Jane Austen film and TV
If you're a Jane Austen fan, the names of the settings in her stories are as readily recognisable as those of her characters. Ever wished to take a peek inside 'Netherfield', or admire 'Pemberley' from across the lake? It's easier to follow in the footsteps of Lizzy and Darcy or Elinor and Marianne than you might think.
Basildon Park took a starring role in the 2005 production of 'Pride & Prejudice', starring Keira Knightley as Lizzy and Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy. The 18th-century Palladian mansion 'played' Mr Bingley's house, ‘Netherfield’, a suitably grand residence for a 'young man of four or five thousand a year'.
In the 1995 BBC TV version of 'Pride and Prejudice' it was the good fortune of Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzy to dine in the magnificent splendour of Belton House, which played Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s residence. As Mr Collins would attest, no greater honour can be bestowed than an invitation to dine at 'Rosings'. Belton also featured in the scenes leading up to Darcy's first excruciating proposal to Lizzy.
The 2009 the BBC TV version of 'Emma' starring Romola Garai as Emma and Jonny Lee Miller as George Knightley, features Box Hill as the backdrop for a picnic in the final episode.
This fine Georgian country house was the location for the ballroom scene in the 1996 film of Jane Austen’s 'Emma'. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the self-elected matchmaker, Emma, who inevitably gets a taste of her own medicine.
Lacock, a wonderfully preserved village dating from the 13th century, played the village of 'Meryton' in the BBC’s 'Pride and Prejudice'. Here the Bennet girls, in particular Lydia and Kitty ‘whose minds were more vacant than their sisters’, shopped for bonnets, sought the latest tittle-tattle from their Aunt Philips, and hoped to attract the attentions of the officers - in particular a certain Mr Wickham.
Lyme Park is a Tudor house transformed into an Italianate palace, famous for its role as ‘Pemberley’, Darcy’s home, in the BBC’s 'Pride and Prejudice'. Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzy was shocked by the approach of the wet clad figure of Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, post-dip in the lake. The scene cemented Colin Firth's sex symbol status and turned Lyme Park into one of TV's most iconic backdrops.
Montacute most recently wowed cinema audiences as Johnny Depp's 'den of iniquity' in 'The Libertine'. Ten years earlier it took on a more refined role in 'Sense and Sensibility'. The Oscar winning film starred Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as sisters Elinor and Marianne. Our hearts went out when the inconsolable Marianne got caught in the rain, trying to escape the heartbreak of Willoughby's rejection. The garden she passed through was at Montacute.
A must for all Austen fans. The novelist exchanged correspondence with Frances, the first Countess, and you can read these letters to this day at the house.
The 2005 production of 'Pride & Prejudice' features the 18th-century landscaped garden, Stourhead, and one of its enchanting temples. The Temple of Apollo, set above the tranquil lake, was used as the location for Darcy’s first and futile proposal to Lizzy. Afterwards an offended Lizzy makes her exit across the Palladian Bridge. But thankfully, as we all know, the final outcome is joyous when love prevails.