The Real Jane Austen

BBC (ended 2002)


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The Real Jane Austen

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The Real Jane Austen is a 2002 BBC documentary about the world-famous author of Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. The film is narrated by Anna Chancellor, who is related to Jane Austen and who also appeared in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen remains a mysterious figure. She left no diaries behind, and her sister Cassandra burned many of her letters after she died. The film examines details of the surviving portraits of the author and visits many of the places Jane knew in her life, from the Steventon parsonage where she was born to her final home in Chawton, Hampshire. The film begins with a portrait of Jane's family life with her brothers and sisters as children, and also covers the marriages of her brothers, Cassandra's courtship, and Jane's own attendance at dances, parties and social gatherings like those in her novels. Throughout, actors bring her relatives and friends to life, quoting from the few letters that were left behind.