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  • Jane Austen's Life, Society, Works [VHS]
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Jane Austen's Life, Society, Works [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 3
  • Studio: American Home Treas
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 156 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 157875075X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,813 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's unlikely that there's a more comprehensive collection on the life of novelist Jane Austen than this boxed set of three one-hour videos. The first video, Life, takes viewers to the locations where Austen lived her abbreviated life. The film looks at her birth, as one of seven children born to a country curate, how she lived and wrote, and her unfortunate early death. There's also a look at her relationships, notably with her elder brother (who assisted in the publication of her novels) and her sister Cassandra. A visit to the family's Chawton cottage home gives a nice image of the environment in which Austen found herself.

The second video, Society, explores the Regency era in which Austen lived. It's a thorough, historical, informative perspective that puts Austen in the context of her time. There's a look at what people wore, what they ate, and the change in English society from the reign of King George III to the Regent's turn, pre-George IV. Society also examines the political state at the time and the caricatures and cartoons that populated the newspapers.

Works presents narrated excerpts of Austen's writing, as well as insight into her personal life, through letters (although Cassandra is said to have destroyed those letters with too personal an insight). What's most fascinating is the speculation and examination of the real-life people who inspired the now-classic heroes and heroines in Austen's novels. --N.F. Mendoza

Customer Reviews

1.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 2-disc DVD is nothing but a slide show with audio commentary. We see green meadows with dogs running, seashores, flowers, and more meadows while listening to a commentary. No reference to the meadows, etc. was ever made until Bath, England. It was more like a travel DVD than a documentary of Jane Austen. I thought I would see the Jane Austen Centre at the very least. Instead, there were more shots of modern day Bath with no reference to what we were seeing. I was disappointed in this dvd set to say the very least. There was nothing new or interesting in this DVD in my opinion.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Michael Horvath on March 24, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I found this video set to be boring and very uninformative. The video was not very sophisticated and appears to be shot by a hand-held videocamera. The lighting in many of the scenes was atrocious and unfocused. The same images (most of them still images) were used in all three tapes. The analysis of Ms. Austen's life, society, and works were puerile and very simple. Some of the information was downright incorrect.
On the whole, I was truly disappointed with this video and would suggest borrowing it from a poor soul who had the misfortune to purchase it rather than purchasing it yourself.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This video series was rather boring. So boring that I returned it. They keep showing mostly the same pictures over and over again. They also show current pictures of various places in England and if you are trying to visualize say what Bath looked like in her time, the bus going by and the people in modern dress throw you off. The narrator, while somewhat informative, has a very monotone voice. I just couldn't wait for this set to arrive and after I made it through the first tape, there was nothing that prompted me to watch the second and third right away!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Modest Mavin on September 15, 2007
Format: DVD
I am a great Jane Austen fan, so I was eager to see a documentary on her life. This was a slide show of photos that kept recycling during the audio commentary. The audio commentary was unorganized and uninteresting.
Life, Society and Works was poorly conceived and executed DVD. I have never thrown out a DVD collection until now. It's not even worth donating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AutumnHarvest on April 29, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I, for one, enjoyed these three tapes and plan to keep mine to watch again, along with all my other Jane Austen movies and DVD's about her life. I am not sure what others expected, but I was not dissapointed in the least. These were made in England, so naturally the narrator has an English accent. DUH!! Yes, they did show some of the same views over again, but I have seen this same technique used on many, many documentaries. It is true they show Bath, and other places Jane lived or visited, as they are today, with people walking about and modern cars on the streets. But as I said before, many documentaries use this technique and I was not put off by it. Because there was no film in Jane Austen's time to draw on, no photographs, and few paintings of these areas, I don't see how they could have done otherwise. Most of the buildings are still there-The Royal Cresent for example-the flavor of the towns and areas as they were in Austen's time shine thru despite modern traffic or clothing on the people. Indeed, little has changed in Lyme Regis since Jane wrote of Anne Elliot's walking the Cobb with Capt. Wentworth and the others.

I found the film quality high, the color just lovely, and the narrative very imformative.

I would like to have seen more views of The Cobb itself,and the "granny's teeth", but overall I really enjoyed these three tapes, learned a lot more to add to my knowledge of all things Jane and to top it all off, I only paid $5- for my tapes! A real treat all around!
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