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The Jane Austen Collection (6 Films) 1972 DVD (import)

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This elegantly repackaged box set contains a superb collection of six popular BBC dramatizations of Jane Austen classics: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma.

Pride And Prejudice (Dir. Simon Langton, 1995): The arrival of the wealthy Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) in the neighbourhood causes great excitement within the Bennet family. One of her five daughters, Mrs Bennet (Alison Steadman) feels, is sure to capture the heart of the wealthy young aristocrat. That fate befalls the spirited Elizabeth (Jennifer Ehle). Judging him on first impressions and the malicious gossip of friends she rejects his advances. However, as she busies herself with the stormy romances and scandal of her sisters, she once again finds herself in his company. Gradually her opinions of this proud young man begin to change...

Persuasion (Dir. Roger Michell, 1995): "At nineteen, to involve yourself with a man who had nothing but himself to recommend him! Spirit and brilliance, to be sure, but no fortune, and no connections! It was entirely prudent of you to reject him." Anne Elliot (Amanda Root) has spent over seven years regretting being persuaded to reject the young Captain Wentworth (Ciarán Hinds).

Northanger Abbey (Dir. Giles Foster, 1986): A tale of intrigue, adventure and romance. This enchanting BBC dramatization captures the spirit and wit of Austen's classic novel Northanger Abbey. The setting is eighteenth-century Bath, a society of decadence and deceit, into which Catherine Morland arrives bursting with freshness, integrity and a passion for macabre Gothic novels. In a time when materialism, not love, governs marriage, Catherine's head is full of fantasy and fiction, of maidens being abducted to sinister castles and heroes riding to the rescue on white horses. When romantic Henry Tilney invites her to his ancestral home, Northanger Abbey, a dark mystery starts to unfold that makes her blood run cold. Are her fantasies coming true? What does the brooding General Tilney want from her and will the truth destroy her chance for love...?

Sense And Sensibility (Dir. Rodney Bennett, 1981): Jane Austen's tale of two devoted sisters with totally differing attitudes to life and love. Filmed on location in the stately homes of picturesque Dorset and Somerset.

Mansfield Park (Dir. David Giles, 1983): True virtue triumphs over superficiality in this distinguished BBC production of Jane Austen's celebrated novel Mansfield Park. Set in 18th century England, Jane Austen's tale of virtue and vice, tells of young impoverished Fanny Price who arrives at the elegant country estate of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertam. Snubbed by everyone except her cousin Edmund, Fanny begins her long struggle for acceptance by her shallow relatives who believe wealth automatically means quality. When Fanny finally wins the respect of her snobbish relatives, she incurs the displeasure of her uncle by rejecting the handsome philanderer Henry Crawford because she has fallen in love with Edmund.

Emma (Dir. John Glenister, 1972): This splendid BBC dramatization brings to life all the glorious wit and sharp humour of Jane Austen's - arguably her finest - novel Emma, recreating her most irritatingly endearing female character, of whom she wrote "no one but myself could like." Emma presides over the small provincial world of Highbury with enthusiasm, but she will find that it is all too easy to confuse good intensions with self-gratification. the often insensitive, ever well-meaning, incorrigible Emma Woodhouse having engineered the marriage of governess, companion and friend to Miss Taylor, now turns her attention towards making a match for Mr. Elton, the local vicar, and her new protégée Harriet Smith. Her one voice of reason and restraint is Mr. Knightley, who has known her since she was a child and who watches her behaviour with wry amusement and sometimes anger.

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