The story itself is the most comforting and enjoyable for me out of all of Austen's works.

    Isn't it funny how everyone is different? I really enjoyed reading this post and all the comments. :)

    1. Ohhh, you are in for such a treat! Persuasion is such a heart-achingly beautiful story. I've read it 6 times in the last 2.5 years—it's *that* good. <3

      Ah yes, I love the '09 Emma SO MUCH. It is without question my favorite Austen adaptation. Everything about it is so beautiful and colorful and happy. And the book is my second favorite by Austen—I have the very happiest memories of reading it! *happy sigh*

      ~ Catie

    2. Ohh, wow, that's a lot! It must be good! I'm almost half way and it is lovely so far. :) Almost reminds me a little of Cinderella??

      Yess!! Glad to hear someone else agrees with me! :D

    3. Yes, very reminiscent of Cinderella! Especially Anne's family situation, and how cheerfully and selflessly she serves those around her!

    4. I'm so glad you commented, Gabby!

      Have you finished Persuasion yet? What have you thought of it?

      Okay, time for my little spiel on Emma. *settles self in* I think Emma is too widely criticized.

      Does she have flaws? Yes. Are they flaws that are rather different than Austen's other heroines? Yes. But they do not inherently make her a worse person than the others.

      I think her problems with interference and pride are more noticeable because she's (I think?) the wealthiest/most privileged of the Austen heroines and therefore has the potential to actually do more damage to those less fortunate than her. But I've noticed that there seems to be this idea circulating that Emma Woodhouse is objectively the "bad girl" of the canon, kind of like almost everyone's labelled Amy March that bad one in Orchard House, or Susan the worst of the Pevensies. Have you noticed that?? 'Cause it has started to irk me, let me tell you.

      Especially because I feel like it bleeds over into the adaptations of the book. I kind of start to feel like Emma always has to end up levelled in some deeper way than just correcting her mistakes; that she always has to fundamentally change certain aspects of her personality, instead of harnessing some of those traits that could "go either way," and making proper use of them. That's part of what I like about the Emma Approved webseries version: Emma definitely changes, but she's still Emma.

      Okay, I think I've rambled too long about this. :-P All that was to say, Emma's a good heroine too.

  14. Oh, I love the 2008 Sense and Sensibility! My favorite version hands down!! The theme is to die for all by itself- and the cinematography and oh....the...the....oooohhhhhh!!!! Such a masterpiece!
    The 2007 Persuasion is another favorite of mine! The letter scene! The LETTER SCENE!!! AGGHHH! I love the theme for that scene too!

    1. GIRL YAS. The '08 S&S makes me deeply happy. <3 <3 <3

      I love both Persuasion movies!! (Ooh, yes, the '07 has SUCH pretty music!)

  15. This is beautiful and thoughtful and I love it. <3 (I THINK I would choose Pride and Prejudice 95' as my favorite movie, Sense and Sensibility as my favorite book, but I'm not sure about the story slot. Will have to give that some thought. ;))


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