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Miss Austen Regrets is a 2007 BBC drama film directed by Jeremy Lovering and written by Gwyneth Hughes.[2] It stars Olivia Williams as Jane Austen, with Imogen Poots, Greta Scacchi, Hugh Bonneville, Adrian Edmondson and Jack Huston. It was first aired on 21 August 2007[3] in the U.K. and on 3 February 2008[4] in the U.S. by PBS Masterpiece drama anthology television series as part of The Complete Jane Austen, the United States version of The Jane Austen Season.

Miss Austen Regrets
Miss Austen Regrets 2007.jpg
Written byGwyneth Hughes[1]
Directed byJeremy Lovering[1]
StarringOlivia Williams
Imogen Poots
Greta Scacchi
Hugh Bonneville
Theme music composerJennie Muskett[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Anne Pivcevic[1]
Jamie Laurenson[1]
Susanne Simpson[1]
Steven Ashley[1]
CinematographyDavid Katznelson[1]
Editor(s)Luke Dunkley[1]
Running time90 minutes
Original networkBBC 1
Original release
  • August 21, 2007 (2007-08-21) (UK)
  • February 3, 2008 (2008-02-03) (US)



In 1802 Jane Austen receives a proposal of marriage, which she accepts. Her sister Cassandra is concerned and asks her if she is sure of her choice. By the next morning Jane has changed her mind, although she wonders if she has made the right decision.

In 1814, Jane and Cassandra attend a cousin's wedding, from where "favourite aunt" Jane accompanies her niece Fanny and brother Edward Austen-Knight home. Fanny showers her aunt with questions about love, marriage, and particularly, why Jane herself never married. Fanny introduces Jane to one of her potential suitors, Mr Plumtre, but Jane is unsure if their love is real or not. Admitting that she herself has no experience, Jane still declares that everyone should have the chance to marry once for love.

Jane is startled and surprised to receive an unexpected visit from Fanny's uncle, the Reverend Brook Bridges — a man who has clearly played a part in Jane's past.[3][5] Reverend Bridges has concerns about Jane as a role model, "leading her young niece astray with her fanciful ideas and clever wit". His worst fears are confirmed when Fanny, convinced that Mr Plumtre will not propose, blames Jane for standing in the way of her desire to be happily married.

The following year, Jane travels to London where her other brother Henry lives, whom she has asked to accompany her to negotiate with her publisher over her new novel, Emma. Henry suddenly takes ill, and Jane is helped by a young and handsome doctor, Charles Haden, who heals her brother and is able to help secure Emma's publication. Jane is flattered by his attention, and fancies that he admires her for more than her writing. With Fanny's arrival in London, Doctor Haden's attentions turn to her, and Jane becomes sullen and resentful. She returns to Hampshire to continue writing her next novel, but becomes ill herself.

At a family christening, Fanny tells Jane that Mr. Plumtre is engaged to another, and blames Jane for leading her to think him unsuitable. Fanny declares that she will never again trust the opinions of her maiden aunt. Her devoted sister Cassandra tries to comfort Jane, but as she becomes weaker she looks back on her life and wonders if she had made the right choices about love, money, and marriage.

As sickness envelops her, Jane confesses to Cassandra that her only regret about not marrying her rich suitor years ago is that she won't be able to leave Cassandra and her mother financially secure. She admits that everything that she is, and everything she has achieved, has been for her sister, and is much happier than she thought she would be.

In 1820 Cassandra attends Fanny's wedding, alone. At the reception, Fanny seeks Cassandra out only to find her burning the letters that Jane had written to her.[5] Fanny begs her not to destroy them, hoping to finally find the answers to Jane's lost love, but she continues to burn the letters, overcome with grief. As Fanny returns to the party, Jane's words are in her head, telling her to listen to her own heart now. Fanny finally understands her aunt Jane.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Miss Austen Regrets Credits". NY Times. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  2. ^ "BBC - Drama - Miss Austen Regrets". BBC. 27 April 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Revealing the romance behind Jane Austen". BBC. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  4. ^ Boyle, Laura (18 July 2011). "Miss Austen Regrets: An "Imagined" Biography". Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Miss Austen Regrets: How Jane lost her own Darcy". The Independent. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2013.

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