Since I did 1920s set costume dramas last week, it seemed like a natural (if somewhat chronologically backwards) progression to look at Regency costume dramas this week.
So, if you like Regency-set costume dramas, you’ll probably like….
— the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice. Let’s not beat around the bush with any of those other adaptations; this one does a gorgeous job of bringing Lizzy and Darcy to life (and, occasionally, dunking him in the lake);
— the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root Persuasion, one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen (and a constant re-watch during the early days of writing the Pink books);
— the relatively recent Masterpiece Theatre Northanger Abbey, which finally, finally gave us a good adaptation of one of my favorite Austen novels (as opposed to the rather lugubrious adaptation I remember from my youth);
— the Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet Sense And Sensibility— or perhaps I should just call it the Alan Rickman Sense & Sensibility?
— the Sharpe series, particularly Sharpe’s Rifles, which show a very different Regency from the Austenian drawing room as we delve into the nitty gritty of the Peninsular War (also, two words: SEAN BEAN);
— and, for the naval side of things, the Ioan Gruffud Horatio Hornblower (this, like the Pink books, is actually pre-Regency, but when it comes to costume drama joy, what’s a decade here or there?);
— and, finally, for sheer fun, Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts, with Helena Bonham-Carter as Miss Serena Staverly, Christopher Plummer as the father who gambles her away in a game of cards, and– so much joy– Diana Rigg as the hero’s villainous mother. And, yes, there is actually a villain who utters the phrase: “She will be mine. Oh, yes, she will be mine.” (In tones of intense boredom, which makes it even better.) My little sister and I can recite much of this film by heart.
What are your favorite Regency-set costume dramas?