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Jane Austen’s Persuasion has been adapted for British television four times, according to Wikipedia. A mini-series made in 1960 has probably been lost to history. The 1971 mini-series aired on ITV in April and May of that year — it was released on DVD in 2010, so lots of libraries have it. Two made-for-TV film versions were broadcast in the UK in 1995 and 2007 and broadcast on PBS in the US. I have vague memories of the 2007 version starring Sally Hawkins.
The new addition for 2022 comes from Netflix. It’s irreverent and modern in ways that have been heartily lambasted by Austen fans.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read Persuasion, so playing loose and fancy with the source material didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the 21st-century idioms and the way that Dakota Johnson, portraying Anne Elliot, broke the fourth wall — often to offer something snarky.
As far as I’m concerned, the best thing about this film was that my husband enjoyed it. He often falls asleep during period dramas, especially if they have a romantic plot. But he enjoyed this one, laughing frequently. That makes this an excellent choice for date night.
We both got a kick out of the scenes that were filmed in Bath, especially the ones in front of the Royal Crescent which we have vivid and fond memories of admiring during a walking tour of Bath.
Visit Bath, which was such a helpful site when we were planning our trip, compiled a list of Persuasion’s filming locations in Bath. Condé Nast Traveller published a detailed article about other filming locations for Persuasion. I enjoyed that it mentioned other films that used these locations.
Have you seen Persuasion? What did you think?