Television Adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma, 1972–2009


  • Mette Hildeman Sjölin Lund University



The aim of this paper was to analyse how three different television adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma (1815) avail themselves of the medium of television to narrate the story. The productions analysed are John Glenister’s BBC series from 1972, dramatised by Denis Constanduros; Diarmuid Lawrence’s ITV film from 1996, dramatised by Andrew Davies; and Jim O’Hanlon’s BBC series from 2009, dramatised by Sandy Welch. A close reading and formal analysis of the three television productions, against a close reading of the novel and theoretical perspectives on narration and adaptation by Seymour Chatman, Linda Hutcheon and Linda Costanzo Cahir, showed differences related to the different formats of TV series and TV film as well as to the differences in ideals and conventions related to television drama between 1972 and 2009.