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The Genius of Jane Austen: Why She is a Hit in Hollywood

Friday 31 March 2017

1 Hour


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Biographer and Jane Austen expert Paula Byrne takes a radical new look at the novelist Jane Austen and explains why her works are so successfully adapted for the stage, television and film.

Byrne explores Austen’s love of the theatre and shows how she learned much of her craft from a long tradition of English comic drama and amateur theatricals. She argues that Austen’s admiration for dramatic dialogue and plotting, its exits and entrances, is precisely why her work has been dramatised so successfully. And she looks at dramatisations old and new, from Miss Elizabeth Bennett by A A Milne to the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility, and Clueless.

Byrne is author of a number of biographical works including Jane Austen and the Theatre; The Real Jane Austen; Perdita: The Life of Mary Robinson; Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead; and Kick: The True Story of JFK’s Forgotten Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth.