A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels.
Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle.
Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.
Sense and Sensibility: forced to leave their family home after their father's death, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood try to forge a new life at Barton Cottage.
Pride and Prejudice: Mrs Bennet is determined to get her five daughters married well, so when the wealthy Mr Bingley and his friend, Mr Darcy, move into the neighbourhood, her hopes are raised....
Emma: Emma Woodhouse declares she will never marry, but she is determined to find a match for her friend, Harriet.
Persuasion: eight years ago, Anne Elliot rejected a marriage proposal from a handsome but poor naval officer. Now her former love has returned....
With an all-star cast including David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia McKenzie, Jenny Agutter, Toby Jones, Eve Best and Juliet Stevenson, these BBC radio adaptations are full of humour, romance, love lost and love regained. Duration: approx. 15 hours 30 mins.
©2016 BBC Worldwide Limited (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Limited
... But not equal to actually reading the books. If you can spare the credits buying each unabridged book would be better. That said these are radio plays so not entirely comparable, the performances are excellent and the gist of each book was accurate and it was thoroughly entertaining.
Although the performances were mostly good and the casting generally appropriate, I found it hard to suffer through the scripts they were working from. I would suggest that if you are very familiar with the books, you might also react with irritation to some very spurious tampering with sequencing and dialogue (even allowing for the obvious necessity for scriptwriters to tamper in order to shorten and still retain clarify, etc). However, if you simply enjoy a well presented romance dramatisation and aren't familiar with the texts, or simply not as pedantic as I am, then you'll probably find a lot to enjoy in this set.
The only abridgement that captures the spirit of Austen is Mansfield Park. This is also the one with Tennant and Cumberbatch. The rest I listened to mainly because I am addicted to Austen...
Orpington, United Kingdom As a reader prefer being moved over being entertained.
I liked the production of the dramas, they were an easy listen.
"Mansfield park" was new to me and I enjoyed it and the familiar "Sense and sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice" very much. I thought that "Emma" had a rather thin plot line and found "Persuasion" in places a bit hard to follow on who is who..
I love Jane Austen and the stories give a wide variety of her works and I pretty much flew through them.
I thought the dramatization was very good.
If you like periodic drama this is a very good collection for it.
I love BBC radio dramatisations of classic novels so I was delighted with this audio set as I now have 3 other Jane Austen dramatisations that I never heard before . Dramatisations are so much more exciting than just a single narrator to me and they even make Northanger Abbey more tolerable to listen to as it is my least liked Austen novel . And a fantastic buy too . Highly recommended
Great stories, great performances BUT no credits included in the recording which are linked without titles or credits. Audible/BBC should be sued for this violation of moral rights.
These are very clear and well acted adaptations. What I'm not keen on are the changes to the stories, as some don't really add to the original tale. They seem a bit forced and unnecessary. I also think a lot of the changes are an unwillingness to hire more actors! Overall enjoyable but definitely not true to the books.
It's brillaint, except chapters 6 and 7 are identical, as are 8 and 9, so the Mansfield Park story is unlistenable. Please fix these chapters and I'll happily upgrade my rating.
"Great way to listen to Austen's works!"
I have always loved Jane Austen's stories, but I never read all of her books. This was a great way to listen to her stories and stay engaged the whole time. I didn't want to stop listening and only pressed pause when I had to (like for sleeping, but I ended up staying up past midnight the first day to finish Emma). The voices were all spot on for the characters. I really enjoyed this performance a lot!
"Technical issues and misleading description."
Some chapters were duplicated (technical issue). Top billed voice talent did not perform all of the stories. Not all stories had the same production value. If you already own any of these books on their own, I would not recommend purchasing this one.
"Perfect Intro for Newbies; Great Fun for Fans"
Thanks for offering these as a complete 6-for-the-price-of-1 bundle, Audible! Now those of us determined to acquire the entire sterling collection won't have to spend six credits. This is terrific fun for established Austenites, and a delightful, fast-paced, lucid and engaging introduction to anyone unfamiliar with the canon. It will be especially eye-opening for anyone who previously found Austen either boring or distasteful after an unpleasant, premature forced exposure in a high school English class. All six mature novels are presented here (the juvenalia, including Love and Freindship [sic] is wisely omitted). For anyone UNfamiliar with Austen's work, please be aware that these plays are presented (perhaps unwisely) in ascending order of greatness/polished perfection, with the experimental, Rohrschachian Mansfield Park first (try not to judge Austen by the character of curiously bland antiheroine Fanny Price) then the satirical Northanger Abbey (note how Austen was somehow able to skewer the Bronte sisters 60 years before they were even born!), then the somewhat flawed Sense and Sensibility...ending with Austen's three crown jewels, and culminating in the razor-sharp, ultra-lean Persuasion. The star-studded BBC cast is amazing; the recording has one strange several-line repeat in the first play but that may have just been my download, and it is otherwise flawless. Your commute miles (or ironing chores, or walking miles) will fly by!
"Sadly, there was no Cumberbatch Darcy"
I love Jane Austen and I'm a Benedict Cumberbatch fan as well so I was really excited about this series. But Cumberbatch only performs in Mansfield Park (my least favorite novel of Austen's). Overall, the acting was good and I thought that the rewrite kept the integrity of the story. Just don't get your hopes up to hear Benedict Cumberbatch as Mr. Darcy.
I was a bit nervous to buy this bundle of books after reading negative reviews that said that the quality between the performances varied. However I found all 6 performances to be excellent and all thoroughly enjoyable.
"Not As Represented; Recording Problems"
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch were only in the first story, Mansfield Park, which was very disappointing. The Sense and Sensability recordings were scrambled across the recording set rather than being in chronological order which was really annoying, and the dialog in all of the stories was modernized to the point of being ridiculous. Mansfield Park was good and Northanger Abbey was fine, but the rest were just not that great. I ended up returning this one. If you really must have the Tennant/Cumberbatch recording, save your money and purchase the stand alone recording which is also available on Audible.
"Superb acting, but beware of audio idiosyncracies!"
This audio collection is comprised of the six major Austen novels, abridged and performed by a full cast of exceptional professional performers, including some very famous ones. You should note that the cover art does not list "Emma" among the works performed, but it's in there. These were produced by the BBC, which might make you jump to the conclusion that the audio quality is as superior as the acting, but that would be a mistake. The audio magicians do create the illusions that the characters actually are strolling through gardens, or riding horses, or disporting themselves in ballrooms. But the audio levels are inconsistent. At one moment General Tilney is berating poor Eleanor at full volume, then before you can say "Northanger," Eleanor is apologizing to Catherine sotto voce and you can barely hear her. This sort of thing happens at various times in each of the novels. There is a lot of whispering! I listened to them seated in a fairly quiet room, and frequently had to rewind to hear soft sounds. I imagined it would be very difficult to catch all the dialog if I were listening in a car on a road trip, or walking with earbuds on a windy day. I think background noise would obliterate subtleties of production. Just thought you should know in advance.
Another thing..... the editing is not consistent in transforming these performances from radio to audiobook format. Mansfield Park is presented without attribution to (famous) actors or the writer who adapted it. A few other novels have some passing mention of the cast, while at the very end of the line, "Persuasion" has the cast listed at the beginning AND the end of each episode. This was not a big deal, just seemed sort of slapdash. I guess I would have expected more meticulous attention to detail from the BBC.
Even with the idiosyncrasies of production, these performances were totally worth it, and even though I've read all Miss Austen's novels in print and in audio, I'll cherish these versions too.
I was a bit leery about whether or not I actually wanted to purchase this due to the negative reviews being so vehement - however, I'm very much glad that I ignored them and went ahead to buy it. The voices were actually very well done (though I was disappointed in Mr. Knightly, but I'm particularly fond of him), and the only thing that I didn't like was the very dramatic crying, and the heavy breathing - but, that could be a personal annoyance. It is a dramatization, perhaps the more dramatic the better.
If you are teetering on whether or not you should buy this, then just know that you won't regret it. It might not be exactly what you expected, but it is pleasantly surprising.
Perhaps I should have done more research before purchasing this audio series but I feel misled. Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant's names appear on the cover. I assumed they would be performing in every story. Not so. They read parts in one story only. Apart from that, the first few books were done very well and I especially enjoyed Sense and Sensibility however the rest of the versions were mediocre at best.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.