Produced by Matchlight, (C) Matchlight, 2011
First broadcast December 23rd 2011, BBC Two at 9.00pm
Prof. Amanda Vickery returns to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's first novel Sense and Sensibility. When Jane Austen died her slight reputation appeared to die with her. Her books soon went out of print. Now, 200 years later, she sits at the summit of English literature and thanks to television and film adaptations, as well as the internet, she is an international cultural brand. What interests Amanda is how different periods and generations have looked for their own reflection in the characters and plots of the novels. She wants to work out what that says about them, as well the hold Jane Austen's fiction has on us now.
The Guardian: "Essential viewing here for fans of the author. Professor Amanda Vickery, a leading chronicler of matters Georgian, discusses why Austen has had such pan-generational appeal, and how each has sought to find reflections of themselves in her work. Academics, directors and even becostumed devotees provide the answers. Attending the auction of a rare, handwritten manuscript of an unfinished Austen novel provides its own insight into the enduring mania surrounding her."
The Sunday Times, Culture: "… this excellent documentary … Vickery will not be short of admirers after this accomplished and enjoyable extension of her television career."
The Guardian Guide: "Amanda Vickery plunges forearm down history's breeches; tugs out fistful of literary loveliness."
Lisa Appignanesi, Saturday Review, Radio 4: "I loved this film … full of verve and brio…".