Persuasion Review for BBC History Extra

I am absolutely THRILLED (capitals necessary, I’m an excitable person!) to share that I was asked to review Persuasion from an historian’s perspective for History Extra, the website of BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed.

My review has gone live today, and if you are a subscriber (or fancy trialing the website free for 30 days!), you can find it here.

I grew up reading BBC History Magazine so I’m very much on cloud nine right now – and so pleased I got to write something about one of the great loves of my life, the one and only Jane Austen.


  1. I think your commentary on the film was fair and balanced. I started watching it with trepidation, having read so much negativity in readers’ online responses; but in the end enjoyed it in its own right as a romcom rather than an authentic adaptation. After all, everything screamed “don’t take this seriously” – the colour-blind casting à la Bridgerton; the knowing breaking of the fourth wall à la Fleabag, the anachronistic music score, the inauthentic Regency manners. This was Austen as in Clueless, Ten Things I Hate About You or Bridget Jones but in period costume; and thus best regarded as an ostentatious parody.

    • Thank you so much – and I think you are exactly right. Once you have that in mind, and you realise the creative and interesting things the makers were trying to do, it’s more fun to watch. I watched it a couple of times just to get my head around all the things I was writing and found I liked it more each time, because I took it less seriously – the first time I was in “adaptation of the book” mode. I really appreciate you reading – I was trying hard not to fall into savage commentary like a lot out there, because it isn’t terrible at all!

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